Men’s Liberty of London Cotton Poplin Shirt


When it comes to menswear, shirts are my favorite garment to make.

I relish the challenges involved, like precise topstitching, special finishes like flat-felled seams, and the creation of a perfectly balanced collar. I also enjoy the creative challenge of finding coordinating fabrics to add special touches like a contrasting inner collar stand, cuff, or under collar.  These details can be hard to find in ready-to-wear shirts, but make what might otherwise be an ordinary shirt into something special.


I love working with the Liberty of London and Liberty-inspired cottons available at Mood Fabrics. Last summer I found a beautiful lightweight poplin that I knew would be perfect for a men’s shirt (or women’s blouse) and this month I decided to cut into it to make my partner, Michael, a beautiful shirt for the new year. (You can see Mood’s large online selection of Liberty of London fabrics here.)


The pattern I used to make the shirt is McCall’s 8909, which dates from 1984. I am often asked why I prefer working with vintage shirt patterns and my answer is that these older patterns tend to be more fitted than today’s patterns and to include special details that aren’t often offered anymore.  I generally find them online on Etsy or eBay, though this one was donated to me by my friend Duane.


I chose to make the most basic version (Version A) since I was working with a print, but I wanted to use a coordinating fabric for the inside collar stand and cuffs. In my stash, I found a mulberry-purple cotton gingham that looked (and felt) exactly right.



The shirt came together beautifully. I made only one minor change to the pattern: I gathered the sleeve at the cuff instead of adding pleats for a more drapey, romantic look.


The handsome results below:






I think most sewers would agree that there’s something oh-so-satisfying about being able to turn one-dimensional fabric into a three-dimensional garment. When it also flatters the wearer, that’s icing on the cake. When he gets compliments, we both feel terrific!



  • june
    January 11, 2016

    gorgeous guy, gorgeous print, gorgeous shirt: thanks, i needed that.

  • BeckyW
    January 11, 2016

    Excellent job! Your creations are always so precisely done. Love the fabric combination. Looks great on him.

  • Erica B's DIY Style
    January 11, 2016

    Love the mixed prints in this shirt!

  • Alex in California
    January 11, 2016

    Very fine.

  • Carol
    January 11, 2016

    Beautiful work! Looks great on him! I think this may trump the puzzle shirt!

  • Theresa
    January 11, 2016

    Great color, great fit, looks expensive.

  • Juliana
    January 11, 2016

    Great job! That print looks great on Michael! I really admire your shirt-making abilities.

  • Angela
    January 11, 2016

    Beautiful! I can’t tell you how fast I would sign up for a sew-along if you ever did one – your skills and knowledge are impressive!!

  • Rebecca Grace
    January 11, 2016

    That shirt is fantastic! The contrasting fabric details are perfect, beautiful craftsmanship, and Michael looks great in it.

  • clio
    January 11, 2016

    Beautiful! I think of how you have truly honed your skills when it comes to shirt sewing over the years. What a great shirt on a handsome fellow!

  • Sandy
    January 11, 2016

    WOW…great topstitching!! Love the shirt.

  • Cennetta
    January 11, 2016

    Peter, You are a master shirt maker and could make a shirt for me anytime. 🙂 Michael is lucky, lucky.

  • sallie
    January 12, 2016

    Michael is such a lucky guy! Your shirts are always impeccable! I love the romantic touch the gathered cuff gives, too!

  • Cindy S.
    January 12, 2016

    You inspire me to take my sewing skills up a notch with the wonderful detail work you do on all of your projects. Michael looks great in his new shirt!

  • Mainelydad
    January 12, 2016

    I’m so glad you were able to use this pattern! I never made the “Venetian blind” shirt. Maybe you will!!! This shirt is a classic IMO, and Michael can wear it till it’s threadbare and it will still be gorgeous.

    • Peter
      January 12, 2016

      That Venetian blind shirt is a real fabric hog, LOL!

  • Peter
    January 12, 2016

    Thanks, everybody!

  • Diane
    January 13, 2016

    Excellent craftsmanship – very Bond Street!
    Thanks for the sewing inspiration…

  • lynn
    January 13, 2016

    I HAD that pattern in the 80’s and used it several times! Great looking shirt!

  • Wayne
    January 13, 2016

    Loved the shirt. Wonderful use of those two prints. Fantastic workmanship.

  • Lori
    January 13, 2016

    Your shirts are always such perfection.

  • Alice
    January 14, 2016

    Gorgeous! The man looks so good in this shirt! What a lovely smile, too.

  • Fiona
    January 20, 2016

    How lucky is Michael! I love your choice to add the gingham contrast in. Beautiful touch.
    Also love ‘when he gets compliments we both feel fantastic’!! Such a good reason to sew for others!

  • Pat
    January 28, 2016

    Beautiful shirt and impeccable workmanship!! What did you use as an interfacing?

    • Peter
      February 1, 2016

      I used a very lightweight woven fusible for collar, cuffs, and front plackets.

  • Pat
    February 4, 2016

    Thanks! I’ll look for some and make a test sample before I tackle a shirt.

  • JSSP
    February 4, 2016

    You sew perfection!!