Thursday, 18 February 2016

Study in Striped Knits

Coco Chanel (pic credit)
Knit striped shirts are really in a class of it's own. It's such a classic. It has stood the test of time and have become quite iconic when it comes to casual wear.  The cross over of the striped shirt aka Breton from utilitarian wear to fashion, from men to women's wear is attributed to Coco Chanel.

Jean Paul Gaultier (pic credit)
However, in recent modern times Jean Paul Gaultier has been associated with popularising this nautical casual white and blue striped shirt.  The Breton shirt is so ingrained in French society that it was one of the official garment for the French Navy.  There were specific attentions to details.  A Breton is 3/4 sleeve length and has 21 stripes to denote as many victories of Napoleon Bonaparte.  So much history.  Read more in WikiFashion.

And here's my humble interpretation.  Not to specifications of course.  Maybe one day I will endeavour to research even more and come up with a Breton that's historically correct.

I've wanted to sew this bateau neckline version for some time.  I saw a similar shirt at a store around Christmas time last year.  So I studied how it was constructed and it wasn't too difficult.  That's the good thing about sewing our own garments, we can replicate most designer looks or style lines without robbing a bank!  Not to say the top I saw was very pricey, it was more 'hey ... I can do that!'

This is my OCD playing up! LOL!!  I took insurance by pinning every stripe so as to match up the side seams.

And of course the result ALWAYS justifies the extra work put in :)

I find myself gravitating to stripes lately what with the pink Breton in my previous post over a week ago.  I've also bought some shirts from the store.  I know ... I broke the cardinal sewers' rule!  I assure you they were pretty reasonably priced and I've classified them under R&D.  All in the name of improving my sewing and learning certain details and style lines.  My threshold of workmanship and quality is very low with these store bought items as evident in this raglan sleeved shirt below :p


  1. Nice one, BJ! I love stripes too and have to confess I have broken down and bought some off the shelf should the right one come along. Last year I bought two at the Gap because they were just right (fabric, fit) that I was looking for. It's amazing how difficult it is to find the right striped fabric!

  2. Love stripes especially with the nautical navy and white combo, it's irresistible. Well done, as always, the perfectionist .

  3. Love those stripes Barbara. You always take great care with your garment construction. Not surprised that you had to match the stripes. I think most of us would do the same.

  4. Navy stripes make any thing to look natural and elegant. I really like neckline it suitable to everyone.


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  6. Love stripes especially with the nautical navy and white combo,
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