Monday, October 8, 2007

oh happy day! cheap shirts at target. AND, detailed instructions on converting shirts.

Would you like an inexpensive, easily converted, cotton/stretch, machine-washable, short-sleeve shirt? That looks like a normal shirt when you take the collar off, no less?
Like, say, this?

Ok, it does have poofiness at the shoulders. Get over it. This is a great investment!

Here's how to do it.

Go get this shirt at Target: The Mossimo Pintuck Henley. It was $12.99 last week, but this week I can't find it on the website, so you better hustle. Buy several. It's got a nice band/mandarin collar style. Hurry.

Bring it home. Sew a button on the outside back of the neck, just where there's a buttonhole on your 'official' clergy shirts. See this photo below. This is a good way to use up small buttons. No one's going to notice it, so use colors or whatever you've got on hand.

Got that? Good. Now sew a button on the INSIDE of the FRONT of the collar, as high up as you can get it, just above where the outside-facing top button is (see photo below). I'd recommend using very small BLACK buttons. That way, when you wear the shirt as a normal shirt (sans white plastic collar), the button is less noticeable. Capiche?

In this shirt, a size SMALL takes a 14.5" collar.

Those are the best instructions I can give about converting shirts in general. You can use these same instructions to convert a basic button-up shirt, as long as you rip out the fold-down part of the collar and sew the seam back up.

The real trick is to put that front button as high up on the neck as you can get it; normal (non-clergy) shirts just aren't built to ride that high around one's neck, and for it to look presentable (and to avoid making the plastic collar into weird shapes) it's best to accommodate it with higher button placement.

Very important technical details.


Allison said...

This shirt is awesome! It's so pretty and looks great as a clergy shirt. And about that model - what a pose! She must be a natural clergy vestment model. Put her in touch with Almy asap.

St. Casserole said...

You are wonderful! I love this and will use it!

Maria said...

Darn. This is really unfair. I want it to be that easy! Converting into Roman collars takes more work, a lot more.

Well, that said, that shirt looks really nice!

Fr Chris said...

I'm so glad to find your blogs, Susan -- got here through someone who linked to the Fidelia's Sisters piece on the scary Little House on the Prairie blouse from Wippell's. (That page of the catalog is always a laugh.) I've linked to it from my place and will mention it to women priests in our movement when clothes and collars come up.

Maria -- one thing you might do if you like Roman collars is to buy a collarette from Almy. It works just like a dog collar, but leaves the look of a Roman soutane. This is not helpful if you wear Roman collars for comfort rather than looks, though -- they are just as uncomfortable as dog collars.

AnglicanCelt said...

Has anyone had success with making the full collar from a different material instead the hard plastic? Something more comfortable that still looks decent?