I grew up near a farm as a tomboy so boots and western clothing were the norm. As I’ve grown older, I’ve never lost the love for either. A recent stint of line-dancing re-ignited my passion for a well-fitting pair of boots and an ornately decorated yoked western shirt. After reading a blogpost in which the blogger was mashing up a modern-styled western shirt for herself, I set my mind to making myself a shirt with decorative yokes and yes, pearl snaps.
I ran across this fabric and it screamed, “Buy me! I’m born to be a western shirt!”. The selvage says it is part of the “You Go, Girl” line. ‘Nuff said.
Unfortunately, western shirts are no longer in “vogue”, at least not in the Big 4 pattern companies so I was forced to dig into the pattern stash. I ferreted out McCall’s 7955, a man’s western shirt with yoke variations, circa 1995. The largest size, XXXL, was still a little too small for me so I cut the shirt fronts out with a full bust adjustment (FBA) using the pivot method. And it would have been wonderful………until I discovered that I had neglected to adjust the yokes as well. I didn’t discover it until sleeve construction and at that point, there was no going back. Refusing to trash the whole shirt at this point, I creatively re-drew the armscye to catch the edge of the yokes. After all, I had applied gold braid to the yoke and nothing with gold braid trim can be deemed a mistake, right?
No western shirt is perfect without pearl snaps, but alas, pearl snaps are as scarce as a modern western shirt pattern. I found a seller on Etsy, Cowgirl Snaps, whose variety of colored snaps makes my mouth water and my creatives juices flow with visions of western shirts to come. I completed the shirt with gold braid shining, wickedly incorrect armhole in place and pearl snaps proudly adorning the front and ran to put it on. I wore it out the next day with a denim skirt. Despite the errors, the shirt fits well……slightly large and boxy as I would expect a man’s shirt to fit but I’ve always liked menswear fit.
And let me just say, pearl snaps make everything better!