Clergy Shirts

A friend of mine asked me to make some clergy shirts for her last year.

The first shirt is a New York & Company brand and was already her size.  Since we don’t live nearby each other, I used this shirt as a template to guess the sizing on the other two shirts I made for her.

Since it was already her size, all I had to do was adjust the collar.

Blue Checkered

 

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She also wanted a sleeveless shirt and sent me a photo in the middle as an idea.  Instead of all solid shirts, we wanted something with a little bit of a pattern.  I found this shirt with a purple/white checkered pattern which worked perfectly.  It was a few sizes larger then what she wore which gave me more room to alter it.

 

I cut the sleeves off first and then I took in some fabric from each side and also added one seam down the middle of the back to give it some more shape.  I used the extra fabric from the sleeves to add two small pockets in the front that she liked in another picture she sent.  Then I finished off the collar.

PurpleCheckered

 

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I made one other one with a solid blue short sleeve button up shirt as well.

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I learned after this project that I am definitely more of a perfectionist when I am working on a project for someone else.  I did more seam ripping then I did sewing.  🙂

 

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7 thoughts on “Clergy Shirts

  1. I know this is an old post, but if you’re looking at comments I would love to hear how you altered the collar. My husband is a priest and clerical shirts are EXPENSIVE and polyester, so I’m looking for DIY options. Thank you!

    1. HI Jana,

      Thank you for the question! On the first two shirts, it had a full size collar (similar to most men’s shirts) so I cut the corner off first and then I put the clerical collar on the shirt, folded the shirt collar over it and tucked under the edges and pinned it. I was then able to take the clerical collar out and sew at the very edge of the bottom of the shirt collar all the way around the neck. In the back of the shirt, these ones did not need the shirt collar folded under at all.

      Hope that helps! I will have to see if I have any photos to show the collar when I cut it.

    1. Hi Chris,

      On the first two shirts, it had a full size collar so I cut the corner off first and then I put the clerical collar on the shirt, folded the shirt collar over it and tucked under the edges and pinned it. I was then able to take the clerical collar out and sew at the very edge of the bottom of the shirt collar all the way around the neck. In the back of the shirt, these ones did not need the shirt collar folded under at all.

      The third shirt was not a very stiff collar and did not come to as much of a point at the end so I could just fold this one around the clerical collar without cutting it and then pinned it just like the others.

      Hope that helps!

  2. You did a terrific job of converting a traditional shirt into a clergy shirt. I made my first clergy shirts using women’s sewing patterns because in the ’70s there were no such shirts for women. And because ordained elders wear a full collar, I used shirts and blouses with banded collars to serve my purpose. If I was fortunate enough to find what I needed in ready wear shirts then, two buttonholes in the banded collar and I was done! I especially like those with french cuffs.

    Now I can get my shirt of choice at any tuxedo shop for a lot less than clergy shirts cost. Again, two buttonholes and with men’s shirts I would put two princess darts in the front (and maybe the back), possibly shorten the sleeves and I’m done.

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