I’m calling this my romantic poet shirt.
It’s crying out to be worn with plum corduroy pants, running through a meadow of tall grass, butterflies dancing ahead on sunbeams…
I get ahead of myself. It’s still a super humid summer here in NSW, Australia and so sweaty I had to hang this shirt to dry after each fit check.
There is literal blood, sweat and tears in this project. I stabbed my fingers so many times sewing the first button on I switched to using my sewing machine to avoid further bloodshed - and used what I hope was the button foot attachment - thankfully I still have all my fingers and both eyes. There were a few moments where buttons flew across the room and hit my kitchen cabinets at speed
They are slippery little devils.
I manually stitched each buttonhole with my machine using little squares of washi tape to mark the hole placement and then switching between a zig zag stitch width 5 and 2 to create the buttonholes, because my buttonhole foot attachment could not cope with this fabric at all. It got stuck at one end every time I tried a buttonhole on my scraps. Too much pressure on the foot perhaps?
The washi tape method worked so well - I’ll use that again any day! Though the patterned washi tape is visible under the buttonhole stitches, the buttons cover it… and I think it’ll fade eventually as the washi tape dissolves in the wash.
After all the challenges, I have a white blouse that I actually want to wear! This is the only white shirt in my wardrobe.
I cut a size 16 without any alterations. I could probably have taken an inch off the sleeve length but I like the extra length which creates a more dramatic ‘floppy puff’ at the wrist with the elastic in the hem 😆
My measurements are B110cm W95cm H124cm or roughly B44” W38” H50”
If anyone needs any other measurements to compare so they can choose a size for their Aims blouse, please give me a shout.
Lots of gathers is not typically what I consider ‘my style’ and I initially thought to reduce the gathers in this pattern… but the fabric has a great drape and weight to it so gravity helps a great deal in reducing how puffy the blouse could be.
There is plenty of ease across the bust, back, it drapes freely over my waist and hips so I don’t feel restricted at all but it also doesn’t feel too big - it’s very comfortable to wear.
If I made this again (definitely in a similar fabric) I’d perhaps change the sleeves a little so the gathers were distributed not so much at the top of my shoulders and I’d add a simple cuff with a button & loop at the wrist. The elastic can be a bit annoying to me and I like to be able to loosen up a cuff and roll up my sleeves.
The front bib and deep back yoke are my favourite features of this pattern. I could definitely imagine making another version with a v-neckline to mix things up a bit.
Challenges of working with white fabric
one photo shows how I marked the buttonhole placement with pale pink thread tailors tacks. I pulled these out later so they wouldn’t get caught in the actual buttonhole stitches and used washi tape instead - there are still a few blue tailors chalk markings in some seams which I hope will wash out.
One thing I didn’t realise until it was too late: stay-stitching with white thread on this kind of fabric is completely impossible to unpick without accidentally cutting the fabric. When it came time to remove the basting stitches… Those extra stitch lines just had to stay in there. Couldn’t take the risk (or the frustration) of trying to remove them.
FABRIC & NOTIONS USED
Linen Lyocell Slub - Composition: 70% Lyocell 30% Linen 140 cm width, Weight: 190 GSM https://www.spotlightstores.com/sewing-fabrics/dress-apparel-fabrics/woven-apparel/linen-linen-blends/plain-140-cm-textured-lyocell-linen-fabric/BP80481644-white
Wooden buttons from long term stash. I think I originally bought these from an Etsy shop (pre 2015)