Monday, 29 January 2018

wardrobe essentials 2018 - the Sarah shirt









I have already deviated from my sewing plans that I have put out into the world wide web in my recent post. I have sewn a shirt, which didn't even make the short list. Such is life :-)

The shirt I made is the Sarah Shirt by By Hand London. I haven't before looked at By Hand London patterns because the company doesn't make patterns for the very overweight lady. The Sarah shirt however is very forgiving as it is a swing shirt. I have seen a review of the pattern on the Curvy Sewing Collective website and I figured it would work for me. It is a perfect pattern for me to start building up a slightly less casual wardrobe.

I was tempted to make a full bust adjustment but looking at the finished measurements, I decided against it. I made a very quick toile, just front and back, no sleeves. It fit perfectly. I decided to add a bit of length, which is an easy change, particularly if the pattern has a lengthening/shortening line. The fabric was from my stash. It is a soft and drapey cotton lawn that I had bought at Guthrie & Ghani last year. I chose to make the short sleeved version with the Peter Pan collar, which is my favourite kind of collar.

The pattern is well written and there is also a sew-along on the By Hand London website. The one thing I would say is that the pattern instructions are small (half an A4 page) and some of the lines shown are a bit difficult to spot. You can of course magnify the instructions if you are using a computer but I am quite old fashioned because I like to have a printout so I can make easy notes. If you are a relative beginner, the sew along is really good and has additional information that might help you make the blouse.

Sewing was straightforward, even the collar. Having said that, I made two collars because I had to do some unpicking and the first collar didn't quite look so nice after that. The top collar is just a tad larger than the bottom collar, which requires quite a bit of easing. I found this to be quite difficult but I think the reason was the interfaced fabric, which didn't give quite as much as would be ideal. I wonder if it might be a good idea to only use interfacing on the bottom collar? Any advice would be appreciated.

Setting in the sleeves becomes easier with experience and I made sure to transfer the markings from the pattern to my fabric because I have been known to set sleeves back to front. The sleeve top is a bit puffed, which I used to dislike because I thought I would make me look bigger than I am. I have now realised that it makes no difference to my appearance. Puffed sleeves are a bit 1980s maybe but with this particular blouse, I think they work.

Making 10 button holes filled me with a bit of anxiety. The spacing did make me break out in sweat. I am cursed with a brain that instantly notices even the slightest deviations from perfect when it comes to things like even spacing of anything. I made a practice buttonhole with the button firmly stuck into the automatic button hole thingymajig. It is super easy but sometimes the hole is a little too big and well worth testing. I ran out of grey thread and didn't want to wait for a replacement spool. I decided to use a pale orangey pink instead, a colour that is reflected in the fabric. After I finished the 10 button holes, I didn't like the colour. I started to unpick them and make grey ones using a large grey overlocker cone thread that I have. I am glad I tested a practice button hole with the cone first because it didn't work, it didn't run smoothly on my sewing machine and the buttonhole was all wonky. I did a quick family survey and everyone thought pink is just fine. So pink it is. Barely noticeable as it turns out. I particularly like the little flower buttons.

The light is not terribly good for photography indoors at the moment and I am afraid the photos are not great. I also didn't feel like modelling and you just have to believe me that the blouse looks nice on me. I think I am going to make a second one, it is a quick make and fun, too. The only thing I didn't enjoy with this blouse is sewing on the buttons. I think my machine has the option to sew buttons on but I have never tried that.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely week. xx




21 comments:

  1. Very pretty fabric and a lovely blouse Christina!

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  2. Beautiful fabric and stunning buttons, they look wonderful.

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  3. Lovely fabric and well made. I too am partial to a Peter Pan collar. Catriona

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  4. It’s lovely. You are so clever. Love the collar. X

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  5. This is really pretty. You always give me the urge to go pick out some pretty fabric and sew something😀

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  6. I'm just so impressed with your sewing skills. What a lovely blouse and the stitching beats anything coming out of Indonesia, China, as that's where all our blouses are coming from.

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  7. What a pretty shirt. I love the cut and the fabric. I'm sure it looks lovely on you. I'm starting to think again about sewing for myself, having given up last time I thought about it a few months ago. It comes and goes. I'm watching for affordable fabric right now. It's the main thing standing in my way at this point - I keep wondering if I should bother, since I can buy perfectly good tops for well under what I'd pay for fabric. I really should just do it, though, it would still be worth it for the experience!

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  8. That is a super cute blouse - it is a blouse Christina not a shirt! you are chatting with the ladies now you know. I always interface just the bottom of a collar because if I do the top I sometimes get wrinkles after washing as the glue wears off a bit, that way the wrinkles stay hidden but that could just be cheap interfacing! I would call that casual or smart it looks like an absolute winner. Jo xxxx

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  9. It’s lovely! The fabric is so pretty, I really like the collar. It will be perfect to wear in spring!

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  10. This is a very lovely shirt you have made. It is my style exactly as I too love the collar and the print. You've inspired me to maybe think about sewing on my 50 year old sewing machine. You are so so talented dear Christina. VPat xxx

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  11. It is so pretty and the buttonholes look perfect to me... I like a little bit of contrast. You are so clever! The thought of sewing a shirt terrifies me!

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  12. You made a great job of it, all the details look spot on and it's a lovely fabric. I only tend to put interfacing in one side of the collar and mine are usually ok unless it's a jacket, it needs a bit more structure. x

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  13. More inspiration. Love the fabrics and I love the style, in fact it looks perfect. I’m toying with some more three quarter style trousers for the summer. I may even look for some flowery liberty print style fabric. B x

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  14. This is a lovely pattern. I would imagine it is very flattering. Love the fabric you chose; it is so pretty and the buttons are perfect.

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  15. I love this and the fabric is so pretty.clever you.x

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  16. Bravo for such a nicely sewn top for yourself! I'm very impressed with your stitching and how fine your work is. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. stunning fabric and making! Love. I'd order one from you :)

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  18. Well done Christina - wear it with pride! The flower buttons are fun.

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  19. Lovely fabric Christina, you've done a super job of it. A very pretty blouse. Cathy x

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  20. That's so pretty, such beautiful fabric and I love the style. If I could sew my own clothes I think I'd have a few of these in my wardrobe. I bet it looks fabulous on.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx