On the side, I’ve been suffering from a quiet obsession with shirts… this one I’ve made as my Mood Fabrics NY project, using a lovely Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile.
I took two lots of pictures – one just as a storm was hitting at lunchtime – then about 24 hours later on the beach… this winter has been ‘all over the place’! I decided to use a few from both as the stormy backdrop really did make the colours jump off the screen – I habitually roll up my sleeves – fortunately I managed to get one photo before the sleeves assumed their ‘normal position’, half way up my forearm.
When I unpacked this fabric I immediately thought of making a shirt. I think voile would be one of my favourite fabrics. It’s not as fancy as silk or wool but it’s one of the most wearable and washable fabrics I’ve encountered – which means that it passes my ‘lifestyle’ test with flying colours.
According to the Mood Fabric Dictionary (this always helps me when I’m stuck wondering what some mystery fabric is in BurdaStyle!) Voile is: “Plain, loosely woven. Characteristics: A thin semi-transparent dress material of cotton, wool, or silk. Sheer and very light weight. Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voilé drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand”
This fabric is not loosely woven and is not semi-transparent as I would expect with a voile. It strikes me more as a lawn than a voile. A fabric of this nature is perfect for shirtmaking – I found it an exceptionally easy fabric to work with to create finishes such as flat-fell and French seams, rolled hems and more. It’s remarkably easy to cut out and iron. In short, it’s a dream to sew with.
Shirts have a few tricky elements if you have never sewn one before – I confess my first few shirts gave me several heart attacks during construction. Perhaps that is part of the addiction, conquering the challenges one by one. There is no doubt for me that sewing with a lightweight fabric with high thread count certainly makes those tricky elements much easier to handle.
Shirts are a staple in my wardrobe. I tend to wear dresses to work however my out-of-work uniform tends to be denim jeans/skirts with t-shirts and button-up shirts.
I decided to wanted a feminine, slim-fitting shirt and Burda 6849 delivered. It has a shaped centre back seam, four fish eye darts at the waist, shaped side seams and a curved hem. The sleeves are also quite slim fitting.
Due to the nature of the print and the weight of the fabric, the seams, darts and pockets just disappear and you focus on the silhouette created by the sewing pattern. And this fabric just sings, it’s so pretty!
As this lawn was so lovely and fine, I flat-felled the back seam with a neat 4mm seam. I also decided to French seam the sleeves and side seams. These types of seams are so easy to achieve in a high-count light-weight cotton.
I did add a slight curve to the cuff edges. The placket is a simple one and while I thought about adding a tower placket, I decided not to as I liked the light nature of the fabric and how neatly it rolled up at the sleeve end.
Some techniques used:-
- Attaching the back yokes: Burrito method – is there any other way? Check out the Grainline Archer sewalong or Peter of Male Pattern Boldness.
- How to create a flat-fell seam: Bernina Youtube
- Attaching the collar: Sewaholic blog for the David Page Coffin method.
Pattern: Burda 6849
Fabric: Pink Carnation Cotton Voile, Mood Fabrics NY
Also see: Creating in the Gap – gorgeous shirt by Margo. I’d like to steal it 🙂
Buttons: the buttons were a surprise gift from Vicki Kate Makes – which were also perfect on my daughter’s Japanese shirt. They just seem to go with everything! Thank you xo.
I think shirtmaking is a long journey, I have many miles to go. I love making shirts, I find them methodical and precise – it’s like sewing yoga to me – I really relax when making them.
I decided to invest in a few resources including both David Page Coffin books (read GingerMakes. review of The Shirtmaking Workbook). I’ve made a couple of shirts (sorry behind in blog posts), stalked menswear stores for inspiration (just the shirts I promise!) and crawled my way across Pinterest.
So I hope there will be more shirts to share in the future.
Out & About
Busy times coming up with three weekends away. This weekend it’s Newcastle for dancing mum duties, then Melbourne for Frocktails, followed by Brisbane for the theatre – Dracula! Somehow must find time to sew.
Just beautiful – I love it, Lizzy! x
Thanks Sally xo hope the wedding dress is going well!
Beautiful shirt!. I love the floral and it goes so well with your denim jeans. The shirt has a lovely feminine shape too.
I’m not always a floral girl but I just loved the vibrancy of this one, it was just irresistible!
I like the length of this shirt a lot! Slightly tunic-y. Looks fab with your jeans and boots!
This is a very pretty shirt. Will check out that type of fabric (it’s not too “shifty” is it?) very soon. It looks so lovely.
Great pics with the stormy sky! I have this pattern in my stash, too, and I look forward to making it, especially with the extra resources you’ve given us here. Thanks for that.
Such pretty fabric, and I love the length of your shirt.
I love the fit and the details of that shirt. I’m making a similar shirt right now with a linen blend with checks, and think I’ll use your idea of flat felled and french seams for a more finished look. That fabric is gorgeous. Great post – thanks!
Really beautiful Liz – the sewing and the finished shirt.
Lovely shirt and yes I also like the length. I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite sometime, although I don’t sew that often. I’m hoping this summer I will get more proactive in this regard.
Beautiful shirt! That fabric is sooooo pretty! This shirt has the perfect fit for me too….isn’t the length spot on? Flat felled seams… So professional. I must give them a go next time around. Enjoy the next few weeks, they sound really busy. Hopefully you can steal some time for sewing!! Fingers crossed for you!
Love seeing your creations…. Very inspiring
Lovely fit on the shirt Lizzy, I like how it looks fitted yet comfortable. I’d like to concentrate a bit more on shirt making too, I’ve had a couple of goes, but I too have miles and miles and MILES to go! I do like a floral shirt though, you may just have inspired an autumn project! x
Really nice shirt. I wish I could sew like you, you are fantastic!
lovely and great fabric choice. By the way – suddenly today I saw a Drape Drape dress, on the instagram photo hop which sent me googling for other Drape Drape items and found your dress, I think it is # 2 from the 2nd book. In any case I remember seeing that when you first posted. and liking it. long story short I just ordered the book tonight and will be joining the “Drape Drape” club. If I am not too intimidated once it arrives 🙂
I’m so pleased to hear that! I’ll be really interested to see what your thoughts are on the book as I always find your posts really thoughtful & interesting.
I posted a picture of the Drape Drape 2 items No.2 & No.4. In fact, it made me realise how much I missed making the garments… I got home from work & made another No.2 dress – my fourth!
Someone suggested we should do a ‘drape along’ which might be a good challenge for those with the books to make something or try a new pattern from them.
The trickiest bit is often tracing the pattern pieces and creating the larger pattern pieces. The construction is often quite rapid as the fabric & draping do the rest of the work.
This is super, super pretty! I love it! There’s just something so satisfying about sewing a good shirt!
Oh wow! Lizzy this is gorgeous and I must confess to loving the stormy photos. I’m so glad the buttons are proving useful!
The buttons have been perfection!
Very beautiful shirt and the length of it is perfect! Cannot better!!! 😀
It is a great length, the back coverage is perfect!
Wow that is so flattering and such a beautiful fabric. You’ve inspired me to try making a shirt of my own. 🙂
Good luck! I think slow & steady is the secret with shirts.
i love it