Having a creative hobby or job is such an awesome outlet for the imagination. Remember being a kid and being told by everyone that you could do anything? I feel like that was the theme of every movie or book that I read as a child, and I wasvpushed to imagine anything. It was so empowering, and I think it was so good for the brain to be able to take whatever materials were around and know with the proper amount of imagining, those things could be whatever I wanted them to be. My sister and I would play from morning till night, and most of our thoughts were in cartoon because that’s how we saw the world. Making and sewing has always been a draw for me. As a child I wanted to design clothing when I grew up. I wanted to make all the things!
But the funny thing is, as I grew, I realized all the restrictions that happen like time, money, and the fear of failure that children are not hindered by. And you know what? I think that instead of using our imaginations and keeping reality in mind, we live so much in the what if’s and we block off our creativity. Most of the time, I’m a dive-right-off-the deep-end-and-figure-it-out-as-I-go girl, but sometimes I approach a project and I am suddenly crippled by this fear that I’m totally going to mess it up or that I’m just not talented enough to achieve whatever it is.
I remember when I was ready to make my first Perfect shirt, it took forever because I was so worried I was going to mess it up. I thought shirts were a major above-my-level achievement. And you know what I found out when I finally just did it? Shirts are extremely straightforward, and while its good to take care in the details, they are not at all difficult to make. The construction is not hard, you just need to follow the directions and you’ll be golden.
Today I’m wearing my latest Perfect shirt remake (you can read more of the story behind this design here and here). This one is just the same as the others I’ve made with one exception- I rounded the collar for a softer look. I really like it!
I had a bad case of insomnia last night, and while I laid in bed for 5 hours wishing for sleep to come, one of the things my mind continually went to was ways I can change up this pattern in the future. I have a version in mind that I’ve been planning forever that I hope to show you around the end of the month, and I’ll just save that idea so it can be a surprise. But I’d love to add some piping to the button placket and the collar. Some small ruffles would also look so cute on the cuffs, button placket, and as a replacement for the collar. Oh, the possibilities are endless with a garment as classic as a shirt.
I thought it would be fun to point out some shirt patterns that are out there that can help you achieve a similar look, and you’ll feel enormously proud of your accomplishment! This post isn’t in any way sponsored, and all opinions are mine, so don’t think I’m being paid to say any of this. :) I just want you to try to make a shirt.
Liesl & Co has two shirts that would rock! I really like their patterns because they cover a large range of sizes (0-20), and they have cup size options which is a HUGE deal. It requires so much less altering when there are multiple bust options. Anyway, I also have an affinity for Liesl & Co patterns because they are so well drafted and the instructions are very clear. Liesl used to design for Ralph Lauren, and she’s an expert. Up first is their Classic Shirt, which has all the details essential to staple garment like separate collar and collar stand, cuff facings, and a tower sleeve placket. I always say I can’t sew an Oliver + S pattern without learning something, and her women’s patterns are the same way. If you are wanting to learn something new, its a great brand to try.
They also have the Recital Shirt, which is another take on a classic shirt and it has interesting lines. There are two views- the first has a band collar with ruffle trim, and the second has a totally stunning pleated tuxedo front with set-in placket and tuxedo collar. The details just kill me on this shirt! Its really a stunner. It comes in the same large size range as the Classic Shirt, and has all the details that go into a well-made shirt! Both this and the classic shirt come in both print and PDF versions. I linked the PDF versions because I’m all about getting it instantly and having the copy shop version printed at Office Depot because I can print as many of the pattern pieces as I want and I save a ton of time because I don’t have to tape or trace anything. WIN! Another great tried and true shirt pattern is the Grainline Archer. I haven’t personally made this one because I prefer a more fitted silhouette, but this pattern is enormously popular in the sewing world. It has a loose fit, and comes in sizes 0-18. View A has angled cuffs and a back pleat at yoke. View B has straight cuffs and a gathered lower back detail. That second view is a fun spin on a classic design!
The Sewaholic Granville is the last classic shirt. This brand is geared toward pear shaped figures with small busts, and I think they are drafted for a B cup. Don’t hold me to that, but I believe that’s right. The pattern comes in sizes 0-20, and has all the details you want in a classic shirt, like a separate collar and collar stand, button placket, and so forth. It comes with three separate versions with different pocket options. They have several great tutorials and tips to go along with this pattern as well. This is the pattern I was going to try to use to mimic my Perfect Shirt before I ever thought to deconstruct one, and I will tell you the PDF drafting was so horrendously done that it just made me mad, and I threw it away. The reason I am pointing it out here is that I think the paper version is probably fine because a number of garment sewists that I respect have made many shirts with this pattern, and the fit and details are lovely. So if you try this one, definitely get the paper pattern. Have you tried any of these patterns? Let me know what your experience was! I’d also love to hear about any creative endeavors you may have been hesitant to try, but ended up better than you expected!
I hope you have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday.