Several years ago, I decided I ought to turn my favorite ready-to-wear shirt into a reusable pattern for myself, lest the terrible day come that they stop making them- also so I can make them in whatever fabric I want whenever I fancy. Turns out that was a pretty solid idea because the shop has changed their fits for 2021 and the Perfect Shirt is no longer. Shame, y’all.
I had already started making a new batch of these shirts when that sad news was announced, so it definitely made me more motivated to get them finished and in my closet as soon as possible. I cut seven shirts out and this is the first that I have completed, with the rest still in need of collars and sleeves.
Let’s start with the fabric, shall we? Liberty announced its new collection of Organic Tana Lawn a little while back, and I was absolutely surprised and delighted to find a cut of it available during DuckaDilly’s recent remnant sale before it has really even come into stock most places. How is that for luck??? Well, I have to tell you, when this fabric was first announced, while I was instantly taken with the coloring of this range of classic prints, I was wary of the organic part of it. Sometimes organic cotton is kind of stiff, and like anything bearing the organic tag, it is also more expensive. So I wondered about the cost as Liberty lawn is already a top shelf fabric, and I also wondered about the feel since regular lawn couldn’t possibly be dreamier to sew or to wear. Anybody thinking I’m wicked for not immediately jumping for joy about the organic part, please just know that I think organic is great, but managing finances is more important if it has an impact upon your budget. I really love the earth. I also don’t judge people who do what they can within their means to be kind to the earth and provide for themselves and their families. :) stepping off soapbox now.
So here’s what I have to say now that I have touched, sewn, and worn it- it is amazing. Like, AH-MAZING. Some how, the angels who spun this wonderful lawn managed to make it even softer than standard Tana Lawn, and again, the coloring of the classics is just so great. I am all about it. It does cost more than regular lawn, which I will be honest, I would not pay extra for except that the prints are so great, so I do plan to purchase more of the collection at the regular price. I would not pay more for the organic, if say, the print was available in both. I think organic lawn is going for $40/yard whereas you can find regular Tana Lawn for $36 or sometimes $38 from most anywhere else in the US. I did get this for $19/yard because it was in the remnant sale, which again, felt like the deal of the century and I was very lucky to snag it at that.
As I’ve said, the colors are just beautiful in every print in the new collection. You should take a look, if you haven’t seen it yet! The colors here are cool blue, with bits of tan and rosy red/pinks. The tan reads a little more mustard here because I have paired mustard Capel with the Strawberry Thief because it looks good with absolutely everything, and I look for any excuse to infuse this print into a project. That is a true story. Frankly, I would like a book deal in which I demonstrate a cornucopia of projects featuring the quintessential mustard Capel. I would call it, “Would You Like Some Mustard Capel with That?”
The Perfect Shirt- so I did not name this style of shirt, but I can tell you that it is most aptly named that by it’s creator, J.Crew. It is a wonderfully tailored button-down shirt with French darts for the perfect back shaping, bust darts on the front bodice, and perfectly placed buttons so bust gaping is no concern. See, I couldn’t even describe it without using the word “perfect” multiple times.
I changed things up a bit on this version of the shirt by adding flat piping for some great contrast, and I used a curved collar just to have a little something different. I have quite a few Perfect shirts, both that I’ve purchased and sewn myself, so while the prints are all quite different (though all floral, of course), I like to change up some things just to keep each piece interesting.
The sleeve on this shirt is so well done- I think the fit is just spot on from the shoulder to the wrist. I also really love that the cuff has two buttons; for some reason that feels extra polished to me. In the summer, I generally wear all my Perfect shirts with the cuffs rolled up a couple of times, so I won’t see those buttons once the hotter months roll around.
The shirt has French seams throughout, and while I could have gone to the effort to sew the sleeves in that way, I took the easy way out and finished those with the serger. I do have seven shirts to finish, after all! Ha! French seams are just as quick and easy on pretty much every part of a garment, but armholes do take a little more effort.
I have been sewing piecemeal lately. The days seem busier than ever with homeschooling a 5, 6, and almost 11 year old. Baby is 9 months old and wanting to walk, and while he cannot do so independently quite yet, he can easily pull up on anything and walk along as long as he has something to hold onto. He also has an incredible reach and can get into anything- which means that I am constantly watching him while teaching math and history and reading and other things. The big kids are great about helping me out if I am helping one with a problem and another can spare a moment to watch him. So between the raising of kids and the responsibilities of a household (can you say endless piles of laundry?), I try to sneak in 20-30 minutes of sewing during the day when the baby naps, because he takes such short naps, and I wait until the quiet hours of the night to get in longer stretches of stitching. I love the time I get to spend with the kids, even though it can be quite draining, and it does make me more thankful for the time that I do get to sit quietly and make things. I’ve always though that the slow process of stitching is a wonderfully refreshing sort of therapy, and I’m thankful that I get the opportunity to do so.
Well I suppose that is all I’ll say today. As I finish my other shirts, I will post them here and on Instagram (I’m @thefooshe on there!) I also have a few other projects in the queue that I’ll be sharing as I finish them and can get photographs. My 10 year old takes all the photos that I am in, and she does such a stellar job! She’s much better than I am.
Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. I am grateful to all who read my blog!
pattern: pattern drafted from Ready-to-Wear Perfect Shirt
fabric: organic Strawberry Thief tana lawn with mustard Capel tana lawn
machine: sewn on limited edition Janome M100 (Anna Maria Horner edition)