Updated: Apr 23
The pattern suggests batiste, cotton satin(sateen), chambray, linen. Remember these are only suggestions and will give quite a structured look.
I used a cotton twill shirting that I already had which worked well, but I think it'll crease especially the back when I sit in it......which I do a lot!
Like many patterns fabric choice is very personal depending on the look you want to achieve. I'd really avoid repeating patterns and checks if you like things to match across seams. When I make it again I'll probably use a softer winter weight fabric like needlecord, placing the cuffs, waistband and yoke with the whales going across the finished garment.
Choosing your Size
I think the sizing is accurate, however I tend to use the finished sizes to help my decision, with experience I've discovered how much ease I like.
You can measure different types of clothes you already own to help you discover this for yourself. Here's my chart you can use to record finished measurements of different garments on.
2" ease for the bust is OK, but only 2" at the waist may be a bit tight especially sitting down. Personally, I wanted an easier, more comfortable fit so I merged to a larger size for the waist.
The finished hip measurement has10" of ease which gives a good fit, but worth noting if your hips are significantly larger than your waist. I think getting the waist right is most important.
There's 5/8" seam allowances which does give opportunities for slightly letting out seams to adjust the fit. 1/4" at both side seams will add 1" to the overall measurement.
Sewing Hints and Tips
I made the version with sleeves.
I like to sew darts first. I made myself a family of pressing hams adding 2 larger ones to my purchased one
A ham helps shape a garment when pressing.
However you can use the end of your ironing board
The yoke is unusual on this pattern. The back yoke is cut twice, but the front only has the yoke on the inside. The yokes are used more like a facing.
After sewing the shoulder seams the front and back bodice is sewn to the wasitbands.....don't stitch the side seams yet! The instructions mention French seams, but they can get really bulky unless your fabric is lightweight.
Neaten the waist seams. I've chosen to overlock. I like to keep the stitching about 1/8" to the left of the overlocker needle. The needle positioned are marked on the foot of my machine.
Make the inverted pleats on the front and back skirts and machine across them to hold them in place.
Sew the skirt pieces to the waistband and neaten the seam.
Machine tack the side seams and try on. The front edges should overlap by 1". This gives you the chance to alter the side seams to achieve the fit you want.
After sewing and neatening the side seams make a narrow double fold hem.
The button placket is unusual as it has 1" seam allowances and doesn't need interfacing as it will have 5 layers of fabric.
Fold the plackets in half WS together and press the fold.
Open the placket and place one long edge RS together against the shirt front. Sew 1" from the edge. Press the allowances and the placket away from the bodice.
Making the collar - I like to trim the interfacing across the point of the collar before fusing. If you look carefully at the picture I also bring the edge of the top collar in about 1/8", then sew the two layers together and trim the allowances to 1/4"
Trim across the corner.
Fold both edges over at the corner and hold whilst turning the collar right sides out.
Once the collar is turned and pressed the seam should be very slightly to the wrong side. This happens because of how I postioned the top collar befre sewing...it makes the under collar slightly smaller.
On the right side you achieve a neat collar without the seam showing at the edge.
Place the collar on the right side of the bodice. The front edge should extend onto the placket. Try to make sure it's the same amount on both sides.
This picture from the instructions is really important to understand the next step.
The placket is 4" wide and folded into 4 even sections with the collar sandwiched in the middle!
Next the yoke facing is place RS together onto the bodice over the collar and the placket.
Sew the neck edge through all layers. Try to be accurate at both front edges.
Trim and snip the neck edge and turn the yoke facing to the inside.
Turn the yoke facing to the inside, pushing out the corners of the placket. Press.
Match the Yoke shoulder seams and pin the Yoke edges together along the armholes.
Turn under 5/8" along the bottom of the back yoke facing. Pin to the outer yoke and top stitch from the right side.
It's just occured to me that you could make this without the collar.
The sleeves - I've been making clothes for about 55 years and the sleeve opening was the 3rd thing with this pattern I'd never come across before. That doesn't make any of these things wrong, they're just different. Things like this gives me the chance to try things out.....I might use the method again or I might use another tried and tested method. You don't have to be a slave to the instructions.
The sleeve opening is what I'd call a faced opening with a twist!
The sleeve placket is quite narrow so this is a bit fiddly and isn't my most accurate sewing!
Fold the sleeve placket in half RS together and sew a narrow seam across the short edge. Secure both ends.
Push the seam out so it makes a point. Turn in 1/4" on the long edges. Press.
Place the placket RS against the WS of the sleeve. Pin. I've marked the cutting line.
Sew from the edge parallel to the marked line, tapering to the top, sew one stitch across the top and down the other side. Use a short stitch, it'll be much stronger. I moved the needle to the left and lined the centre of the foot up with the marked line.
Cut along the line, right up to the stitching.
Turn the placket out to the right side. You could understitch through the sleeve and the seam allowances or be really careful rolling the fabric between your fingers to get crisp edges. Top stitch round the outer edges of the placket.
Not my best sewing.......I might just make a different style opening next time.
Setting the sleeves- I like to use 2 rows of ease stitching, one either side of the final sewing line. The stitch length needs to match the thickness of your fabric. It DOESN'T need to be the longest stitch. Shorter stitches pull the fabric yarns together without making tucks making beautiful gathers with less chance of them getting pushed over each other as you sew.
The gathering stitches need to be 1/2" and 3/4" from the edge of the fabric. there's different ways to do this, depending on what works best for you.
Line the edge of your fabric with lines on your machine.
Keep the edge of your fabric on the 15mm or 5/8" line on your machine. Then adjust the needle position.
Use any combination of the above along with lines on your machine foot.
Match the underarm seams, and other balance marks especially the top of the sleeve head to the shoulder seam. Pull in the gathering stitches. I find pulling them too tight and gently easing the sleevehead back to the right size works for me. Remember it's only the stitching lines that need to be the same length(5/8" from the edge).
Pinning at right angles to the edge is my favourite method.
Sew between the gathering stitches. Sew slow so you can stop before any tucks appear. Always leave the needle in the fabric before adjusting the fabric.
How you attach the cuff depends on whether you want any top stitching to show.....However, I never make up the cuff first, much prefering to sew one cuff piece to the sleeve then adding the second layer.
For this shirt I want to avoid hand sewing or tedious 'stitching in the ditch'
I match the right side of the inside cuff to the wrong side of the sleeve carefully matching where the sleeves meet the cuff.
The next pic shows the end with the extension. that's the one that sits behind the front cuff.
The next pic is the front cuff when it matches to the sleeve with a 5/8" seam allowance.
Place the cuffs RS together matching the edges. If you feel confident you can bring the outer cuff about 1/8" in from both the long and side edges so the seam will roll to the inside.
Sew round the cuff so the stitching lines up really close to the placket opening.
At the end with the extension try to sew accurately, snipping the fabric is really important.
Trim the edges to 1/4" and cut across the corners.
Turn the cuff right side out, roll the edges between your fingers so the seam is slightly towards the underside.
A sleeve board is a great way to press and pin the next step. If you don't have one try using the very ends of your ironig board.
After pressing turn under the long edge. Pin the folded edge so it just covers the previous machine stitching.
Top stitch along the edge of the cuff.
Although this isn't a true sew a long I hope you've found my techniques useful. I encourage you to find the techniques you prefer and use them regardless what the patterm says. You'll feel more empowered once you're not a slave to the pattern.