Workwear, never the most exiting topic. I’m happy to report though that I am in love with this top. It’s made from lovely sand-washed silk that I picked up at Goldhawk Road with such a great texture (I can’t stop stroking it). I love this copper colour, particularly when paired with this cream RTW skirt. The pattern is the Sleeveless Shell Top from The Great British Sewing Bee – Fashion with Fabric book. As I wanted a loose top, I sized up to a UK 12 but removed some width at the centre front as the neckline was slightly too wide in my muslin.
I really like this pattern. The neckline and the armholes are finished with a facing, which gives it a very clean finish, ideal for a silk top like this. The seams are finished with my pinking shears. It’s probably not ideal for the longevity of this piece but since I am washing this by hand it shouldn’t be such a problem.
Design-wise, the top has a very pronounced high-low hem. I do like it in this top, but might make the hemline on the next one slightly less dramatic. The original pattern has a keyhole design at the back which I omitted.
I’ve already gotten a lot of wear out of this top. It’s light and floaty and I love how it looks tucked into a skirt.
The next project was the Sewaholic Granville Shirt. I’ve had this pattern sitting in my stash for quite a while now. I love a good button-down and have not yet found the perfect pattern. The Granville sounded promising as it is designed for pear shapes like me. And true, according to my measurements I only fell in one category, size 8. Happy to not have to grade I decided to sew it up as it is without any adjustments. Once sewn up, I have to say the shirt is quite on the roomy side. It’s very tapered at the waist, which becomes clear from the pattern drawing, but I didn’t expect it to flare out that much at the hip. Surprisingly also the sleeves were very long. Normally I have to add length to the sleeves (my extremities seem to be longer than average, my boyfriend lovingly calls them my orang-utan arms). In this case the sleeves, with the cuff as intended, were actually too long. As I didn’t like them as they were (too wide and with the interfacing too stiff), I decided to take them apart and half the cuff piece that wasn’t interfaced. I like them a lot better now, they look more casual and are more comfortable. The sleeve placket came together quickly. I really liked constructing them and for the tricky pointy bit I just used a glue stick to keep it in place. Worked like a charm.
One thing that I realised when I sewed on the last button was that the collar was overlapping when the top button was closed. I don’t know if that is an issue with the pattern or if I just messed up and didn’t trace the collar pieces correctly. It’s a shame as I like to wear my shirts completely buttoned up.
The fabric that I used for this shirt is some lightweight cotton from Miss Matatabi. The fabric has a very interesting texture which creates this stripey/checked pattern. I was intrigued when I saw it online and ordered it without a specific project in mind. After giving it some thought I decided it could look nice as a shirt. When it then sat on my dress form, however, it looked really drab. I don’t know what it is with navy shirts, they always look a little bit outdated. Originally I had planned to add navy buttons but to brighten the shirt up a bit I decided to go for shell buttons. I’m glad I did, it looks more fun that way.
If I was sewing this shirt again, I would slim it down a bit, including the sleeves and take in the shoulders. Oh and I would make sure to not mess up the collar, so that I can close the upper button.
I do think this is a nice basic work shirt pattern, especially for someone that likes figure-hugging shirts. The instructions were clear and thorough.
I might not be in love with this shirt due to the fitting issues and the pattern/colour combination, but it’s really comfortable to wear. And tucked into a shirt or some high waisted trousers it looks quite nice. I’m sure I’ll get some wear out of this.