One of the advantages of my job is I can get free books, including a copy of The Great British Sewing Bee Book.
You can download pretty much all of the pattern for free from the Quadrille website and although it’s a bit of a pain to assemble a printed pattern, there were quite a few I wanted to have a go at – the first one being the Boyfriend Shirt.
I eventually want to graduate to making shirts for my boyfriend, so I figured this was an easy, cheaty way to start. The shirt doesn’t have cuffs (the sleeves are just hemmed and turned up) and the yokes are sewn on to the top of the front and back pieces, rather than being separate structural parts of the shirt, and there is no interfacing so the button bands and collar are super easy too.
I made a size 10, because I wanted it to be quite roomy (though I guess the pattern is designed with a lot of ease so it would be anyway). I bought the fabric in one of the many shops in Goldhawk Road and it’s some cheap basic shirting cotton. I was worried it would be a bit see-through, but it’s actually fine. I love the fabric – I don’t wear much green at the moment, but I want to make more things in bright greens!
I didn’t make a muslin as it isn’t a very fitted pattern, so I figured it would all turn out okay. The only changes I made were to sew a 2cm (instead of the standard 1cm) seam allowance around the shoulder seams as I felt the sleeves were joining on too far down my shoulders, which are already quite wide, so they don’t need help looking even wider with an ill-placed seam! I also hacked 12cm off the length, as it was almost a shirt dress! I left myself 2cm for hemming (it was 14cm too long altogether). The only other thing I did was to sew 2 buttons onto each sleeve, to give myself a short-sleeved as well as three-quarter-length sleeves, specially for the summer.
I have one word of advice for this shirt – make sure you sew the sleeves the right was for the tabs to be in the right place. When I first started making it, I figured they needed to be sewn to the inside of each sleeve so they can come to the outside for the button. But it was probably about 2 weeks between me having this thought and actually making it, so I forgot and carefully sewed the sleeves onto the shirt the wrong way round, meaning I had to unpick the tabs and try to sew them back on to an already made sleeve. I’ll just say it’s not my finest work!
I wasn’t sure when I was making this whether it was really my style, but I quite like wearing looser fitting tops with skinny jeans on the bottom, and it was a great addition to my wardrobe for the heat wave we’ve had/ are having (I can’t tell if it’s over yet or not!) as it is loose, and therefore quite cool. I love the little pocket too!
I am definitely planning to make more of this pattern – they’ll be great for going under jumpers in the Winter.