Thursday, April 19, 2018

Inspired by Carolina Herrera

This is one of the shirts I took to Sew Camp and finished most of the construction there. However, I still needed to do a little bit of work to it when I got home. I was inspired by this ad I saw on Instagram. Now while the ad is actually featuring the purse, I was drawn to the shirt the model is wearing, and added it to my "shirt sewing" list.

I love the detail of sewing shirts. The many components, how the silhouette can be changed, how fabric can alter the look and especially how I can add my own touches to make each one individually mine. Cause seriously there are tons of shirt patterns out there but what makes each shirt yours?  The details you add to it of course.

Fabric & Findings ~
The fabric for the shirt is from Fabric Mart and was also purchased during one of the 60% off shirting sales. The accents are white shirting from the 10 yards I purchased from Metro Textiles.  Buttons are from Pacific Trimmings. I checked the collection and had some that would work. However, I needed to get some for a shirt I'm currently working on and stumbled upon these which I liked better. Since they were just 25 cents a piece (12 for $3) and it's the only expense I'm incurring for the shirt, I bought them. 

Construction and Design ~
  • This is the third shirt in the series where I've changed the front bands, collars and cuffs. It's a detail I really like playing with. 
  • Originally I wanted a chevron stripe on the back yoke but when I sewed it together it didn't work. 
  • So I went with the horizontal striped yoke I'd cut for the inside of the shirt and switched the mismatched yoke to the inside. 
  • When I went to put my label on the yoke, it disappeared. As I looked down into the trash box under the ironing board, I saw a scrap of Kisha's mustard stripe fabric
  • I really like the dichotomy of the black 'n white stripe and the mustard stripe together so I sewed my label to it. 
  • Then I sewed that to the yoke. It's the kind of interesting detail I really like to add to my garments and it also adds a little Kisha to the shirt!

After this one hung for awhile, I realized that I used such a conservative fabric for it that I wanted some of the "shirt" details I curved the hemline to make it more shirt-like. ALL of my other versions have a straight hemline but for this one I wanted something different.

Since I'd cut the shirt originally with the straight hemline, I needed to make a change to the shirt get the new curved hem I desired. I used the original shirt pattern piece to mark the curved hemline. 

The other change to this shirt is a back pleat again to give it a more conservative look. Otherwise the shirt is sewn exactly as it's predecessors were.

A few photos of the shirt ~

Sewing Tip ~
When sewing the sleeve in I add a second row of stitching from underarm notch to underarm notch over the original stitching. I usually have the most stress on my underarm seam and by adding another row of stitching I reduce the possibility of a seam popping.

Wearability Factor ~
While this shirt looks good in photos and in person, the fabric is a little suspect. It doesn't feel or handle like a typical shirting. It actually feels a little plastic-y.  (not a word I know) Now while I like the white collar and cuffs, the pleat doesn't work in the back of this shirt because it emphasizes my backside. The gathered back doesn't do this, so I won't be using this design detail going forward. While the shirt isn't a fail, it is a disappointing wear for all of the work that went into it.

Conclusion ~
This is the fifth shirt in my shirt sewing extravangza. I have a few more to share and make before the month is over. Hopefully you are enjoying the series, if not come back in May where there will be a bunch of other garment posts! always more later!


  1. I love seeing your shirts so fine with me if they keep coming. You asked us what makes a shirt our own. You may get as many different replies as number who answer. My perfect shirt has not changed in years. It very much mimics a blouse in an Evan Picone 1980s pattern - hidden button placket, forward shoulder, back yoke with gathers below and either a narrow plain mandarin collar, or if not plain, then it and the cuffs would have a narrow ruffle. I could be content with this one shirt/blouse forever, in a wide variety of fabrics. I have onky recently found a dress pattern with the forward shoulder and back yoke with gathers so will attempt to tweak it to my too small Evan Picone pattern to make it perfect. I would like one in a fine blue chambray, one in light blue oxford cloth, several in silk, plain and patterned and a few in cotton batiste or lawn. I am such a girly girl. I also just found a retired Anna Sui Vogue pattern - the one with the sleeveless tuck front blouse in a gorgrous blue satin or charmeuse. In think it is version B that has an interesting forward shoulder and a slightly odd place for stitching on the back which might be too confining but I aill try it.

  2. Carolyn, this is a classic. So striking. Since the center back pleat doesn’t please you, have you tried two pleats nearer the sides, at the shoulder blades?

    1. Jean - thanks! Yes that was one of the suggestions on the last post that I'm definitely considering!

  3. Darn it about the fabric! I really loved the black & white stripe. Hopefully it gets some use in the wardrobe.

    I love the label <3

  4. Is it possible to wash the shirt with Coke-a-cola? Maybe it would take that funny plastic-y hand away? Some say works well on removing strange fabric finishes.

  5. I love your honesty about the fabric . All your details & fabric tips are so informative . Loving shirt month

  6. Loving your shirt posts. Inspiring me to 'get busy'! Coke might be a good option. I only think of that for denim. Will remember that if I think I need it for other fabrics in the future.

  7. Another great post. Also, in news totally unrelated to shirts, I love your hair!

  8. I know you are sensitive about the pleat and the back view. This one isn't nearly as expansive as the other shirt, probably because of the stripes. Have you tried pressing and creasing it all the way to the lower hem? Might give some shape. I can see this shirt becoming a jacket (worn open?). As always, the details and construction are superlative.

  9. This is such a nice black and white shirt! It looks great on you!

  10. Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing the details on your shirt extravaganza. It's a treat to see and read about the creative process of your sewing. I like the details of this shirt too. Sorry that the fabric is not "shirt quality fabric" and you're all together pleased with the back pleat. I do look forward to the rest of your shirts making this month.

  11. Beautiful job! The shirt looks amazing on you.

  12. You're always great at adding details to personalize your garments. This looks really beautiful on you.

  13. Love the white collar and cuffs with the stripe. Keep the shirts coming - lots of inspiration in your posts.

  14. That shirt looks so elegant. I love the details and the way you make it so stylish.


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