Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A Katie Shirt from Elliott Berman Fabric

This is the second version of the Katie that I'm sharing first because I used this amazing fabric from Elliot Berman.

Now I wouldn't call myself a funky or unique dresser but every once in awhile, I'm inspired to move a little away from my clean-line, unfussy styling and add a little funk.  This is definitely bringing the funk!

After figuring out the pattern I headed over to Elliott Berman's looking for a piece of fabric to use to make it. I specifically wanted this piece...

...but once Eugenia and I rolled it really wasn't me. We walked around looking at other cotton pieces...and I touched some beautiful pieces...but nothing really made me catch my breath until she pulled this piece.

Now I know this looks nothing like what I've posted before, but believe it or not, I own two other pieces like this in different fabrications, because I love this type of design.

Supply List ~
- Red Linen by way of the fabric collection
- Gold Buttons purchased from Lauren Trimmings for this shirt
- Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
(I ran out of interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply and picked up a couple of yards of this fusible midweight interfacing in the garment district while I wait for my next order to arrive from FSS.)

Pattern Alterations ~
My first change was to the front piece.  I had to figure out the best spot to end it on the front to effect the dramatic high/low hem. I did this by holding the pattern piece up to me and marking where I'd like it to end. Then I folded the pattern piece back upon itself to reflect the change. I also changed the front button band to reflect this change too.

Then I got the brilliant idea to add 2" to the back piece...well truthfully I was always going to make that addition...after making the first version. However, I added it much lower than I originally thought I would...and I was scared silly that I'd added it too low. Turns out it worked out alright!

Construction ~
The body of the shirt came together with no problem. Then I questioned using the red linen for the accents but eventually became okay with that. My challenge was the sleeves. In Mimi's shirt, she has long sleeves with cuffs and that was my original intent.  As you can see it's not what I ended up with and I don't know why my original sleeves didn't work.  However, this is my punt and I'm okay with it.

Like I said, it was my intent to make long sleeves with cuffs but somewhere along the way I lost my way and couldn't make my sleeve work. There was a problem with the cuff and then I cut the sleeve too short after I started messing with it. I ended up with the red linen ties to salvage the situation...and now I'm wondering why I was going in another direction because these are perfect for the shirt and for me.

Sleeve Construction:

  • I made a pattern sandwich using the sleeve from the original Katie dress and the sleeve from my TNT shirt pattern to make a new sleeve for this shirt.
  • The new sleeve pattern was cut a little fuller so that I could gather the hem into the cuff. 
  • Since I made my cuff too small and then realized that I'd drawn the sleeve too short, I had to come up with a new plan - thus the tied band.
  • To make the tied sleeve band, I cut a strip 3" wide and 12" long. 
  • Folded the band in half and topstitched it on...leaving about an inch of the sleeve without the band attached. 
  • Oh and I started the band on the underside of the sleeve so that the tie would be on the outside.

It was a simple process and anyone could do this!

A Few Pictures ~

Conclusion ~
This is a statement piece.  You will see me coming and going and it's all because of the fabric. This was an interesting piece of fabric to work with because it's a medium weight fabric with some body and stiffness. When I first showed Eugenia the pattern I wanted to use, she wasn't sure that the fabric had enough drape. However, the fabric got softer with pretreatment.

Now when I picked this fabric I did not realize the price per yard. I actually learned it when I linked to it for this blog post. While it's pricey ~ I have 3 yards of fabric in this shirt.  It means the final cost is over $150 with buttons and interfacing. This is on the high end of costs for me but if you want to own some of this fabric, go for it. It's a quality fabric that will make a very distinctive garment. However, if this is a little rich for your blood, there are more cottons on the site in the new arrivals section that will work just as well.

One more quick thing - this is really not a middle of the hot steamy summer wear. I was DYING taking these pics outside in 90+ degree weather. It will become a staple in my fall wardrobe and yes I'm going to wear those white pants in September after Labor Day! 

I won't have another Elliott Berman sew until late fall...already have the wool for that one! But there are two more versions of the MimiG Katie Dress up next on the blog. always more later!


  1. Gorgeous!! Everything about this is so stunning. The happy accident sleeve ties do elevate the style even more.

  2. Wait, you didn't use buttons from your stash? Well that alleviates a little of my button envy. You've made a fun shirt that looks great on you.

  3. Not buying but still drooling :)

  4. Carolyn, this is so lovely. Definitely a statement piece with such gorgeous fabric and the length. I think the red trim was a great choice...and I love the sleeve ties.

    1. Thanks Bernice! Originally I'd gotten a blue fabric from Elliott Berman to coordinate with the panel. When I got the fabric home the two pieces didn't have the punch I wanted so I went looking for something else in the fabric collection. That's how I ended up with red accents and why I wasn't sure at first.

  5. This fabric is awesome and I love a post that talks about expensive and quality fabric. Inexpensive, lovely fabric is a joy to hear about but I think it's pretty hard to find. The more that sewists come to that conclusion, the more they can support high-quality fabric manufacturing. Truth is, quality costs. But it usually makes up for that in gorgeousness.

  6. I LOVE this! Everything about it works!

    Question: could you describe what this means: "I made a pattern sandwich using the sleeve from the original Katie dress and the sleeve from my TNT shirt pattern to make a new sleeve for this shirt."

    1. Bobbi - sure! I call the process I use to copy or alter a pattern a pattern sandwich. Why? Because it consists of my TNT pattern piece laid on the cutting table. Then I lay the original garment's pattern piece on top. Finally I lay a blank piece of tissue on top to make a new pattern. This allows me to make a new pattern piece without alot of alterations because they've already been made to my TNT pattern. I call this process "a pattern sandwich." If it's not clear ask another question or you can see a short sleeve pattern sandwich here:

  7. Inspiring as usual...
    I've always wanted to make something using one of those large scale toiles (like Blue Willow) but could never visualize anything that would work....Splitting the pattern with a blue (instead of red) full length buttonband would do the trick.
    Also, thank you for the picture of the pattern with the hem facing...For as long as I have been sewing, I consistently forget about hem facings but they are so often just the trick....
    I really love how you cover some of the "inner workings" of the process

  8. This is a breathtaking shirt!! The front view is so fresh and so stylish. But THE BACK!!!!!!! It is absolutely elegant! You made the perfect match made in heaven of pattern and fabric! I am always so happy to see an email from Elliot Berman b/c the fabrics are so luscious and dreamy. And when I buy stuff from them, it's such a treat to receive it. I have a piece awaiting my touch this fall - too hot to sew w/wool right now. But in a month it will be perfect!!! That shirt is really something. . . brava!!

  9. This is a very tempting piece of material, but the stash will not allow it. But those cuffs are solving a problem my niece tossed onto the 'mend me' pile (needed to widen the dress sleeves at the bicep but wanted to keep them together at their hem...ooh la la!)
    This shirt is very much the right length in the back and front, and just shows that if you get the fit down, you can really go all out on the styling.
    Brava, diva, brava!

  10. I love this!
    The fabric, cutting, design additions, alterations and wearing - everything!

  11. There is only one word to describe this shirt - gorgeous!

  12. Love it and it looks great on you. Prints are so stinkin' seductive and have a way of emptying out our wallets, don't they?

  13. OMGosh - this shirt in that print = all the heart eyed emojis! I love how the back creates a beautiful canvas for the fabric. It's like there's a story going on with your shirt. I really love it! I wonder how it would look with a straight skirt? g

  14. I love this so much! The fabric is fantastic and it looks amazing on you. I am so inspired to try something like this for myself.

  15. It's a great statement piece and perfect for fall.

  16. Wow, talk about everything coming together. I especially love the tie sleeves with this fabric. Congratulations on achieving your vision.

  17. The drama of the high-low hem is just perfect!

  18. Love the style and Love the fabric!!!

  19. The fabric speaks so beautifully with this pattern, and the red linen accent is spot on!!

  20. I adore this version!! Love the bold print and how well your length alterations turned out! It is just fantastic!!


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