The Rosa shirt by Tilly and the Buttons is on my Make Nine list for this year.
I have actually had the pattern since it was released and even had the fabric washed and ready to go but just hadn’t got round to making it.
I have made quite a few men’s shirts before, so am quite familiar with tailoring techniques and was really keen to sew a nice button up shirt for myself.
I was going to start with the shirtdress option but I then changed my mind and decided to sew up the shirt version in a stunning cornflower blue viscose that I bought from Sewn. This is one of my all time favourite colours – so much so, that the front of my house is painted in this shade!
I chose a floral blue and white cotton for the button stand, collar stand and the inside of the cuffs (more on that later).
Cutting out the viscose was a little tricky. Despite a new rotary blade and lots of pattern weights, the fabric slipped and shifted around like nobody’s business! Most of the pieces were ok, but the collar and collar band were pretty unrecognisable from their original shape so I decided to interface both pieces , rather than just the upper collar and band. In order to do so, I cut the pieces out of the interfacing first, and then fused them to the main fabric, before I cut it out. I only used a lightweight interfacing and it worked out pretty well.
As the viscose was pretty lightweight and drapey, I decided not to use a traditional thicker topstitching thread as I thought it would look out of balance. I just used the matching polyester thread that I was using on a longer stitch length of 3.5 for any topstitching.
I had decided to use the longer cuffed sleeve bonus pattern that Tilly released after the main pattern was on sale. I made one modification though as I recut the cuff pattern so that I could have the contrast fabric on the inside of the cuff. This was all going well, until I tried the shirt on during construction to check the rough fit and found that I really loved it as a sleeveless shirt!! I therefore decided to abandon the sleeves and finish the armholes with some bias binding instead.
I promise that it has nothing to do with the fact that I hate ironing sleeves.
OK, maybe it has a little to do with it.
OK, maybe a lot!
But genuinely, I really loved the look of the sleeveless version and thought it showed how well the colour complimented my skin tone, which you just wouldn’t have seen with a full sleeved shirt. (Plus, ironing!!)
A quick run down of how I altered the pattern to make the sleeveless version…
- I ran a basting stitch at the 5/8 inch seam line on the armhole
- I measured the seam line to work out how much bias binding I would need and cut it to size
- I sewed the bias tape together (cutting across both ends on the diagonal to ensure a straight line
- I sewed the side seams of the shirt together
- I sewed the bias tape on the outside of the shirt at the 5/8 inch seam line, making sure I was on the basting line
- I clipped the excess fabric back to the level of the bias tape
- I pressed the bias tape to the inside of the armhole, ensuring I turned a couple of millimetres of the main fabric to the inside so that the facing didn’t show on the outside
- I pinned around the armhole to keep the binding in place
- I hand stitched the bias tape to the inside using an invisible slip stitch
- I pressed the finished armholes to make sure they were nice and neat
Overall, I am really pleased with the result. It will be perfect for the Spring/Summer, but I think I can get some good wear out of it now, with the aid of a thick cardi!
So that is four makes out of nine done, and January isn’t over yet!