Sometimes the best fabric purchases are the ones you never intend to make – like when you go in to Spotlight to buy a mint coloured cotton knit for a t-shirt, and walk out with a khaki green python printed rayon instead. Oops!
I usually only buy fabric with a vision in mind, and for this fabric I imagined a safari style shirt with pockets, in a relaxed fit. This required some modifications to my standard fitted shirt block – it’s been ages since I made a loose fitting shirt!
Once I had perfected the foundation I could start on all those exciting safari style details. Like patch pockets with box pleats and contoured flaps. And shoulder straps with a button tab.
Admittedly a lot of the detail is lost in the print, but it is there and creates subtle interest.
I drafted forward fastening cuffs with a deep sleeve tuck. The cuffs were a sticking point as I didn’t really know what I wanted. The near-finished shirt sat on the dummy for a couple of weeks, with the sleeves in various stages of reincarnation, until I settled on the final result. I really needed to recut the sleeves to get the true effect I wanted, but unfortunately didn’t have enough fabric. Never mind, the result is good enough.
Sewing this shirt was a pleasure with all the interesting details. Something I enjoy about sewing is each stage, and the step by step progress towards the final goal.
And I enjoy paying attention to detail, and sewing the intricate bits. Like pocket flaps. Here you can see how this one is sewn – after bagging out and pressing the flap, the top edge is sewn on upside down about 2cm above the pocket bag, then it is flipped down and topstitched at 6mm, enclosing the raw edge. Easy-peasy.
I’m really liking it! I wonder if I need a plain one in silk as well? Or maybe a dress version!