If I had to name my all-time favourite go-to item of clothing it would be my pale denim boyfriend shirt. Over the last few years I have worn my way through a few renditions of this item, the current one being a recent purchase from GAP. I have got through multiple because I wear them over anything and everything, cami’s, lace tees, vest tops around the house. I love how comfy it is and because I don’t seem to have any kind of internal temperature control it suits me perfectly that it is light weight but has sleeves. Oh and they absolutely get better the more they get washed- which in my case is of course it a lot!
So with this love story in mind it made absolutely no sense to me that I have never made a boyfriend shirt of any description, denim or otherwise. I have made plenty of shirts and shirt dresses but never the style I wear regularly… very odd! I set about remedying this as I decided I wanted to make sure that the staples of my Spring wardrobe were covered before the things I felt more like sewing than wearing (strange disease that one…!) I initially wanted a nice white cotton one and subsequently decided to add a silk one to the list too!
At first I decided to use the lovely, well discussed Archer pattern from Grainline Studio and did actually get as far as purchasing it online. Once faced with the sticking together of the PDF pages however it occurred to me that my attempt at laziness was likely scuppered and that it would probably be quicker for me to draft the shirt to my personal measurements rather than stick, trace, alter, toile and alter again! Of course there was no guarantee that I would need to alter the Archer pattern but my very high square shoulders, shallow armscye and long torso usually result in several tweaks!
I referred to one of my best fitting ready- to- wear shirts whilst drafting- being sure to have nice high armscyes for plenty of arm- wiggling capability. There is nothing I like less than a garment that restricts me being able to reach the coffee from the kitchen shelf (if any of you find you have the same fitting issue your arnscyes are probably too low and are pinning your arms slightly to your sides). The day I learnt to remedy this was a joyous day, if any of you would like more details let me know below and I will add a tutorial to the blog.
Working with the silk had its challenges but I have covered these in my next post: Tips for working with silk, so I won’t go into detail here. The construction of a shirt in and of itself is a little time consuming but once you have done a collar and sleeve placket a few times they de- mystify themselves. For those of you who want to sew a shirt for the first time I highly recommend checking out Jen’s Archer sew along, she covers all the niggly details that can be off- putting at first.
Since making this silk version I have made one up in a Liberty print for my Marmee ( my name for my mum since discovering Little Women as a girl) for Mother’s day that is over on my instagram for anyone who wants a peek. There is nothing nicer and easier to work with than tana lawn after three silk projects back to back! Expect a few cotton Boyfriend shirts to appear on here in the not too distant future! Hehe!
This silk one is made using Beckford silk’s medium weight crepe in natural white, the same fabric as my Emily top. I am also wearing it with the same Hollister jeans and Dune shoes and my favourite black handbag from Kate Spade.
Hope you are all enjoying some new season sewing too. What is your favourite item of clothing and why?- and did you make it?
Thanks for reading