Stripy shirt

My lovely friend Karen gave me three pieces of fabric from a neighbour who had given up sewing. I took a bit of time to decide what to make with them and the first project is a stripy shirt. The colours are bright and clean, the stripes vary in width and are asymmetric, meaning they won’t match across the shoulders, but the dominant stripe, the blue, should be lined up where most visible.


An old Vogue pattern, with a nice vintage look and a peplum was ideal. Laying the fabric carefully on ensuring the pattern is laid exactly on the stripes is essential to ensure a well made look. The fabric was great to handle with a nice drape, so hopefully the peplum will drape over the hips – rather than protrude like elephant’s ears!


The cutting out took time, but it was nice not to rush and I listened on the iPlayer to some Elizabeth Jane Howard short stories at the same time. I’ve found more success by not setting time targets when sewing.

I used a lightweight fusible Vilene to interface, again to ensure drape and a nice settling round the neckline/collar. When cutting the peplum I was careful that the stripes down the front of the peplum corresponded to those on the front of the bodice at the opening.

The project was interrupted by an ‘emergency’ pencil skirt (the Charlotte skirt by Hand Made of London) for my daughter for a job interview. But when I re-commenced I had special buttons, a plan to finish the shirt by only hand sewing and was pleased with the result.


Learning points: Take time – and when it doesn’t go quite right – have a break so your mind has time to think of a way round the problem. Don’t rush the finishing – those are the details that make your garment a one-off, lovely buttons and a hand finished hem – so the ‘finishing’ can take as long as making the garment.