Bwah ha ha! Because the shirt has fans on it of course!!
This is more of the Japanese Tana lawn bought at the same time as my Darling Ranges Dress. When I bought this particular pattern I had a vision of a nice shirt to go with jeans. I knew I didn’t really want the fit of the ubiquitous Archer shirt, I wanted something a bit more floaty and I wanted rolled up sleeves with tabs. Enter Simplicity 1694 which seemed to tick all the boxes.
I originally bought this pattern thinking it would be nice to have a couple of sleeveless floaty shirts for summer, but then somehow I just never got around to it.
In all honesty when I first sewed this up I really didn’t like it and had to make a few alterations as it the pattern sizing is huge and looked like maternity wear.
I cut the medium based on my shoulder measurement and didn’t bother with an FBA as the shape was not fitted. I ended up taking the side seams in by 1.5″ on each side at the bottom graduating to ½” in the bust area. I also narrowed the sleeves by ½”. The shoulders were required to be narrowed by an inch due. I would have liked to add more waist shaping however this was not possible due to the pleat in the back, if I was to take it in more at the sides it made the back poof out like I had a hunchback.
In saying that, I am happy with the fit as is, and the shirt is great for our somewhat pathetic winters. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and have already worn it loads (as seen in my MMM instagram feed).
I think with this pattern that fabric choice is really important, more than it is in some patterns. I did have a sleeveless version in a heavy-ish rayon and it just looked terrible and no alterations were going to fix it. So unflattering. This pattern really needs a light fabric, a voile, lawn, georgette or silk, it needs that softness and drape.
Now I know it sounds like I am being all negative Nelly about this one, but there is loads that I do like:
– the roll up tabs are exactly what I wanted
– I love the mandarin collar instead of the standard expected collar
– the fabric is great to wear
– perfect wardrobe builder
It’s weird, I don’t usually wear button down shirts so of course I don’t normally make them, so this was a nice change to sew.
I do remember making some really cool shirts back in the early 90s – I had a pale blue chambray shirt with chambray leopard print yoke and cuffs – very trendy at the time! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so ruthless in my wardrobe culling, I’d love to have been able to share some of these gems with you. Plus it would be interesting to see how my sewing has evolved over 20 years! .
So, will I make this shirt again? Maybe… I really do prefer wearing dresses so I won’t be rushing to make more shirts, but it was a nice change.
Pattern – Simplicity 1694 – view A
Fabric – 2m of Japanese Tana Lawn from Spotlight
Notions – buttons and thread