A New Shirt

Despite the fact my mother could sew anything, I am not a “seamstress.” Garment-making has never been an interest of mine, and I could likely count on two hands the number of garments I’ve made.

However, a couple of years ago I bought a shirt I love wearing. It is flat in construction, with incredibly minor detailing at the cap-sleeve edges and at the neckline. The rayon feels soft and smooth and has a lovely drape. I wanted MORE, in more fabrics, more colors! Last year I bought two pieces (maybe three!) of fabric just to make more versions of the same shirt.

Finally, in this weird interlude of summer, after some things and before others, I made one. The cotton is a high-quality quilting fabric, with a slightly napped texture and sturdy feel. It doesn’t drape like the rayon. But I set the front on the bias, which helps soften it. I omitted the cuff detail on the sleeve edge. Instead of finishing the neckline with binding and a small keyhole at the back of the neck, I simply turned it under twice with top stitching. It fits well and comfortably. I love the fabric (by Stephanie Brandenburg of Frond Design Studio) and am happy with how it turned out.


25 thoughts on “A New Shirt

  1. piecefulwendy

    My grandmother was a seamstress, and she did not enjoy quilting, although I do have a quilt and some quilt blocks made by her. My mother enjoyed quilting, but not sewing clothing, although she made quite a bit of clothes for me throughout the years (as did my grandmother). I don’t enjoy making clothing either. I’d rather quilt. Your top is very cute!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Wendy. My mom did a lot of things, from garment sewing to needlepoint to tatting, as well as an awful lot of home repairs and some woodworking. (I’m lucky to have a few of her wooden items, including a cradle she made for my son.) But as far as I know, she never made a quilt.

  2. WriteAndQuilt

    My mom made lots of clothes when we children were small, but she has a tough time with making a quilt.
    Good job on the shirt! Cute! And nice cut!

  3. norma

    I like this very much. Brilliant idea to cut it on the bias.
    I’ve made quite a lot of quilts, got qualifications in patchwork & quilting but garment sewing’s my favourite.

  4. katechiconi

    It’s very pretty and suits you well, and I love the colour choice. My mother was a demon knitter and embroiderer, an OK seamstress and never made a quilt, nor wanted to. I’m an OK seamstress, an adequate quilter and embroiderer and a hopeless knitter, so I hope I’m restoring the balance! I like making clothes for myself, but only if they’re simple and quick, otherwise I lose courage and motivation.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks Kate. The colors are quite in line with what I usually wear. I think this worked for me because I drew the pattern from the existing shirt and didn’t worry about other people’s instructions. That seems to be where I get bogged down. šŸ™‚

  5. tierneycreates

    I am impressed! I have a Lotta Jansotter (however you spell it) book on making simple frocks and a couple impulse buy clothing patterns and I have yet to make anything. I do dream someday of making a tunic or two, a simple dress and a long skirt.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I just looked at her site and like her vibe. I think you should stop dreaming and start making. Once I finally decided to actually make this shirt, it didn’t take very long. It was a little figuring, some pressing and cutting, sewing 5 seams, and finishing 4 edges. That was without a pattern. Start with a tunic. šŸ™‚

  6. KerryCan

    Dang–I keep reading posts from people who are sewing clothing I like! And wishing I had the skill/nerve to do the same. That top is very cute!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      This took a lot more nerve than skill. And it was so easy, I won’t need to “find” nerve again. (But I’m still not interested in making a lot of clothes for myself.) šŸ™‚


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