This was a somewhat experimental project. I would never have bought this shirt because the silhouette is totally out of my comfort zone. But it’s been hot and sunny in the UK lately and I burn very easily, so making a voluminous and lightweight coverup seemed like a good idea. My Burda magazine collection yielded 105 04/2019, which fitted the bill. Here’s the technical drawing.
The combination of the loose fit, the clean front, and that architectural pleat at the back was appealing.
The fabric is a cotton shirting from Croft Mill that I’ve had in the stash for a while. I originally bought it for a shirt dress, but when it arrived it didn’t look the way I was anticipating. What caught me out was the scale of the pattern. It has tiny little woven dashes of bright purple and olive green on a white background. The sample I got looked great. But as soon as you have a bigger piece and look at it from any distance the dashes blend with the background and the whole thing reads as a solid greyish lilac colour.
A pastel dress is not a good look on me, so the fabric went into stash and I made the original dress in white poplin instead. I’m glad to have found a use for the patterned shirting at last. And as a bonus: violet, green, and white are the colours of the suffragette movement, and knowing that cheers me up in an odd way.
The main feature of this shirt is the pleated back. Otherwise it’s very simple.
The front closure is made with snaps on the original pattern but I’ve changed mine to buttons on a concealed placket. I didn’t bother putting a button on the collar band. I think it clashes with the otherwise clean finish and I’m never going to do it up.
In practice I’ve been wearing it tied at the waist to tame the volume a little.
Here’s how the back looks when tied. Lots of interesting folds, which bring out the colour of the fabric.
I used rather nice dark grey shell buttons – completely wasted on the front but visible on the cuffs. I think they’re probably a little too dark for the fabric.
I’ve worn this more than I expected to. I can’t see myself making the pattern again, or indeed wearing a lot more lilac, but this one is a slightly surprising success.