Ready to Sew: Julien
When I received info that I was going to test this pattern, I was taken aback because I thought it was going to be a challenge for me. Not only was it a pretty structured button down shirt with a collar stand and the like, but it was not something I normally wear. At first glance, I was unsure of how to do the pattern justice and didn’t know what materials to use. I knew that a denim would look nice, but I already had a denim chambray button down that I loved and that would be too similar. I thought about a solid linen color, but then couldn’t decide on a color from my stash! I saw someone from the facebook group (Aurelie Gehin, instagram: @wait_and_sew) post a color blocked version and I fell in love! Then, the exciting creativity wheels started turning! I decided on three colors and the rest is history!
I will briefly discuss:
-Modifications to pattern pieces
-Styling your garment
When I start to pick out fabric for a tester pattern, I have a bad habit of wanting to use my expensive, one of a kind fabric pieces! I don’t really own a lot of cheap fabric because I don’t like to buy it! I also did not want to buy new fabric, because I really need to use my stash!! I decided, after reading through the pattern and noticing that everything flowed smoothly, that I would just go for it! After all, it is not a very fitted shirt! I was going to be a little generous with my size as well.
I decided I was going to go for linen or silk Noil so it could have an earthy, yet romantic flow feel. Probably not was she was going for but it's what I really wanted! I wanted it to be quirky yet functional. I also wanted it to last, as the pattern is made well and has many reinforcement stitches to really bring it up to workwear standards! (not that I really do any of that kind of work...bahahahaha) I wanted to use natural fibers because I wanted it to breathe well in the summer.
I had some 100% bleached linen that I had avocado dyed several months ago from the Sewing Studio. They dyeing process turned out beautifully and I have been hoarding this fabric for so long for a long maxi dress! I had 4 yards! I decided to use this for the body of the shirt.
Then, I looked through all my linen and silk Noil for color-blocking this shirt. I ended up finding colors that went so so well with my avocado dyed fabric. I couldn’t resist using it! The linen was more of a medium weight, so it was appropriate for the body of the shirt. However, I used a slub texture linen blend solid (Cinnamon) for the collar and cuffs. Because it is very lightweight in nature, I decided to interface the outer collar, collar stand, and the cuffs. I also used a silk Noil for the pockets. I knew that they would have a little drape, but I was ok with that relaxed look. These 3 colors just went too well together! I cannot get enough! I thought about doing the button band in a contrasting color but realized after reading through the pattern (very important) that it is turned to the inside so you wouldn't see it! But you could still do it!
Summary of fabric used:
Collar and cuffs- slub texture linen blend solid (Cinnamon)- Stylemaker Fabrics
Pockets- Silk Noil old rose- Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics
Body of shirt- 100% linen avocado-dyed from the Sewing Studio
Also, can we just take a moment to talk about the buttons!! I absolutely adore the feminine touch that these buttons add. Whim Wham buttonshave the most gorgeous handmade buttons! I am running low, so I just put in another order!
The only difficult part for me was figuring out what pieces to cut out of what color! Otherwise the layout it pretty self explanatory! I didn’t have many problems.
Modifications to pattern pieces:
I ended up doing a small bust adjustment on the shirt. This essentially eliminated the side dart. I followed her tutorials for altering the pattern! She explains bust adjustments well and it was very simple!
I don’t know if I needed to do this small bust adjustment, but I figured a dart would look awkward with my A-cup and I knew the small bust adjustment would remove the dart. This was a win win for me!
I had to read over the instructions several times to really get them, but nonetheless they were very clear as long as I read them slowly! She also has a tutorial for attaching the collar to the bodice that is helpful! I looked at this after the fact! Haha!
I did the small bust adjustment (SBA) which would take the bust measurement size down to fit me. I made a size 37 which has a bust size that is too large for me but fits within the shoulders and waist a lot better. With my SBA I took out about an inch total from the finished measurements, which would make the shirt fit me a lot better in the bust, while still fitting me in the shoulders, arms, waists, and hips. If attempting an SBA or large bust adjustment, it is helpful to measure your high bust and add two inches for a B cup (for the bust measurement) or 3 inches for a C cup. This depends on what the pattern is drafted for. This pattern is drafted for a B cup. Therefore, I went with a bust measurement that was about 34 inches, although my bust measurement is 33. This is because I knew I was going to be removing an inch with my small bust adjustment! This sounds very confusing but Anika from Made to Sew has a series of fabulous videos all about this!
Other parts of the garment fit very well. I think I could have extended the arm length a tiny bit (about an inch), but I still say it fits well because I think I plan on mostly rolling the sleeves up!
Styling your garment:
I think this is such a versatile shirt! I think it looks so mod buttoned all the way up! I also think if you roll up the sleeves and open the buttons a bit, it can be very romantic! I think it would look gorgeous tied over a dress and left open! The possibilities are so endless!
I just love the versatility! Ready to Sew patterns just have such an awesome feel! I cannot get over how “everyday” they are, yet they are still unique, have a little feminine flair, and they are so easy to wear. I feel stylish and comfortable and not boring! This pattern completely surprised me, and I did not even realize it would be so regularly in my rotation. I love the color blocking and I know that nobody else has it!