Friday, October 19, 2018

Liberty cotton/silk for a new shirt

One of these days I'm going to use a different shirt pattern, but not this week. In fact I just rummaged around my pattern file and found a Burda tracing that I did last winter - which I scrapped mid-project due to the wrong fabric. That one became this top which I wear all the time. So I will try that Burda next but for this fabric my old standby of Simplicity 2339. And this might be version number 15? I've lost count but after all a button front shirt doesn't really change so why reinvent.

The novelty in this shirt comes entirely from the fabric, which is a 70%cotton/30% silk voile Liberty of London fabric. It's so light and lovely to wear, it feels like a feather. 

Purple shirt 9
So n
I sewed a shirt for someone else using this fabric which I found on the Mood website. and after completing that I had about 3/4 yard remaining. Since it's 52" wide that's a substantial amount. So I ordered another 1 yard so as to have enough to make a shirt for myself 😍 Because purple, right?
And lavender print. So garden-y.

I had made these purple jeans late last spring, and they didn't get a lot of wear in the summer as they are a stretch bengaline (I think - at least they are some type of stretch woven, stretchier than stretch denim but not a knit. I classify them as bengaline because I received a swatch of the same type from Style Arc a long time ago and it was labeled with that name.) A very good fabric for pants, but a rayon-nylon-lycra so a bit too clammy for my summers here. But just right for fall and winter so I've been wearing them a lot. I like jeans that aren't jeans - in all kinds of colors. The pattern is my own, I made a pattern from a pair of jeans I own which fit just right. I should do a post about pants copying, one of these days. It's a good learning experience.

So now I have a shirt to wear with my purple jeans. Here's a better look on the dress form.

purple liberty shirt front

Based on my usual miserly tendencies when it comes to fabric spending, this was a bit of a splurge for me. So in total I paid more than $ 40 for the fabric. More than my typical $ 5 - 10 yard!

Fabric liberty voile

I'm not a big spender when I comes to fabric and I don't really like to have a bunch around that is not specifically for projects but I'm glad I bought this as I just love the color and the lavender pattern makes me smile. Here's a closer look at the fabric of the jeans. I didn't do a bunch of topstitching on this fabric - topstitching doesn't look as it does on denim and I figured it was a timesaver to skip it.

purple pants

Here's a closer look at the front placket. I did the placket method I devised (which I copied from a RTW shirt) which is a continuous placket where a small pleat encloses the raw edges. If you look to the left of the buttonholes the shirt is actually all one piece, not a sewn on button band.

purple liberty shirt close up2

Here's a look at the components during construction. If you are really interested in this modification to a shirt front I did a step-by-step photo guide in this blog post.

purple shirt front placket examples

purple liberty shirt back view on form
purple shirt 12

purple shirt cuff

This fabric is so soft so I thought that a placket would be a bit tricky and I opted for a bias binding on the cuff opening. I think with every fabric you have to evaluate how it will work with various techniques or design features and be willing to adjust accordingly.

purple shirt 11

So that's it for my light as a feather shirt. I think I need a dark purple coat now for winter:)

Up next, I am finishing a few things for Heather including that silk wrap dress which I talked about in my last post on fitting. And if I do say so myself - it is going to be gorgeous!!

My jacket/coat tailoring weekend workshop at Hello Stitch is coming up on Nov 3-4 so if you have wanted to sew a jacket I hope you can make it. You will spend a weekend seeing me demonstrate all my tips, plus hang out in Berkeley and meet some great people who are as wild about sewing as you are. sign up here.     Also upcoming is another session of Sew the Lander pants, and a kimono jacket class. Look at the Garment Sewing page on HelloStitchStudio.

I have some vague plans for another wool coat or jacket for myself but nothing firm at this time. Plus our weather has still been no-jacket-required so not really conducive to wintery sewing. Not complain ing about that! Still wearing shorts when out in the garden, planting bulbs under the watchful eye of the squirrels.

Happy almost Halloween sewing, Beth

Today's garden photos. Multiple photos because this was one of those magical moments. I went to take some pics of the shooting star hydrangea that had put out a magnificent bloom. And didn't even notice the visitor until I looked at the image on the screen of my camera. Glad I caught that and was able to take a few more. There's something about praying mantis, they seem to have so much personality.


white hydrag3


  1. Love your garden-y fabric and it makes such a lovely outfit with those purple jeans!

  2. I suppose that one gets bored sewing the same old patterns, but that shirt fits great, and if I were you, I wouldn't look for another one. This shirt is really lovely. And I would love a post about how to copy a pair of pants to make an individual pattern. I have been thinking about this, but I am a little anxious about whether or not I actually can do it even though I have read about it a lot. I love the idea of jeans that are not jeans, Beth. Me, too. I find denim is just not that comfortable any more for me, but I love the jeans style.

  3. I signed up for the kimono jacket class at Hello Stitch. I'm excited to take another class with you, Beth. You taught me a lot last time. This blouse is beautiful. I love the color on you.

  4. Hi Natasha - thanks for the kind words and so happy to see you again in that class!

  5. Totally worth the money! Gorgeous shirt and your usual great fit.

  6. I love that this is #15 of this pattern! I also love your fabric choice and am a bit jealous that 1 5/8" yds is all you need to make such a beautiful shirt.

  7. Fabulous shirt made of exquisite fabric, and it looks perfect on you. Love the look with the purple pants!

  8. Lovely shirt. Your fabric is gorgeous and I love your purple jeans. This Simplicity pattern is definitely a good shirt pattern.

  9. Ah, a silk cotton blend. I'll bet that was wonderful to sew. This is a really lovely blouse. The colors and fit are so flattering to you.

  10. Gorgeous shirt, it may have been quite expensive fabric, but you have certainly done it justice and have a classic piece that will last a long time.