Sunday, November 24, 2019

Color block silk (?) shirt Burda 12-2017-105

November....the worst month. There's just something about November that I don't like. Perhaps it's the shorter days, or the chill in the air. And it's not even all that cold here, although I'm always freezing and wear sweaters and jackets when others are still wearing shorts and sandals. It makes me shiver just to look at them. A nice balmy 88℉ and I am so happy!

So what can I do to brighten up this time of year? Make a brightly colored shirt. A jewel tone is always my go-to when I can't decide what to sew, and this green fabric has been in my stash about a year, I think I found it at an ASG sale. It feels and sews like silk but I don't think it is, however it was only 2 yards of 45" wide so it needed a bit of help in the yardage department to squeeze out a button front shirt.

green shirt 4

That help came in the form of some contrasting fabric for the yoke, cuffs and the collar stand.

green shirt 3
Here's what I started with to make this shirt. I keep all reasonably large pieces of any silks I use, they come in handy as lining, or inside of shirt yokes, pocket linings or facings, or even bias bindings.

Green shirt fabrics

I had the green fabric (pink arrow pointing to it) and then I had two old silk short sleeve tops, and a large piece of dark blue silk crepe. Once I got started I ended up just using the yardage plus the bright blue silk top for the contrast pieces.

Here's the pattern used. I decided it was time to try a different shirt pattern, and this one had gathered sleeve caps. Turns out I don't really like the gathered sleeve caps but they don't show all that much so I don't mind. But won't repeat! Also this shirt had a ruffle but I put a collar on instead.

Burda 12-2018-105 blouse

green shirt cuff

I also just noticed that the shirt sleeve is gathered into the cuff and I put a couple of small pleats. Oh well!  They are a bit too long for me, I thought I checked the length but I think the extra height of the gathered sleeve cap threw me off. It would have looked better if they were gathered.  But it is staying the way it is!

Let's talk about buttons. It is so difficult to find nice and reasonably priced buttons lately. I used to find nice buttons at Joann's but they have reduced the quantity and color choice of their buttons to the point that they are next to useless. If I do happen to go in and they are having a sale I will buy 12 of any that I think are a useful color. I have buttons stored in small zip bags according to color family, white, black, blue, pink, purple, red, green, brown etc. and at least I can find some buttons in my stash  when I might need them. But for this shirt I didn't have enough of any one type of blue button that looked good.

green shirt buttons

Ebay to the rescue. I searched for buttons and found a seller that had the type of shirt buttons I use, they had kind of a random assortment of colors and sizes but the shipping was quite low so I bought 3 different colors of buttons. The blue shown here, plus a dark blue and a deep wine color. I think the packs were 25 buttons for $ 1.89 or something like that. Anyway my whole order including shipping was around $ 10 and they arrived in 3 days so I will give them a try again. You have to sift through a lot of craft (scrapbooking) buttons to find the type one would use on a garment but I found if you put the size button you want in the search that helps.

I thought they looked better flipped over with the flat side instead of the star showing. I used royal blue thread for all the sewing, it seemed to accent the contrast yoke and also I didn't have any green thread that was a good color match :)  The shirt color looks different in these two button pictures, I might have taken them at different times of day. The one below is more accurate.

green shirt buttonholes

green shirt sleeve and yoke

I kind of doubt I will wear it buttoned up like this but I wanted to see how it looks. Ok I guess and I like the fit of the shoulders so this shirt pattern might reappear with a few adjustments on the sleeves.

green shirt 6

green shirt back

green shirt 7

So that's the latest on this green color blocked shirt. Lately when I have a few minutes to waste I thumb through my Burda magazines. It kind of amazes me how many things I find that I didn't notice when the issue first arrived.
Up next, to finish a dress from a recent Burda which all visitors to my sewing room have loved but I'm not quite sure about. But it will make a good holiday outfit.

This picture makes me laugh - I think it needs a thought bubble that says "I have doubts about this shirt but I do like the color"  which might be the story of many of my sewing projects! And do not look at the sad lack of blooms and dry leaves behind me. That's the California garden in November, a dull place just waiting for rain. Please, Rain!!!

green shirt 5

We're winding down the year of classes at Hello Stitch in Berkeley, I just have two in December (the Zadie jumpsuit class still has a couple of spots open. And then I have a nice long rest until January - which will be really busy. We've had so many beginner and intermediate garment sewing classes these past 6 months and it makes me so happy to have people come back again and again. Also when they ask at the end of the day "What can I take next?"  😊 We're creating a new group of sewing enthusiasts and it's really fun and rewarding. So check the Hello Stitch website to see what's coming up in 2020 (and register if you are interested - things are filling up)

Other things to finish are a turquoise wool blazer (sneak peek here) with a wacky lining - a real stretch for me. And then have enough fabric to make some matching trousers so I plan to go full pantsuit with that one. Stay tuned!

Happy November sewing, and remember the winter solstice and longer days are just a month away!

Today's garden photo, this morning glory vine lives on the fence between houses and in late summer starts putting out a few blooms. I love this flower, it looks lit from within.



  1. I love your blog. You make BEAUTIFUL clothing and that blouse looks lovely on you. The morning glory photo makes me want to find a pretty fabric with a combination of purples, violets, off-white and a touch of greens - such pretty colors!

    Before retiring, my career took me back and forth to California often and I sometimes spent quite a bit of time there (Santa Clara/San Jose area), so I truly can appreciate that a warm, dry, breezy day can be lovely, particularly when it cools down a little in the evening.
    You are not alone - I get your feelings about weather, even though my problem is just the opposite. I tend to obsess over the weather too. I'm almost unable to function in temps much over 72 degrees if it’s the least bit humid (yes, I'm nuts) but I've been this way all my life. Even if dry, 88 degrees would just about kill me and because I’m light blond and fair-skinned, I'm unable to spend much time in direct sunlight - I get heat exhaustion quickly (let alone sunburned!). Unfortunately, I live on the east coast where the humidity can be horrible, so I tend to live inside in the A/C in summer. Then when the weather turns cool, I get all kinds of energetic and want to be outside; I love fall and winter.
    I REALLY feel for you. It’s not fun to be so affected by temperature either way; it can be terribly uncomfortable!

  2. I LOVE the color. I wonder if you'd like it more with a lighter colored bottom or jeans??

    Also, I feel the exact same way about Burda. When I flip through there is always a handful of stuff that I'm like, "HOW did I miss this?! I need this NOW!" LOL!!!

  3. Pretty blouse, I love the color combination. I have a double sided fabric in my stash in these colors, aqua green on one side, turquise blue on the other. You finished this in time to enter it the Patternreview color block contest, but I see you didn't enter this year.