Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

#MakeNine: Morphing as I go along – The white linen shirt


This blouse has been an interesting make. I identified back in December, as part of my #MakeNine that a basic garment like a white blouse would be an excellent addition to my evolving wardrobe. Plus, I had a beautiful linen crepe that had long been lying idle in my stash, that would be perfect for the job.

I have loads of shirt patterns, but I turned to an edition of the Italian magazine Modellina for my make. I particularly liked the pockets and the relaxed fit which I thought would combine with the linen well. Sure, it wouldn’t look as crisp as the cotton shirt in the photo, because linen drapes in a different way, but I felt that the pattern would still work well with my chosen fabric.

Short-sleeved shirt pattern from Modellina magazine

My original idea was for the short sleeved version above, but as I was cutting out I realised I had enough for long sleeves, so I cut out the sleeves from the long-sleeved version in the magazine. After all, I do not need any more silly bits of fabric that I don’t know how to use in my stash. There’s pretty much nothing left of the fabric at all now.

Long-sleeved shirt from Modellina magazine

I think the body pieces from the short and long-sleeved patterns are also different. The long-sleeved version seems to have some side slits, so my version ended up as a mix of the two designs.

Shirts take a long time to make, it must be said, and this was no exception, particularly as I have struggled with doing things like sewing on buttons in the recent heat. I also sewed the collar more than once, as I wasn’t satisfied with the first one. Overall it wasn’t a particularly difficult make, although obviously being a magazine make the instructions are minimal. One thing that did confuse me were the buttons. There were loads of button and buttonhole markings on the centre front of the pattern and I sewed all fourteen of them! The buttonholes appeared to come in pairs. But the model in the magazine doesn’t have these. Did I sew too many? Were these markings for the two different shirt designs and I incorporated both lots? Who knows – I’m not disappointed with the result so I don’t suppose it matters. It just took me a long time!

White is hard to photograph – not sure I can see the details in this photo!

My major concern with this shirt is that it is WHITE. I have an amazing record when it to spilling food on things (see the silk top made for the Work Christmas party) and I’m not sure how well this one with last in its white incarnation. I made sure I sewed it with white cotton thread, so that when the time comes (and it will) I can dye the shirt and the stitching will dye as well. Always best to be cautious!

Long-sleeved skirt with big pockets and rather a lot of buttons!

Do you ever feel that sometimes you’re wearing someone else’s clothes? Well, that is how I feel when I wear this shirt. Is it the effect of wearing such an expanse of white? Still, I am pleased generally with the way it looks and I need to experiment with styling. Would wide-legged trousers look good with this? What kind of skirt? With such a versatile colour, I expect it will go with most of my wardrobe.

Back view of the long-sleeved white shirt


Smart or casual – which is it?

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

9 thoughts on “#MakeNine: Morphing as I go along – The white linen shirt

  1. I know what you mean about white shirts. I keep trying them as they’re often look good in fashion shoots in various guises. In the past I’ve tried them with patterned pencil skirts, sleeves rolled up (a look we keep seeing Meghan Markke champion lately) and they do look good so why do I feel I’m always wearing school uniform when I put them on. Yes I think three quarter length, high waist wide legged trousers would look good for an on trend look. Sorry I had to laugh when you said you didn’t want any more silly little pieces of fabric in your stash. Sounded so familiar. 😃

  2. Nice work! I think a white shirt can always be dressed up or dressed down. A staple in a wardrobe. That being said I don’t wear white as I will spill something on it in minutes!

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