Sewing can be a rather expensive hobby so it feels super rewarding when you manage to make something for nothing. I used a free pattern and another sewist's leftovers to make this fab shirt!
After my original plans for my Stranger Things Secret Cinema outfit fell through (read: the fabric I ordered online was awful), I needed a cheap and speedy project that screamed 1980s high school reunion. But, as always when I make something for a costume or event, I wanted to make sure it was something I would wear again afterwards.
I might not wear the entire outfit together though...Or will I?
I raided my stash and was delighted to find this Rico Design double gauze, originally from Backstitch. The lovely Jen kindly donated the leftovers from her Jenna dress to the swaps table at SewCam and I’m pretty sure I grabbed it before it made contact with the table below! I didn’t measure it but I think there was about a metre there.
Photo from Gingerthread Girl's blog
I thought it would make an amazing shirt but I’d only made the Sew Over It Libby before and I struggled with the collar and didn’t love grown-on sleeves. Flipping through my patterns, I spotted…the Fabrics Store Paola Jacket. It’s intended for heavier weight fabrics but was just the shape I was looking for. I’d made it before and knew the general construction was pretty simple so I dived in! I didn’t even bother toiling it as a shirt because I figured I had nothing to lose as the fabric was free! As luck would have it, it turned out pretty darn great.
I made an XS and I usually make/wear a UK size 10. Bear this in mind if you're smaller, as it's a pretty boxy fit.
I think it would look really cute with a separate yoke and box pleat - might try that next time!
I made a few changes along the way, and next time I would slim down the front facing, to make a narrower button placket. As this is a workwear jacket pattern designed for heavyweight linen, the placket is intended for 2.5cm buttons.
You can download the pattern here (it's FREE!), and the instructions are here.
The changes I made to the pattern pieces were:
- I wanted it semi-cropped so I shortened the front and back pieces by 9cm. As there's no lengthen/shorten line and the shape is very boxy, I just took it off the bottom
- I shortened the sleeves by drawing a straight line 7.5cm below the underarm seams of the sleeve piece
- I made the front facing piece the same length as the front – more on that later
- I didn’t cut the pockets (I know, who even am I?)
The changes I made to the construction were:
- I cut the fabric and interfacing facing pieces separately, and used Made by Rae’s facing trick to get a really nice finish on the inside:
- I used French seams throughout, rather than the flat felled seams suggested in the original instructions
- As with my Perfect Match jacket, I sewed the bottom of the front facing and the front piece right sides together, trimmed the corner and then turned out (see pic below)
- I finished my hem and sleeves with an 8mm double fold
It's hard to get this but looking SUPER neat with a double-fold hem, but I still prefer it to turning the hem and facing up as one
I was going to order these cool ETO buttons from Sew Me Sunshine but I ran out of time and went for plastic snaps from my stash to finish it off.
I don't want to toot my own horn, but I can't believe how well this turned out and I'm going to wear it so much. I've already chosen some double gauze from Stoff and Stil to make a second one!
I don't think I managed to get any photos without my hair in the way, oops!
Pattern paper heart pin available here
I know that pattern-hacking may not sound particularly beginner-friendly, but assuming you're happy to cross-reference my ramblings with the original instructions, this would actually make a great first shirt as there's no collar stand or cuffs. There's very little fitting involved and I didn't even need to do my usual narrow shoulder adjustment because of the drop shoulder.
My boyfriend and I had a lot of fun putting our Stranger Things Secret Cinema outfits together! I used my Cricut (previously gifted) to decorate Edward's jumper and a tote bag
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