Apparently my days of blogging my makes in a timely fashion are well and truly over. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I started the year by binge watching The Marvellous Mrs Maisel and trying to stop myself sewing a wardrobe full of swishy 50s cocktail dresses that I had no occasion to wear. I really love late 1950s fashion and it’s one of the reasons I learned to sew, but working from home has made me a “jeans and t-shirt” kinda girl and I’m trying to stick to sewing things I actually wear.
With that said, I totally fell for the cute little outfits the female staff at the Steiner holiday resort were wearing: they had a vintage vibe without looking too costume-y. I can’t find any photos, but they included a cropped (or tucked in) blouse and a high-waisted knee-length skirt, and that’s how Libby shirt and Selkie London skirt came to be on my Sew Six list!
I’ve only made a couple of Sew Over It patterns and haven’t been bowled over, but I was convinced to give this pattern a go after seeing @adritheschneider’s super cute version on Instagram. The Libby shirt pattern is only available as a PDF and I got it as my “free" pattern with the Sew Over It PDF Club membership, which is actually cheaper than buying the pattern on its own. I hate assembling PDFs so I printed it at NetPrinter.
I bought the “Crowded Faces” cotton lawn at the Like Sew Amazing launch. I’d seen the reverse colour way before and loved the design but I tend to avoid white clothes as I’m CLUMSY. I don’t normally go for dark colours but decided to think outside the (pink) box for once.
Photo from Like Sew Amazing
It wasn’t until I went to cut my pieces out that I realised the pattern recommends “lightweight woven fabrics with lots of drape, such as rayon, viscose, georgette and lightweight crepe”. Oh, so not cotton lawn then? My bad. As I hadn’t made a shirt before, I figured that a more stable fabric wouldn’t be a bad thing and ploughed ahead. I was concerned it could look a bit too boxy, so I sized down from my usual UK 10 to an 8 after checking the finished garment measurements.
The fabric was lovely to work with and is quite sturdy for a lawn. I bought 1.5 metres but had quite a bit left over so I’ll try and squeeze it out of one metre next time. I painstakingly cut my front pieces with the intention of pattern-matching across the button placket but forgot that shirt fronts cross over! Luckily, the pattern is so random that I don’t think it matters.
Look at me, not caring about pattern matching!
I was feeling super smug about my first collar stand going so well until it came to attaching it to the shirt. The instructions are pretty vague and the photos aren't much help. I have absolutely no idea if I attached it correctly but there’s a pretty lumpy seam in my collar stand, so I’m assuming I didn’t! I did have a quick look for a tutorial online but "partial collar stands" seem to be few and far between. I have since found a sew-a-long on the Sew Over It website so I’ll try this next time.
The shirt came together pretty quickly, despite the aforementioned confuse-o-collar. This was only my second time doing buttonholes and I was grateful to Past Joy for choosing a more stable fabric. I’m considering a silk/viscose blend for my next Libby although I’d be tempted to sew the placket shut and add ornamental buttons. I’d hate to ruin it so close to the finish line! I couldn’t find any buttons that matched the very very dark grey fabric with off-white design and settled on lilac, because #lilacloversclub
You can just about spot those adorable lilac buttons!
Despite a few niggles, I am beyond chuffed with the finished result and feel like I’ve upped my sewing game. I was worried I’d become too cautious a sewist recently, preferring to stick to “tried and tested” and “easy” patterns for fear of wasting time or fabric.
I'll definitely make this pattern again as I'm keen to improve my collar technique. I would also probably leave the cuffs off, as I didn't think these added much to the look of the shirt, and it's awkward to layer under cardigans!
I guess I'll have to wear it under coats instead!
This is my fourth project from my Sew Six list, although I have since completed my fifth!