You know when a project looks really different in your head to the final outcome? That’s what happened with my Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I completely misinterpreted the pattern of the fabric and the cut of the shirt, and ended up with an oversized, tropical-style shirt, entirely by accident. And I love it!
The fabric is a cotton voile that I bought at Spotlight a few years back for the princely sum of $6, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally got around to pairing it with the Blaire Shirt pattern. I felt the lightweight fabric would suit the summery style of the Blaire, though due to its weight and opacity I wouldn’t recommend it for the dress variation.
Style Arc is consistently reliable in their draft and I had no problems with the pattern itself. I’ve read some criticise the collar stand for seeming too short, but it’s my understanding the neck is to be eased to the stand (which worked perfectly for me). Due to the cropped style, I added 6cm length in total so I could pair the shirt with mid-rise pants, but I think it would look equally cute as drafted with high-rise jeans or a skirt.
I did, of course, take issue with the fabric, which I didn’t realise was a border print until I brought it home. And not any old border print, but one which had 3 different, repeating motifs down the selvedge which were not centred, leaving a bit of waste fabric on one side. So I had to be careful to cut each piece in a way that made at least some visual sense.
The pattern has an interesting design element: the bottom half of the shirt is constructed of an overlay, with a sharply curved hem, and a straight-hemmed underlay. Gaps in the waist seam form pockets. As cool as this design feature is, I realised soon after cutting out that the underlay would be really obvious due to the opacity of my fabric, and chose to use insets to fill the side seam curves instead.
I must have underestimated how lightweight the fabric was, because my usual choice of one layer of interfacing to stabilise the buttonbands was not quite enough. It won’t make a big deal in the wearability of the shirt, but for a more polished look I’d definitely interface the entire buttonband piece next time (and perhaps the collar and stand facings too).
Otherwise, sewing this shirt was smooth sailing, and I’m glad I finished it with some warm weather still to go. Though if these past few weeks are any indication, summer will last a long while yet!
Pattern: Style Arc Blaire Shirt and Dress
Pattern details: “Shirt: Square shaped shirt with rolled cuff and interesting overlay. Dress: Shirt-maker dress shirt tail and inset pockets.” Sizes AU 4-30, available as PDF download or print pattern.
Fabric: 2m x 138cm wide printed voile fern, multi, from Spotlight.
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing, 8 x 10mm shell buttons, from stash.
Mods: Size 12, shirt variation.
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment (just changed shoulder notch on sleeve cuff rather than redrawing curve)
– Added 3cm length to top and bottom pieces (6cm length total) – added straight to bottom pieces and slashed and spread top pieces at halfway point down waist
– Used insets for side seam hem curve instead of full underlay