Having just made a second version of the Tamarack I decided that now was the time to try a new to me pattern.
I was inspired by all the lovely versions of this shirt posted on Instagram. For the first ‘trial’ version I would use the remnant of Red/White gingham fabric that I had originally used for the binding on my first Tamarack jacket.
Q: How to make a complicated construction method even more difficult?
A: Use a ‘cheap’ loosely woven cotton with gingham weave, just so that it frays like ‘Billy O’ and is not ‘on grain’ so you can’t match up the checks.
As I knew that this shirt was oversized I cut the size 18 from the standard range. I am also aware that I don’t particularly like dropped shoulders but nevertheless I ignored those inner concerns – onwards and upwards!
I have made shawl-collared dresses and blouses in the past but never with the addition of a lined yoke and internal dart for shaping. Try as I might I could not decipher the written instructions so went with my gut and stitched the darts in the shirt and facing before attaching to the neckline and shoulder seams. That has worked out fine. I used the burrito method for completing the yoke and its lining – all without problems.
I inserted the sleeves flat using a French seam and having stitched the side seams also with French seam, turned up a 1½ inch hem. The hem of the shirt was narrow double turned and top stitched in place.
Having now had my final fitting I realised that the shoulder was far too dropped for my liking and the sleeves stick out like an American footballer. I will never wear this shirt. I found 5 Winter White-coloured buttons in my stash, completed the buttonholes, attached the buttons, photographed the completed shirt and ‘laid it to rest’ in the charity bag!
Conclusion: For me this is an absolute fail – lesson learned! However, I do plan to hack the pattern for the collar, facings and yoke onto my standard bodice block. That way I will end up with the collar and yoke detail that I like but without the voluminous shirt, dropped shoulders and massive sleeves.
Project no 7 completed 3rd February 2023