Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Sketchbook shirt

My favourite pattern company, Oliver + S, put out three new patterns recently, the ice-cream dress (I have made and blogged the blouse version), the music class blouse and skirt, and the sketchbook shirt and shorts. I was most excited about the ice-cream dress and thought the Sketchbook pattern was 'nice', but on the whole I find boys' patterns a little dull.

However I've just made up the sketchbook shirt and I am in love! In fact I think it may be my new favourite pattern. The resulting shirt is certainly the garment I am most proud of. It just looks so professional and I am still a little bit amazed that I sewed it. I never would have imagined I was capable of it when I started sewing last year.

A great thing about this pattern is that you can mix and match options. I chose a short-sleeve, pocket and regular collar (there is also a variation with a Chinese collar). I think it's the most casual combination.

The construction was straightforward but I did get to spend some quality time with my unpicker, making sure the collar attachment and set-in sleeves were perfect - well as perfect as possible for me.

The finish is great. It's so neat that it could be worn inside out. I've never made a shirt before so don't know if all shirts are like that, but I suspect it has something to do with the Oliver + S clever construction techniques. I added the optional top-stitching to the yoke and collar. I love top-stitch :-)

I finished the shirt with varnished wood buttons. I like them but worry they are a little big. I may change them tomorrow... The fabric is quite heavy so the interfaced placket is pretty thick and looks a bit clunky with the buttons.

Speaking of the fabric, it's 85% cotton and 15% linen by Trefle from Kokka. If you read this blog regularly you'll know I'm a big fan of novelty prints, but I have never before made a whole garment out of one. I think (hope!) this is successful because the colours are quite muted and the basecloth is natural.

The shirt is sz 12-18 months and is currently a little big for my son. I really hope he grows into it soon as I intend for him to wear it to his first birthday party in September, and then over Summer.

I am already eyeing off other fabrics to make a few more of these shirts for him.

The front. Photo taken in artificial light, making it a bit yellow.

The back. Love the little pleat.

Varnished wood buttons. Love the buttons but wondering if they are too clunky on the shirt.

I love the inside as much as the outside. As with all O+S patterns the construction leaves a beautifully clean finish.


  1. Your shirt is beautiful well done you.

  2. beautifully done!!!

    I am going to attempt the sandbox pants very soon- You have given me the courage to attempt an Oliver + S!!!

  3. Just looking at the picture, the buttons look great! I wouldn't change them :)

    a very handsome shirt, all together!

  4. I agree with Heather...don't change a thing! It looks great!

  5. The shirt is gorgeous, so is the rest of your blog!

  6. Very nice shirt! I will be making a Sketchbook shirt for my little guy very soon!