Sometime in autumn, I had the wonderful idea of making a shirt as a Christmas present. I’d made women’s shirts before like the Sew Over It Libby shirt, so how hard could it be?
I decided to go for the Sew Over It Hackney shirt as it looked like it had a nice slim fit and I trust Sew Over It patterns to be easy to follow. It also had the bonus of a video tutorial that comes with it. Fast-forward through December and I suddenly I had 3 days left to make the shirt before I was travelling for the holidays and hadn’t even bought any fabric. Fortunately I had this gorgeous Atelier Brunette viscose in my stash which had been earmarked for a dress but I was willing to let it become a present instead.
I made a size medium with no alterations. I’m afraid I don’t have photos of it on the recipient as they are a little camera shy so you’ll have to trust me that it fits well. The shoulder seams hit at a nice level and it is long enough to comfortably cover the belt if the person wearing it isn’t a tucker-inner.
I found the making process challenging but achievable. It was the first time I’d done a lot of these techniques like a collar stand, wrist placket and the entire shirt was made with felled seams.
The felled seams were a struggle in parts and some were more successful than others but I’m still viewing it as a success as I tried something new and I could see I was getting better at it the more I practiced. The seam on the left is the side seam which is still looking good after a few months of wear and the sea on the right is the pesky armhole seam which was a bit trickier. I’m sharing the messy one as I think it’s important to share that can be proud of something without it being perfect!
Another challenge were the cuffs. When I first looked at the cuff placket piece my mind was like WHAT. ON. EARTH?! as it is a bit scary looking. It probably would have been a useful point to use the video for reference but it had been so long since I got the pattern that I completely forgot the video existed. Despite this, I found the written instructions were really helpful and if I sat and concentrated I could do it with minimal stress.
This pattern is full of really lovely details that make it look professional like the pleat in the cuffs and the back yoke. The fabric was a little challenging to get perfectly pressed as viscose tends to be a slippery little devil but I think the pattern still works in this drapier fabric.
Another feature I love is the buttons. These were a lucky find in The Village Haberdashery which is my local sewing shop. They don’t have a large collection of buttons so I was thrilled when I found these navy ones with white dots on. I think they pick out the details in the fabric really well.
Now I wouldn’t recommend making this pattern to a deadline as it did make it fraught at times but it was worth it as it is very much loved. If you are new to shirt making and aren’t afraid to throw yourself in at the deep end with some new techniques this is a brilliant pattern to try. I think I’m going to give it another go and make a denim shirt for myself!