My top 5 shirt sewing patterns

Ask someone to imagine a shirt and they’ll no doubt picture a white button down work shirt. On the surface, they can seem a bit ‘samey’. But delve just a tiny bit deeper and we can see the shirt holds so much potential. I’ve sewn a fair few shirts and shirt dresses from independent sewing pattern brands, so here’s a round up of my top tried and tested patterns… 

Saraste Shirt and Shirt Dress from Named Clothing

This pattern is from Named’s book Breaking the Pattern. The book includes 10 patterns and each one has a number of variations. It’s a stonker of a book, well worth investing in. 

I’ve made a couple of versions of the Saraste shirt dress, and used the collar on a different shirt dress (the Honeycomb from CocoWawa Crafts). The construction is so clever, with continuous pieces right the way down the front of the dress, with gathered skirt sections either side. A totally unique way to reimagine the classic shirt dress.  

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Finally succumbing to the lure of pyjamas

I have always professed to have little to no interest in pyjamas or loungewear, so although they look great, those comfy hoodie, jogger and pyjama sewing patterns have never been on my sewing list. It took an almighty convergence of circumstances (and fabric) to bring handmade PJs into my life, but I’m sold, friends. Fully sold. Who knew pyjamas were so awesome? 

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Go shorty: Nina Lee Portobello Trousers-come-shorts

The Portobello Trousers by Nina Lee is a pattern I’ve had for ages but for some reason never got round to making. I’ve been getting more into trousers and separates, so the time was finally nigh to make some Portobellos! 

I’ve always struggled to get trousers to fit (maybe the real reason behind the Portobello-avoidance is coming to light), so I decided to toile these and make a pair of shorts to begin with. 

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Casper: the ultimate kids’ jumper

There are many basic slouchy sweatshirt sewing patterns out there, and I’ve found The One for children, in the form of the Casper sweater from WISJ patterns.  A family-run pattern company, WISJ (it’s the first initial of each family member’s name combined, in case you’re wondering) sells patterns to create your own fun, quirky, yet practical childrenswear.  

When talking about our aims for the year ahead on un:CUT podcast, I said I’d like to make more clothes for my family. Max is 3 years old, he’s a big lad, and finding clothes that fit him nicely is a bit of a mission. I decided to start with some projects for him, and came across WISJ on Instagram. Max has a builder’s bum that never lets up. Seriously, it’s just always there. Cue: the Casper sweater. With its dipped hem at the back, this sweater solves the issue perfectly!

Jumper: yes. Lockdown hair: not so much.
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