I love white shirts. I always feel crisp, clean and efficient in them. But I was looking for a pattern with a little more flair than just a plain, tailored one. Also, I have (ahem) reached that time of life where I am better off with patterns that, as one sewing maven once tactfully phrased it, “take their shape from the design of the garment rather than from the body underneath it.”
Enter the Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt.
I have made a number of Linda Lee’s Sewing Workshop patterns, and have never encountered one that didn’t go together like a dream. She is an absolutely top-notch draftsperson—something that cannot be said of all independent designers—and she uses techniques that are a pleasure to do and provide wonderful results. The Liberty Shirt was no exception.
The fabric is a finely-woven yet substantial cotton gabardine weave, with just a bit of Lycra. It came from (sob) Santa Fe Fabrics, where I bought it at the going-out-of-business sale. (I still can’t talk about it. The loss is too painful. Pass the Kleenex, please.)
It went together a treat. I love the mitered hem (rather a trademark of Linda’s), and the vented cuff is a piece of cake compared to all the folderol you have to go through to make a conventional buttoned cuff on tailored shirts. And the straight front and flared back conveniently provide the shaping so that my elderly body doesn’t have to.
The “trouble,” insofar as there is any, has to do with the fabric selection. Because it has body to it, it wears almost like a jacket; in fact, many people have made this pattern as a jacket rather than a shirt. But since it’s white, I feel a bit like a chef or a bellhop in it. So when I wear it, I will be sure to bedeck it with scarves or jewelry, so as not to be mistaken for the caterer. The next time I make this pattern—and there will definitely be a next time—it will be in a nice Japanese cotton, or linen, or silk noil, or…
It is being modeled by my long-suffering friend, Mildred. Though she is the most uncritical of friends, she requested that she be able to wear a necklace and stand in front of a quilt, because she didn’t want to look like the bellboy, either.