I Am… loving this Juliette shirt
Well hello, lovely sunshines. This is my first blog post for Sew Me Sunshine so I decided to go for a cotton lawn that I’d been eyeing up for a shameful amount of time. You know when you keep revisiting a fabric online so much that you think ‘if they’re checking website analytics they’ll see that some random keeps looking at the same fabric’? That was me with this cotton lawn. It’s bright and quirky and unlike any other I’ve seen, but truth be told, I couldn’t think what it could work with. It’s quite busy so a dress might be too much, and it’s a bit edgy so nothing overly girly would work, but then I came across the wonderful Juliette shirt from I Am Patterns. This shirt is preppy, comfy and versatile, and with a button-up back it would show off the print of the fabric perfectly. A decision had been made, huzzah!
The pattern is listed as intermediate, and the overall construction is very straightforward; it has a boxy shape so it starts off with just sewing straight lines - a doddle. The sleeves are a bit of a fiddle but went in ok, but the collar. Oh, the collar. This one part is what bumps it up from beginner to intermediate. It’s a really clever piece of pattern drafting, there’s no collar stand, you just cut four pieces and sew them together to make two pairs, you could do lovely contrast undersides if you fancy. Then, right sides together, you open up the collar piece and sew one side on, then flip, iron and stitch in the ditch. In theory this should be simple, but it took so much easing and manipulating the fabric, and in the end the centres didn’t meet so there’s a tiny bit of exposed raw material that I didn’t realise would be seen until I’d finished it. This will haunt me to the end of my days.
The fabric is so beautiful that I didn’t want to risk bodging it, so I made a wearable toile, and I’m so relieved I did! I measured up as a size 38 but it came up huge, literally hanging off me everywhere. For the real version I went down to a size 36, which is the smallest size the pattern offers. As you can see, it’s still very roomy, which is fine because it’s a boxy shape, but the shoulders are at the absolute widest I’d be able to wear them without having to unpick and narrow them. I’m 5ft 6, and although slim I’m not teeny tiny, so if you’re particularly petite you may need to be ready to alter the pattern; for my next one I’ll definitely take out a bit of the shoulder width.
As mentioned, the shirt buttons up at the back – a fun detail if you have nobody to help you button it up, but I assure you, it is possible! The fabric has a lot going on and I thought the best way to do it justice would be to make some self-fabric buttons and I love them! Who knew buttons could be so exciting.
Aside from the tiny flaw that I know nobody will notice but me (but it’s there!!! I know it’s there!), I LOVE this shirt and want to make loads more. You can squeeze it out of a metre of fabric so it’s perfect for using up larger offcuts or leftovers, it’s a great way to show off a statement print, and it can be styled loads of different ways.
Although I initially struggled with working out what patterns would show off this fabric to do it the justice it deserves, I can now see so many things that would be great! It would make a fantastic Stevie top or Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons, or staying on the shirt route a Kalle from Closet Case Patterns would be awesome, but for now, another Juliette is a must for me…
You can find me on instagram @the.polka.dot.palace. I was provided this fabric free of charge in exchange I wrote this blog post. I chose the fabric, and chose what pattern to use.