Chambray Jolene Shirt

It has been far too long since I have shared one of my makes with you! I was so excited when French pattern company Ready to Sew asked me to be a pattern tester for their new Jolene shirt / dress pattern. The pattern fitted my style perfectly. Gathers, peplum, a cinched waist and those sleeve tabs!

Fabric wise I decided to use up the rest of the chambray I picked up last year at a fabric destash market. I had originally planned to use this for an Alex shirt dress from Sew Over It, but after my failed Erin skirt attempt last year there was not a lot left.

I cut a size 32 and had no fitting issues. Construction wise the pattern is fairly straight forward, especially if you have made a shirt before. One of the things Ready to Sew does with their PDF patterns is include links to videos or blog posts to help you along the way. I found this very useful especially when I was sewing the collar / collar stand as I have never tried this technique before.

The way the shirt bodice comes together is quite interesting and not something I had seen before. The front and back side panels are curved, but become straight when you gather them. The gathers are definitely a feature on the shirt as there is quite a bit of it! I must admit gathering is one of my most hated sewing tasks as I can never seem to get it even, however I think it looks absolutely gorgeous in this shirt.

I absolutely love the length of the sleeves. I think it is super flattering and means I will get a lot of wear out of this shirt as the seasons transition.

I am also very happy with the collar / collar stand. I have only attempted a collar once before on my Deer & Doe Brùyere shirt but that didn’t turn out very well (somehow I lined it up all wrong!) I was a little bit worried about this bit but found the video they link to in the pattern very useful.

I decided not to add the buttons onto the collar as I knew I would never wear the top button done up and I think it sits fine just the way it is. The buttons I did choose for the rest of the shirt are too big but it was all I had and I didn’t have time order some more. I think they work okay although I had so much trouble with my button holes. I have no idea what was going on but I had multiple fights with my sewing machine and had to unpick quite a few (which is not easy!). Chambray is not the greatest material to unpick because it frays easily so I am not hugely happy with how the button holes turned out. I sewed the buttons on very last minute so they are not exactly lined up which means it does look like there is slight pulling on one side. I will go back and fix this up later.

One of the things I am really proud of with this shirt are the insides! I bias bound my seams for the first time and am so happy with how they turned out. I even used it on the hem and hand stitched it down so there are no stitches showing on the right side.

Overall I am really pleased with how this shirt turned out and I will definitely be making more. Next time I will make sure I have the right size buttons!



  1. April 2, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    I love this shirt, it gorgeous on the inside and the outside!

    • jessicalorraine
      April 3, 2017 / 7:37 am

      Thanks Anna! I am really pleased I took the time to bind the insides xx

  2. Janet Rodgers
    April 10, 2017 / 1:37 am

    Jess, you did a lovely job on your shirt and the finishing just gives it an edge. Your leggings fabric is gorgeous! Possibly shorten the crotch curve by putting a pleat in the pattern? Or the crotch curve isn’t deep enough, I’m no expert as my pattern came from unpicking a favourite pair of Marks & Spencer Maternity! I was past the pregnancy age/stage but the fit was great as was the fabric, probably what you would call a lightweight scuba nowadays, as I bought them almost 10 years ago. Other than a bleach mark they were/are still perfect, except they’re unpicked! They have a waistband, but not one added, done with 1.5″ or 2″ elastic which looks like a waistband anyway, and is so much easier to do (plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do the waistband, just look under girls or even toddler leggings) or add a yoga waistband! Your jumper is really lovely! I’m partial to Fair Isle, especially being Scottish. I really fancy seeing you do a mid grey/cream, but you can’t go wrong with Navy/cream, either would be lovely in that classic which never goes out of style! My Granny was a great knitter and was especially good at Fair Isle. She used her circular needles for just about everything, or really long needles that tucked under her arms, looked weird, but she maintained that her hands weren’t taking as much weight and she could knit faster! I think the name changes were the sensible route to take, and will hopefully save you a little time long term, which you can use wisely on the occasional weekly Vlog! Sian of Kittenish Behavior does a terrific job, and I don’t know about others, but I love watching someone sew! Even when its speeded up. Of course I subscribed immediately to your new Vlog/Blogs! I can’t stop watching now? I look forward to them too much!!

    • jessicalorraine
      April 16, 2017 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you for your reply & tips x

  3. Michele Svedberg
    April 16, 2017 / 12:52 am

    Love this in the chambray. Beautiful job. About the bias…did you use a bias tape maker and if so what brand. I need to invest in a set.

    • jessicalorraine
      April 16, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Thank you so much! I am so happy with it. Yes I did use a bias tape maker – it was just a set from eBay. Less than $20 got me the bias binding foot, 4 bias tape makers, and awl & pins x

  4. Charlotte Forcer
    May 14, 2017 / 11:06 pm

    This is gorgeous! I am making one right now. I saw your version on Instagram but hadn’t read this post. I came across your blog as I was looking for tips about the collar too. I’m a bit confused by the fact the under-collar is smaller than the collar: they say to stretch it but it looks like there’s too much difference between the two… Oh well, I shall just have a go and get the seam-ripper ready just in case I mess up!

    • jessicalorraine
      May 15, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      Thank you Charlotte! I saw your version the other day – it looks gorgeous. Your collar looks amazing! xx

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