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!