Wardrobe Basics: Rachel Shirt

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One of the things that I have been planning on making for ages is one of the biggest wardrobe staples there is, a buttoned-up collared shirt. I have made a couple of shirts before and even a full-length buttoned shirt dress but never a “simple” shirt. When Seamwork released the Rachel Shirt I downloaded it straight away and printed it out, but I put it to one side to finish all the Christmas making. Searching through the stash for a good fabric to muslin the shirt in which would be suitable to wear afterwards if it did fit (which counts out the flowery duvet covers I normally use) Nikki reminded me that she had bought some Cotton Poplin from Tia Knight intending for me to be able to muslin trousers from it (but it was too lightweight). This proved to be a lovely if somewhat bright material!

The Rachel shirt has an inverted pleat in back of the shirt which I decided that I didn’t want so I made it up without which is a very simple modification, I just folded the pleat out of the pattern before cutting it out. I was slightly concerned as to whether there would be enough space for the hips since I had removed some of the volume from the bottom of the shirt but this didn’t seem to be an issue.

As you can see I even bothered to put the pocket on the front of the shirt – who actually uses them? I do like the front view of this shirt untucked, there is a little bit too much volume and a bit too much body to the material for it to sit very nicely when tucked in without a cardigan ontop. The sleeve length is good and they are not tight at all (win!) but comparing my version to the modelled samples I am wondering about sizing down next time and doing a small FBA, as the sleeve head drops down my shoulder slightly and it is generally a little big.

One area where it is definitely too big is the collar, this thing is oddly large on me. It doesn’t show up too much on its own, but from the side it seems to stick out a long way in front of my neck, and with the cardigan on it just looks comically wide (although I do have one more button undone). I mean it doesn’t look too bad and won’t stop me wearing the shirt but it did feel a little weird to wear and since I can modify it next time I will.

I am wondering about bringing the side seams in a little at the waist to give it more shaping, and possibly fisheye darts in the back, as I tend to like my shirts a bit more fitted than this. Since this fabric has such a good structure to it, it does tend to stick away from the body a bit more and so might benefit from some forced shaping. The next time I make it in a more drapey fabric I think the boxy shape will work fine as the drape of the fabric will let it form to the body more. The back view shows the extra space that I have in the shoulders more clearly, but the fit around the neck is lovely.

It is a shame that Tia Knight doesn’t seem to have this fabric in white otherwise I would have bought some more to make myself a simple crisp white shirt, but I am thinking that the next version will be in the flowery viscose from my Use Nine post and I am running this idea of extending the pattern to make a casual shirt dress from some oddly bright coral plaid fabric that I have in my stash.


5 thoughts on “Wardrobe Basics: Rachel Shirt

    1. Pippa Post author

      Yeah the fabric is a bit crisp, did make making the collar much easier but I have washed now washed the finished shirt so we will see if it softens up at all.

    1. Pippa Post author

      Lol yes no biros are going any where near that pocket…
      I’m going to wear it a bit and see how it behaves being washed a few times but realistically it will probably end up being taken in

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