Spring Sewing: SHIRTS!

Spring Sewing: SHIRTS!

Stenciled linen shirt by Leslie Gelber

I'll always make shirts..... every season, it is my hands-down favorite garment.

In addition to endless re-makes,  I'm always checking out new shirt patterns and revisiting some of my own. Seeing this linen version of my Nuevo Shirt Pattern #109, by Leslie Gelber has me inspired to revisit the pattern, explore some of the variations and create some new shirts. Leslie used a unique printed linen (the printed design is a flat pair of old jeans) to which she added her own twist: stenciled details and covered buttons from the same stenciled fabric. Great choice: A bold move with successful results! Leslie used my Big Hopper Stencil to accent & play into the print.

Sleeve detail on Leslie's shirt 

Pattern Details- My basic shirt silhouette has an asymmetric shaped collar, an inset pocket, 1-sided cuff and 2 front bodice variations. Here are several shirts I created with the Nuevo Shirt pattern. Hand-dyed silk noile and contrasting rayon give this one in pinks a more dramatic look. Button placement changes

Button placement changes the look of the front the look of the design. For a personal look, remember to place the buttons where they most flatter your shape. I added some stenciling at the shoulder and down the sleeve center. The buttons also hold the drape in the piece, so there are some great shapes possible. The pattern is a canvas for your design ideas. Layering fabrics: One of my favorite fabric combos in the shirt below: 3 solid linen colors and textures, a printed quilting cotton and white silk organza.

I stenciled the underlayer (of quilting cotton) with the Eycalyptus Stencil and the organza outer layer with the Bugs in Flight. I cut the cotton front using the regular, flat front option (I added the a shaped edge).Next, I wrinkled the organza on top...pressing the wrinkles down for more interest. A collection of buttons became surface design as well as the closure of the shirt. The collar is one layer of printed silk organza with a thin binding from the quilting print finishing the edge. I like to add interest by changing the shape at the hem and added some extra seams too. The second front option has a unique, inset pocket design too.

Collar Design Ideas-  The pattern comes with 2 collar designs. Either end of the asymmetrical collar in the pattern can be placed on the fold, allowing for 2 different symmetrical options. You can also recut the top edge to change the shape. I layered 2 collars together on this blue stenciled shirt. After brush painting with copper...I stenciled with the Deco Bird Stencil in the turquoise to create the surface design.  I also folded the original collar and used it as a cuff instead!!!

Remember, most limitations are in your mind.....and new design is about fresh thinking. 

Double collar with new shaped edge

Collar? Cuff?!

Pattern Changes for more Nuevo Garments-
Here are some easy ways to create variations with your Nuevo Shirt Pattern. These pattern design ideas I've sketched out for you are available. Click here to get it: Nuevo Pattern Ideas Download.

To create a rectangular shape with the pattern, slash and add a vertical strip (shown in pink). This shape will look great with an irregular hem.

To create a long rectangle: The shirt can be lengthened into a 3/4 vest or coat by cutting across the bodice front and back pieces (in the lower half), and adding extra width.

Another variation would be to slash & spread, as shown, to create a flared  'A' shape  in the bodice. This process could be added just in the back or in both the front and the back. If you lengthen the shirt, the A-line could be a dress. I am making a short, shrug-style jacket with the Nuevo next!

I'd love to see the ones you create this spring!


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1 comment

I love the way you can “manipulate”fabric. When your newsletter comes I read it and imagine what I can do.
I would just love to take a class or several. My nerve to “try” ideas is weak. Oh, and I know my sewing skills don’t match up- to yours. But I still dream.

Carole Paramore

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