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Laura’s I AM Barbara Shirt

With the Mini Box in December Laura used the 1m viscose fabric to make the I Am Patterns I Am Barbara Shirt.

I have got many shirt patterns in my repertoire, each offering something a little different. A unique design feature, an interesting construction, and different fits.

It wasn’t my first intention to make a shirt with the fabric this month. But as I was browsing The Foldline for inspiration as I usually do, I came across the I AM Barbara Shirt from I AM Patterns, and I was sold immediately.

The pattern comes with 3 types of flounces, as well as matching back flounces and a dress version. I went with the view with the medium flat flounces and decided to omit the back flounces. You could also skip the flounces completely and just have a plain shirt.

I only had a meter of this gorgeous blue viscose, and obviously it wasn’t enough to make the full shirt, but I knew I could make it impactful in that amazing flounce detail along the front. I wanted to tie in as much of it as possible, so I also used it for the back yoke, cuff plackets and the inner collar stand as well.

For the other pieces, I used a plain navy cotton lawn that I think matches so perfectly.

This was my first time trying a pattern from I AM Patterns. At times I found the instructions a little “over wordy” that confused me, but the illustrations were nice and clear, so thankfully it wasn’t too much of an issue. There is also a full sew-a-long on the I AM Patterns website which breaks down the steps with photographs.

The construction of the shirt was interesting and wholly different to any other shirt pattern I have made. To account for the flounce, the sleeves are cut into two half pieces. The sleeve heads are then attached to the respective front and back pieces separately, and then sewn together in one straight line along the top and shoulder, and bottom down to the hem.

The hidden button placket offers a little extra nice detail. My only trepidation was that neither placket was called to be interfaced. I went with what the pattern said and proceeded without. It feels ok albeit a bit flimsy for my liking. Next time I would add a couple of strips between the layers for some extra stability.

For the buttons, I went to my go-to place: Pigeon Wishes. The colours are obviously amazing and they’re just so nice and smooth. I suppose only fellow sewists will understand me on this one!

These are in the colourway “Roswell” which are beautiful blue, tan and white (and cheeky little flashes of bright pink!) which match so perfectly with the colours in the fabric.

Now that it’s’ finished, it inadvertently feels a bit Country and Western. Especially paired with my jeans and brown ankle boots! But I love it. I like that the collar isn’t super tight, so I can wear the top button fastened without feeling strangled.

Even though I have made many shirts, it feels so different to anything I have in my wardrobe.

Unfortunately, the sizing range isn’t very inclusive, but it is quite oversized so you could probably get away with it if you were a size bigger on the chart.