Not a Batman Shirt (By Hand London Sarah shirt tester)

Not a Batman Shirt (By Hand London Sarah shirt tester)

There are no words for how cold it was this day.
There are no words for how cold it was this day.

I was super stoked when Elisalex of By Hand London invited me to be a pattern tester. I was even more excited when I realized the pattern was the Sarah Shirt! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been in a bit of a shirt sewing frenzy. Recently I’ve done three flannels and two shirt dresses, with plans for at least four more in 2016. Perfect timing, ya know?

What up, black bra.
What up, black bra.

The Sarah shirt is a different than my flannels, for obvious reasons. Designed for soft, lightweight fabrics, it’s flowy and undeniably feminine. The pattern comes in a short sleeve and long sleeve variety, with collar differences. One of my goals for 2016 is to sew more work-appropriate clothing, so I opted for the long sleeve version. Also different, there is no collar stand used in this pattern! Combined with the rounded collar, no-fuss sleeve binding and cuff, the Sarah shirt is much less intimidating for beginner shirt makers.

Cool pleating looks off center, but…it’s not, promise.

Now…the fabric. It’s the Blue Bat Peach Skin from Girl Charlee. I have to admit, this fabric has a lovely hand and feels so luxurious against the skin. That said, I rarely sew with fabrics this lightweight, and man, it was a fucking bitch. It would shift every time I tried to cut it and flail wildly during sewing. Also, it shows pinholes, badly. All of this would probably not be news to someone accustomed to sewing this type of fabric, but I am not that person. At all. I also struggled with the buttonholes. My machine was just not having it, so…snaps it was! The button placket could be a lot smoother, but I’m blaming the button tragedy for that. I also struggled a bit with pressing. Recently, one of my dogs thought it would be cool to chew the plug off my iron. How nice! I’ve been using a very old, possibly antique backup iron while I figure out which iron to buy now. The backup doesn’t have a steam option and it’s a bit harder to get the temperature right, so I’m sure that has plenty to do with it. Iron suggestions are welcome!! Seriously, I have NO IDEA what to get. EDIT: I forgot to mention, I did French seams on this one. Ultra lightweight fabric=French seams, always. Derp.

Side view, always my least favorite.
Side view, always my least favorite.

I cut a UK 10/US 14 as the pattern directed, based on my measurements. As this is a loose fitting top, I’m sure you could cut a smaller size or grade it, for a tighter fit. I made no alterations to the pattern, as I wanted to test it as-is. That said, I should have added length to the arms, and perhaps the bodice. This is a standard alteration for me, and may not be necessary for you. Other than that, the fit was pretty spot on. I really like the look of the front pleats, and it’s so comfortable. I’m already picturing future Sarah shirts! Happy sewing 🙂

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