Breaking the Pattern – Saraste shirt

front closeup

I am in love with this shirt. It is by far the prettiest I’ve ever sewn – fit, details, drafting, rave on…


Fabric: Kaufman Kona cotton from JoAnn. Buttons: Akoya shell from Wawak.

Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size 3, long-sleeve shirt without the shoulder vent,
  • And increased all my seam allowances to 5/8″.
  • Collar: Using the suggestions in the workbook, I decide to draft a long pointed collar. It’s so pretty! I’ve always been uneasy with collars, but this one is something  else. BTW, the collar on Named’s Reeta shirtdress was just awful, kind of ruined the dress for me (post here) but the ladies have really perfected this feature, this collar goes on like a dream.

Pointed collar

A tip: using a template to draw the curve at the collar band really helps.

Collar template

  • Sleeve: The original sleeve was very narrow and short, and kind of grabbed when I lifted my arm. I drafted  and cut out a new one with a few adjustments.
    • Added 1″ to the length.
    • Moved the side seam out 1″ at the hemline and re-drew the side seams and vents, resulting in a more commodious sleeve.
    • Dropped the curve in the hem edge by 1/2″ at the highest point, and re-drew the bottom edge.
    • Gathered the sleeve into the cuff for a nice soft finish.

sleeve bottom

A comparison of my original sleeve, and the new one I drafted:

Sleeve compare

  • The front princess seam…for my smaller girls, I flattened the curve on the side front by a scant 1/4″. This is an easy adjustment that really works.
  • Armscye: It’s very high and shallow.
    • Moved the shoulder out by 3/8″ and deepened the armscye by 3/8″ at the bottom, trued up each side.
  • Blouse:
    • Added 1/4″ to the side seam allowances at the waist marking (the blouse is very nipped at the waist) and trued the change up and down.
    • Did not face the back yoke, keeping it light and airy.


Between the Utu skirt (posted here) and the Saraste shirt, I’ve gotten more pleasure and fun than I ever anticipated!




Rock on! Coco

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