Fabrics-Store Noa ‘big’ shirt

Oh, the pleasure of the classic big shirt!

Finding this beautiful pattern was not easy, even with all the search options we have online. I happened on it one day while exploring ‘indie women’s blouse sewing pattern’ on Pinterest. Following the link, I was on the Fabrics-Store site! I’ve often looked at their linens, but didn’t realize they offer an incredible array of patterns. The real stunner: this pattern is free.

The pattern description doesn’t include line art or measurements, but the fabric/measurements/sizes table is available in the download file. Sizes XS – 4X!

Things I love:

  • The bust, waist, and hips are all the same measurement. This shirt is not curvy – if I wanted curvy, I wouldn’t be looking at big shirts.
  • The hemline is deeply curved and gorgeous.
  • The yoke and collar are proportionate to a woman’s frame.
  • It has a one-piece sleeve with a continuous-bound placket and one-button cuff. I think it’s elegant.
  • Well, I love the whole thing.

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the Medium (8/10), which has bust/waist/hips of 46.5″, and is 28″ long at the center back. (for reference, I’m 5/8″, 34/30/39).
  • I used Kaufman Brussels washer linen, 2.5 yards @ 52″ wide. The fabric requirements for my size suggest 2 yards, but, in the small print there’s a caution against shrinkage. Linens and linen blends shrink as much as 10%, hence the extra .5 yard. And I didn’t end up with much in the way of scraps!
  • For interfacing, I used Pellon 950F shirtailor (collar, stand, cuffs) and 911FF lightweight fusible (button bands).
  • The pattern includes 3/8″ seam allowances, but I drafted my tissue at 1/2″ SA. IMHO, 3/8″ is suitable only for knits.
  • I used the left bodice pattern, with its cut-on button band, for both sides.
  • Little tip: as preparation, I serged the edges of my cut-out pieces with a long 1-needle stitch to prevent losing seam allowances to the ravels. It’s super easy to remove the serging as needed – just locate the needle thread and pull 🙂
  • Buttonholes: I never use a button in the collar stand. It’s all vanity – I have a big head and skinny neck, and a button under my chin does me in mentally. Instead I place my first buttonhole 1 1/2″ below the collar stand. Oh, another tip – you can do those buttonholes before you do anything else, instead of waiting to the end.
  • The tutorial has great instructions for that pretty hem:
  • But their suggestions for attaching the yoke are kind of silly. Give me a burrito any day:

I want more!! Just the best big shirt ever 🙂

Ciao! Coco

13 thoughts on “Fabrics-Store Noa ‘big’ shirt

  1. I made this shirt a few weeks ago and love it! I made it in 3.5 oz linen from the Fabrics-Store in shadow gray which is actually a light dusty pink. I also used the burrito method. I will probably sew it again for myself or someone else and I will try your hack for skipping that button band piece. I am currently making their Jade shirt pattern(similar but with a mandarin collar, also free on their website) in 3.5 oz bleached linen. There are a few problems with the Jade pattern which I was able to deal with and I had just sewn the Noa and referred back to that pattern. Thank you Coco!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The collar was 2-3” too long, the button band was about a 1/2” too short and the front and back side lengths differ by about an inch. There was no bias sleeve placket pattern piece so I used the piece from the Noa. 😉


  2. I love your shirt. It a really great collar too I think.
    I have been eyeing off those free patterns for ages but never looked at the shirt, but I like this so much on you and I think I’ll have a go at it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous Coco! (As always.)
    This is the shirt I have been looking for a few summers.
    I quite literally wear this shirt daily, all summer long with a flowy, loose tank/cami. After 24+ hours of abdominal surgeries, I can’t endure any clothes touching my skin; and I have been searching (dreaming of) for a few years now(since I haven’t been able to find one retail).
    Beautifully made, and worn Coco. I can see your love for it in your body language.

    Liked by 1 person

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