Linen shirt and embellished Tencel trousers

Still no rain, well that’s not strictly true since we had 5 drips last week, not even enough to make it into our tanks. That might explain why white has become the most precious of colours. Goes with everything but one wear and she’s a little sad.

linen shirt copied from an old favourite Billabong shirt

This shirt has already been worn more than any of the others. It’s the dependable one, safe secure, not too ‘out there’. Not sure where I got the twill weave metreage, not sure if it was a gift or bought. Not sure what the fibre content is? Could be 100% linen or a linen/cotton mix. What I do know is the burn test proved it was plastic free, so it’s anyone’s guess. I just love this plain Jane as much as her predeccesors. Great fit, fab under a jumper or cardi or jacket. Can be dressed up or down, leave the cuffs open and long for that sloppy, “what this old thing?” vibe. Or do it all up and pop on a jumper to look stitched up and serious. BTW she’s the same pattern as the Billabong ripoff,  the gift that just keeps giving.


linen shirt back with 8mm vertical darts

Note the teeny tiny back darts, probably less than 1cm, more like 8mm. They serve to control that back boof I’m always lamenting, worth a try if like me you don’t enjoy the quasimodo back.


Tencel drawstring trousers with insertion

These self drafted trews were made using my pant block – derrr, sorry about stating the obvious! Tencel from Spotlight when their sale was on, not terrible fabric, but I’ve used better. The front pockets are great, deep and whoah – just had to insert the flower embroidery. I like that it peaks out and matches my nails. The side seam insertion was a bit tedious to draft, but I think it’s effective. From memory I positioned the insertion slightly forward of the side seam, it creates the illusion of a slimmer thigh maybe?


self drafted drawstring trousers

Back pockets were stolen from a favourite pair of jeans that died many moons ago. I should have taken clearer notes as to their position, because in this tush photo I seem to have set them too far apart.

Tencel trousers with pockets too far apart?


The Tencel drawstring trousers were a middle make – the interlude between many pyjama versions and my next version which is a pair of ‘you beaut’ fully swish, rayon/silk brocade-y asian inspired PJs. I will be fully ready for pyjama party invitations when they’re done! But the motivation to make swish nightwear is waning when I think of all the fun, pretty and practical summer things I could be making. Not that these 2 items aren’t practical, but I’m getting a bit bored with shirts and trousers by now. In fact last week my muse departed for a few days and I was seriously concerned as to where she’d gone – one had to resort to mending – luggage! The lady had apparently purchased too much duty free and the zipper couldn’t cope. Mended and sold in the Red Cross shop in a couple of days.


Mending a zipper on luggage for the Red Cross

Back to the grindstone… I’m willing the muse into existence.


Add yours →

  1. ARGH! I want to have this exact shirt fit without having to do all of the work. You are really inspiring me. I also want pants with colourful inserts for when I’m walking around Italy next spring. Great work! Still no bust darts in the shirt? (doesn’t seem like it). I really like the length and the side shaping (and the pockets, of course).

    • Affirmative dear Steph, no darts. I aim for about 10cm bust ease. This pattern is a beauty thanks to Billabong’s drafting, another shirt pattern I’ve used recently with no bust dart isn’t nearly as good a fit. I just can’t work out what the difference is? These pants were a wearable toile I suppose, in fact I’m wearing them as I write. But every time I get up I have to hitch my dacks up!! Next pants have to have a waistband and I’ve been toying with various insertion details – oooh, nice and breezy for an italian heatwave;) x

      • Ah exciting! As usual I am looking forward to the pants.

        You have me completely obsessed with getting a shirt fit like this. I tried on a wide array of my shirts last night and the one with the best fit is actually the Burda one with the FBA that I have been using as my ‘TNT’. That said, it still doesn’t have back darts (so has poufy back, which has never bothered me until now). It also has front bust darts which are not terrible, as long as the fabric is not too stiff, but I feel I’d like to try removing them. What your shirt has is more length in the back and a better shape through the waist (more shaping). I’m trying to figure out how to do this without messing up the pattern too much. I already feel as though the FBA (I did it in the `blog`way), by putting more room in the arm to bust area has made the sleeve curve a bit too sharp, so I get pulling in the sleeve. Very frustrating! I guess I just have to try a few toiles and see how it goes. A question though – where would you add a bit of length to the front. Some length was added when I did the original FBA but I feel as though another cm or so over the bust might help. 🙂

        Anyhow…keep sharing these awesome ideas. You really make me want to raise the bar higher, to make things I will truly love wearing rather than things that are acceptable but not 100% me. Thanks!

  2. The Perfect White linen shirt! There really is nothing better…
    And you do look slim, regardless of the side seam insert.

  3. I’m loving the shirts you’ve been sharing these last few posts. I haven’t quite figured out how to make a dartless FBA for myself that I’m happy with. Your many iterations of these shirts is giving me hope to keep trying!

    • I may have mentioned Joi Mahon’s fitting book in the past? She believes there are lots of places to add the fabric without the need for a bust dart. My problem is I couldn’t understand her explanations after 2 Craftsy classes and a fitting book, but you could try a library and see what you think of her methods?

  4. I love your blouse too! There is just nothing as perfect as comfortable, fitted but not TOO fitted white linen blouse. I have the linen and the blouse pattern(S)! now I just have to get to it. I’m on a knit kick at the moment but I’ve been missing my blouse projects – you’ve inspired me to get to it with this post! I like back darts too – I put them in EVERYWHERE even RTW if I buy a top. The first thing I do is look at putting in back darts 🙂

    • Which blouse pattern is your favourite Kathleen? I have to say this one is a beauty and yes, absolutely love the back darts. I’m the opposite, my knitting is languishing in a bag, started in January and I’ve only got the bit between mid armhole and neck to go but just can’t seem to motivate myself! X

  5. Linen and Tencel, two of my favorite fabrics! I love both makes, and the picket detail is fabulous!

  6. LOVE love love the white shirt! I want one just like it…but the thought of all those details is a bit too much for my brain.
    Also very fun spring’y pants for your waterside existence

    • Thanks Dodgy, hope the twincesses are fit and healthy. F went over the front of a car on his bike and is now the proud owner of 2 screws in his left thumb, it doesn’t sliw him down though! Shirts are a very gratifying sew to be really honest. They take a bit of time but Janet Pray on Craftsy uses some shortcuts, you’d get faster and anyway done is better than perfect apparently! X

      • We’re all good. Sorry to hear about F’s altercation with a car!
        Will have to get on the shirt-sewing wagon again :-). Once I can fit into them again!

  7. The both look great! I love the necklace, and that colour-matched corrugated drum… what IS that?!

    Great photos as usual – though we’re always left wanting to see more of you.

    • Ahah that’s an old water tank and the Princess spotted the colour reference! She made me kneel in front of it for photos, hence my leglessness! We used it as a vege planter but made the mistake of filling it with soil infected w nutgrass. The nutgrass thrived – the veges did not!! Where’s your blog at these days Marijana? Perhaps a “back by popular demand”? X

  8. Fabulous shirt, and extremely useful. Everyone should have that sort of pattern to hand. Sadly as you have shown it takes work to get there.
    The embroidery on the trousers looks great – and you will always have to have matching nails 😂.
    Looking good!

  9. They look simultaneously chic and comfortable. I love the red stripe down the side, sort of a “uniform” effect. Sharp!

  10. I especially love your white shirt!
    Is there a pattern associated with it?

    • Hi there, the pattern was ripped off (copied) from a RTW Billabong shirt I’d had for 15years. Have you perhaps got a favourite shirt you could copy? The key features of this one for me were the slightly forward yoke, it extends further forward than the shoulder seam. The rounded collar, which is easy to do to any pointed collar pattern, and the slim fit sleeves. Wishing you happy sewing 😉

  11. I love the red finishing touches on your pants. I have no clue where to put my back pockets and am really reliant on the pattern instructions. Your linen shirt looks like the perfect cool summer top.

  12. I’m amazed that Spotlight sells Tencel! I’m aussie but live in the UK- there is no Spotlight or Lincraft equivalent here I know of. Its a mega challenge trying to find some but I am trying to avoid having to get it shipped from a far flung place! Love what you’ve done with the embroidery.

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