Butterick 5615 Work Shirt

This year I’m starting to venture back to the office and even down to Melbourne for work so I’m wanting to add some more colourful, comfortable work shirts to my wardrobe. I’ve also had a heap of really beautiful cotton prints in my fabric stash, so I don’t even need to purchase any new fabric.

Pattern: Butterick 5615 Top
Fabric: 100% cotton
Pattern Level: Advanced Beginner

This pattern is a really cute and very flattering style. It can be made in a number of different layouts, as shown below. I ended up making the short sleeve with the plain front.

I found the only complicated part to this was the front bow. It was a bit tricky to get it to sit right and you have to be careful not to stitch incorrectly and avoid damaging the front panel. However, once you have that sorted the rest is very simple. The collar and front is fully lined and turns out very well made.

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern and overall it turned out exactly as I had imagined from the pictures.

The other shirts that I have in my sewing line up for the upcoming months are shown below! Let’s see how many I can actually get completed. I’ve also been loving getting back on Pattern Review and doing some research on patterns and outfits to add to my sewing queue.

Would love to hear if you have any favourite shirt patterns! There are just so many to choose from!

Happy Sewing – Erin

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McCalls M7789 Tie Front Dress

I’ve been wanting to sew this dress for a while now and seen so many beautiful versions of it on Instagram. This pattern has a number of variations too so they all look completely different from each other. I purchased this Cotton Sateen fabric from DK Fabrics that I have been holding out to use, wanting to find the perfect style of dress. I’m glad I did, as it worked amazingly and is so soft and comfortable to wear.

I started my tester dress by just using the bow tie front, shoulder straps and the skirt pattern pieces. However, when I gathered the skirt it felt too bunched and it didn’t sit well on me. So I’ve changed it up and still using the skirt pattern I just removed the extra width to the skirt (removing the gathered section). This then created a slim-fitting skirt pattern instead. I also found it strange that you had to try and tuck the top of the skirt top part under and it just felt a bit messy on the inside and not very well lined. To fix this I just cut out a strip (along the top of the skirt) to line the back and stitched it at the same time as the skirt to top piece.

Description: Close-fitting dress with a tie-front bow and slim fitting skirt with back zipper.
Pattern: McCalls M7789 Dress
Fabric: Cotton Sateen Dress & Lined Shirt – DK Fabrics

The only issue with the bow at the front is it’s hard to find the perfect bra to wear with it. You could end up lining the inside of the top with some padding, which would remove the use of wearing one. Or if you’re like me, you could just just tie the bow really tight and wear a strapless bra anyway.

I loved the style of this dress so much I ended up cutting out a shirt version to wear with jeans. I had the most gorgeous linen fabric in mind, so I jumped straight to it and made this pink version. It’s crazy to think I originally used this fabric for a Baby Doll Dress when I was 18. This was probably one of my first sewing projects that I completed with my mum.

There is so much inspiration on insta for this pattern that will want you creating your own version! Just search the tag #M7789. You can also see the different ways you can mix and match the top and bottom parts.

Each year I usually try to find new patterns to test out, some of which never even make it to my blog. I think this year, given how little I’m going to work or out socially, I’ll probably just stick to a goal of using the fabric that I have in my stash and creating the garments that I already know and love.

Thank you for reading!

Happy sewing

Erin xx

Christmas Shirt by BurdaStyle

Firstly, Happy New Year! I haven’t been able to blog for a while but I wanted to take everyone back to Christmas! It was only a month ago and has to be one of my favourite times of the year. Everyone is so excited and winding down for the holidays and it’s usually when I get a few weeks off work and get to spend the holidays seeing my family and friends.

Last year we starting to slowly make our way back to office for work and luckily I was able to meet up with my colleagues for a Christmas party right before the next wave of Covid came through. To celebrate this I made myself a Christmas themed work shirt from Disney Mickey Mouse fabric I purchased at Spotlight.

Pattern: BurdaStyle Button up tunic
Fabric: Spotlight Disney Fabric
Fabric Type: 100% cotton

There are so many ways to dress up a Christmas work shirt. I purchased Christmas earrings, a red bow for my hair and wore Christmas themed scrunchies around my wrist. Below is a photo of the day I went into the city for one of the first times all year!

This pattern is really easy to make and apologies I can’t seem to locate the pattern on the new BurdaStyle website. However, there are loads of similar patterns online. I’ve made this pattern a few times you can see more on my Button Up work shirts post, where I made an entire collection when I first started working in the city. You can easily find some bright, fun fabric that will make people ask you where you got your shirt from. I can safely say I was one of the brightest people in the city that day and got a lot of positive comments on my shirt.

I’ve been back at work for nearly a month now and it’s bitter sweet that they holidays went so quickly. But it’s nice to look back and reminisce on the amazing break and look forward to the next one. Above is a photo of my nephew and I wearing matching Kmart shirts on Christmas day! I decorated my garden and backyard so we could take some photos this year.

If you wanted to create a work shirt similar, I’ve also done a how-to on how to easily stitch on the buttons! Hopefully this latest round of Covid will die down soon and we may be able to make it back to the city for work. While I love working from home I do miss the social aspect of seeing my colleagues each day! However, it’s certainly encouraged me to look at my goals and mindset and ensure I stay motivated and challenged.

Late last year I completed an 8 week challenge which made me focus entirely on my health and fitness, something I hadn’t done in a while. I was so amazed at how great this experience was, meeting new friends, it got myself out of the house each day where I got to see my sister and over the 8 weeks I lost a total of 5kg! Now I’m making exercise and my HIIT classes part of my weekly routine. This year I’m hoping to focus on goals that will help me learn and grow. Here are some snaps from my challenge!

This is something I was super proud of and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to feel healthier and fitter! Now I can sew outfits for myself, while feeling good about myself and my body. I’m really looking forward to an exciting new year and hope to post some of my latest creations for you soon!

Happy Sewing!

Erin xx

Burdastyle Checked Button-Up Shirts

Description: This chic button-up blouse can be cut short to wear with a skirt or pants or made long to be worn with leggings. It features dramatic cuffs and darts for a flattering silhouette.
Material: Linen blend from Lincraft
Pattern: BurdaStyle Button Up Tunic

This is the second lot of business shirts that I’ve made with this pattern, so I’ve got the style fitting perfectly now. The final version has shorter sleeves and a longer shirt length. You can also see my first lot of BurdaStyle business shirts online.

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BurdaStyle Button Up Shirts

Description: This chic button-up blouse can be cut short to wear with a skirt or pants or made long to be worn with leggings. It features dramatic cuffs and darts for a flattering silhouette.
Material: 100% cotton material
Pattern: BurdaStyle Button Up Tunic

I’ve been slowly growing my work wardrobe but I don’t think you can ever have enough work shirts for a bit of variety. Therefore, when I recently got a new job working back in the corporate environment, I decided to make some fun, flattering work shirts.

Burda-Work-Shirt-01Gotta love my little pug baby – star of the show

I originally cut out a Vogue shirt pattern that I had made previously with sheer, see-through fabric, however it was a bit too big to use with 100% cotton material. So I opted for a more fitted style shirt by BurdaStyle, which included vertical side pleats on the front and back.

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I ended up making these shirts in quarter and short length sleeves. I cut a size 40, which fit well but I still had to drastically take in the darts to get it to sit perfectly.

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The first four shirts were from material I had in my fabric stash, as it only needed 1.5 meters for the shorter length.

However, I loved the pattern so much I went to spotlight and got some really retro, fun designs with matching buttons.

Now for some really out-there fabric, which you will find in the cotton lawn section at Spotlight, mostly for children (hehe). Cactus, flamingos and lamas lol!

Buying the 100% cotton fabric from Spotlight (on sale for about $7 a meter), plus the buttons (costing about $4 – 8 for 10) these shirts worked out to be about $15 – $17.50 each. Not that bad considering my latest Portmans shirts were $79 each! These shirts are long enough to wear with pants but also perfect with high-waisted skirts!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed! Happy Sewing!

xx Erin xx

My Sewing Archive

It’s crazy to think I’ve been sewing now for a little over five years. I first started my old blog back in 2012 and that was to showcase learning how to sew, discovering new patterns, testing and trialling different fabrics and making heaps of mistakes! However, without going through that process I never would have been able to learn what fabric types I liked the most and what pattern styles suited my body shape. I was also able to learn the basics of sewing including how to cut a pattern, how to following instructions, how to use my machine and importantly, how to modify patterns to suit my own figure. Even though I still make mistakes, I’m more confident in my pattern and fabric choice to be able to create outfits that I’m proud of wearing.

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So I thought I would showcase some of my first sewing projects, some I wore, and some I basically took straight down to the local op-shop. However, I feel that no matter what, it was a great learning experience being able to discover a fun and rewarding hobby.

Luckily, I even made a glossary of what these patterns were and can now look back and indicate what patterns I would love to resew in my current sizing.

I believe this process of learning how to sew is a really important one. You might start off with smaller patterns including children’s clothing, toys, quilts, tops and dresses like I did. Either way, you have to be patient and keep persisting in achieving what you want out of this hobby. I started out on a Janome 6260, which is still running strong and now I’m sewing with a Brother NV1300, which I absolutely love.

These days there are some really great resources available to help everyone excel at this hobby. Some of the beautiful books that helped me learn how to sew included the Colette Sewing Handbook, Vogue Sewing, The BurdaStyle Handbook, Love at first stitch and so many more! Plus, there are endless pattern companies out there to suit all types of body shapes. When I first started sewing I actually found it difficult to find a modern, young style of pattern but now we’re spoilt for choice, with indie pattern companies popping up everywhere. With the addition of Craftsy online learning and Youtube it’s so much easier to learn how to sew without spending anything (apart from fabric and notions of course)!