Hot! The “Chambray – it’s so hot right now!” Shirt | Sarah Gabbart

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Liverpool400 Fabric: Chambray fabric – fabric.com (2.25 yards at $7.98 a yard); Floral fabric scraps from my stash.

Pattern: Amy Butler Liverpool shirt ($15.95)
Year: c. 2009
Notions: Vintage buttons – $1
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: January 2011
Wear again? Absolutely!

Total Cost: ~$35

Chambray. It's so hot right now. Chambray. Like the iPhone before it, I resisted the trend for a great number of weeks until waking up one day jonesing for a fix. A fix of soft blue cotton. I had to have it – NOW!

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Thankfully, the ladies and I had an assignment that fit perfectly with my misson. After perusing some of my favorite shops,  J.Crew had a chambray shirt that would be a perfect source of inspiration!

After the fun part of "window shopping" (can you window shop online? Would it be monitor shopping?!) began the grueling process of narrowing down which pattern I wanted to use for this project. I landed on the Liverpool shirt from Amy Butler because it has three things I was looking for:

  • Classic button down style
  • Stand up collar
  • Long hip length (good for tucking in or leaving out!)

I can tell you folks that I was ready to kiss Amy Butler on the face after last week's vintage instruction meltdown. She is just so dang clear on what needs to be done! I will definitely be doing this pattern again – next time as a shirtdress! 

Collar detail Now there's the problem of getting some good chambray in shirting weight. With no source locally, Fabric.com has once again come to my rescue with exactly what I was looking for at a pretty good price. *Helpful tip: when working with chambray, iron the heck out of it before cutting – it tends to bunch together and will stretch out as you press pieces later, making them longer than they should be. 

Now to the details – I love little unexpected pops of personality in simple garments, which is why I decided to pimp this shirt out with some flowers. On the inside collar stand, the bottom of the collar and the inside of the cuffs with Regent Street Lawn (a total imitation of Liberty of London's classic Tana Lawn fabric – they're not hiding it either, Liberty is on Regent Street!)

The vintage buttons were a find from a bin at work for $1 (SCORE!), and the added details of floral fabric on the collar and cuffs were scraps from my fabric stash (the cuffs are rolled up in all these photos to show off the floral-ness, but are plain chambray on the other side). 

Construction was decently easy and I had no Sarah-related mishaps with the directions – I'm considering this a win after two projects full of my self-inflicted issues! Because this pattern has a bunch of pieces and steps (like topstitching), it took about 6 hours from cutting to completion. This includes sewing on the buttons by hand, which is my least favorite part of anything for some reason. It's like the washing dishes of sewing to me. I HATE doing it. Yet I keep picking things with like 50 buttons on them – go figure!

After trying this bad boy on, I can tell you that I will be living in it when the weather gets warm again outside (it's threatening to snow here this week – can you believe it?!)! Chambray shirt: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Do you have any tried and true wardrobe pieces that you can't live without? Tell us in the comments!

 

Shirt on form

Author

Sarah Gabbart

22 Comments

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  1. I love it! Especially the flower detail and vintage buttons. You’re a pro at buttons now, right? ;) I’ve had my eye on that Amy Butler pattern for awhile now but have resisted the temptation. Don’t think I can hold out any longer. It has a flattering shape plus looks super-comfy. Yep, you sold me. (the words “clear directions” are like magic to me.) Now I’m going to have to make one too.

  2. It looks SO comfy! I love that you used a sweet contrast fabric for the inside of the collar and cuff. Most importantly, it looks great on you!

  3. It looks SO hard, and you’ve made it so easily! Well done! I’m thinking I’ve got to make more collars, and things with buttons. I’ve got to extend myself!
    You look so darling in the garden!

  4. It’s FABULOUS! I love the longer length. I’ve never sewn with Chambray but it looks wonderful to work with (and good hint about ironing it lots first…I will remember that!)
    ALSO love the Liberty of London contrast! I love shirts–they are so versatile!

  5. You look great in that, Sarah!

  6. I really like this! It is practical and at the same time flattering and pretty.

  7. this is great – fantastic work! You look so comfortable :)

  8. I mistook you for Audrey Hepburn in that picture!

  9. I am so glad to see you use an Amy Butler pattern as I used one this week and felt a bit guilty, not sure why! I love the shirt, it’s very cute. Great photos too.

  10. I love it. That is my kind of shirt. I love Tunic’s and I was thinking making some along the lines of Tracy Porter’s. I will have to check out Amy Butler too.

  11. Thanks guys! This was my first traditional shirt and I was super worried about the piecing of all the little parts – the collar, etc. It was surprisingly easy – much easier than I thought it would be.
    Also, I have a love for Amy Butler patterns – they’re not always my taste, but the ones that are have been really well put together and easy to complete, none of that vague directions business!

  12. Dude – after the past two weeks in directions purgatory, I’m so relieved to see something that’s clear!

  13. I have this pattern and was wondering how the sizing is. Did you have to make any alterations and what measurement did you go off of for the size? I ask these questions because I mostly only sew for the kids so that I don’t have to worry about measurements but I really want to make this shirt for me and am really freaked out by adult patterns. Help!

  14. Hey Tori! I totally feel you on this – sizing is always my enemy! I cut a medium in this and it fits like a glove – a month ago, it would have been too tight, but thanks to a fitness bootcamp my stomach is a bit flatter now (yesss!)
    I have started checking out the finished measurements of a pattern (this will include wearing ease, etc.) for more accurate measurements. I’m a 36″ bust and a 42″ hip (pear shaped!) so if the garment is less fitted in the hip (say the ease is enough for the finished width to be like 42.5 or 3) I just cut for the bust size. If it’s going to be too close, I’ll grade my pattern between sizes (i.e. trace the top parts for a 36″ size and then draw a line, usually in the waist area, to the 42″ hip size).
    Here’s a few helpful articles I’ve found (warning – the first one is a bit “mathtastic”):
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4368/making-sense-of-pattern-grading
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4964/choose-the-correct-pattern-size

  15. Sarah: I freaking LOVE sewing on buttons – probably because it is the only sewing-related skill I am capable of. I will happily sew your buttons for you any time :)
    (why does that sound weirdly like a euphemism? cause it’s not.)

  16. I have a few pieces of chambray in my stash and I thank you in advance for your ironing instruction.
    Cheers.

  17. Good luck – it’s a beautiful fabric and sooo comfy!!

  18. I love the hair flower! You look so graceful. :-)

  19. Thanks for telling me about the Liberty knock-off fabrics. Those I can afford!

  20. margueritedesigns

    A good way of using up lovely little bits of fabric. Like it!