There is very little love lost between me and classic white shirts.  I’m not a fan.  I’ve never found one that I like.  I usually sweat in the fabric, there’s all the gapey business with buttons, and they never define my waist.

But as I’ve sewn, I’ve come to the conclusion that buttoned shirts need not be unfeminine…I’ve just needed to find details that I like and I can work on the fit for the rest.

The tie neck and flutter sleeves on my Watercolor Splash Blouse for instance take this well out of the realm of man’s garment:

blue white shirt

And this Milly blouse is just screaming to be knocked off.  Tie, lace, cap sleeves, front yoke that curves into the neck?   Too pretty.

blue white shirt

A Blue White Shirt

But note what’s missing in the previous two examples–real collars.  They’ve always seem so pointed and man-ish to me.  So when I stumbled upon this Ottobre pattern via my Rayon Challis Pajamas, I was surprised to find myself maybe even liking this collar.  It’s not super big, and when it folds back at the top, it’s rather minimal, which kind of (I think) is in proportion to my frame.  I liked the fit too, so I thought I’d pull it out and give it another go with real shirting fabric.

I liked this Burda pattern (8-2008-112), but not so much that the smallest size was a 36.

blue white shirt

But all that’s really different about this blouse vs. the Ottobre blouse is the casing at the waist which replaces the waist darts.  So I eliminated the darts and made a waist casing.  Couldn’t be easier.  I kept the ties on the sleeves because I really like them–they’re girly and fun.

blue white shirt

The fabric is a stretch cotton from Fashionista Fabrics.  It’s a very fine weave but extremely breathable (yay, no weird sweating).  It’s so comfortable to wear and it was a breeze, nay a joy to sew.  If I hate 100% natural fibers in my knits, I love them in wovens.  I like the peplum sort of effect the casing has, and I love little ties in general.

And now that I have a proper classic shirt that fits, I can see the possibilities.  I added the turtleneck:

blue white shirt

It’s definitely an over, under, or on top of sort of shirt which I can’t say for most of the knit tops I end up wearing.

With my ruffle neck sweater and camel skirt which I’ll write about later this week:

blue white shirt

 My updated review is here.

Elizabeth Made This

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  1. I was never really a big fan of the plain white button-down shirt, either. I never seem to actually wear them.

    That lace top is pretty neat looking! I’m actually currently trying to figure out what to do with a lace dress that I have and would like to refashion, so I may have to consider some of those details–thanks for posting!

  2. Lita Jones Reply

    Years ago, the white blouse was part of my work wardrobe. I probably had about 8 of them. They were not all like men’s shirts back in the 60’s. I had skirts and jumpers and could get dressed really fast. I branched out later to colors. But in the office I liked the look. I think I only have one white shirt now.

    You have been getting a lot of sewing done.

  3. I did make a white button down shirt for the purposes of “wardrobe basics”. And…I’ve never worn it! I look awful in bright white. At least I have it if there’s ever an emergency that requires a white shirt (:
    Anyway, the details on your shirt are lovely. I haven’t done sleeve ties because they’re finnicky, but I really should sometime because they look so nice. I actually made that Burda top and it’s one of my favorites.

  4. Julie Culshaw Reply

    I selected you to receive the Versatile Bloggers Award. Come over to my site and pick it up, then pass it along. Julie

  5. Very cute variation on the blouse! I am with you on not liking standard ones–they do seem mannish, and staid and boring. I hate staid and boring!

  6. Oh I LOVE your watercolor top and your “blue white shirt”–I also have no buttondowns or white shirts at all, but one like this totally gets my attention. The Milly inspiration is super awesome too!

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