First ever shirt

This was a very belated finalization of a Christmas present for my husband. I bought the fabric from Bishopston Trading Company. This fairly traded handloom cotton was a dream to work with, and it’s a pity that Bishopston will soon be out of business, in part due to their tremendous success with their fair trade projects in India.

I had almost enough fabric to make the whole shirt, excepting the lower collar, inner yoke and the inner collar band. These were made from leftover scraps from a black Ikea fabric, and I added a pocket made from this fabric and black buttons to complete the look. The only downside was that my fair trade shirt had to be downgraded to “almost fair trade”.

I used the BurdaStyle’s Frank Button-Down Shirt pattern from the book BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern, which was very easy to work with. The only change I made was to make short sleeves as required by my hubby. These were made to look almost as puffy rolled up sleeves. I also drafted the pocket, as I didn’t care for the original pockets on this pattern.

I also had the best teacher for learning to sew a shirt – Pam Howard and her Craftsy-course The Classic Tailored Shirt. I can’t recommend this course enough – Pam Howard is a seasoned shirt maker and a wonderful teacher, and everything was so much easier to do following her instructions. I’d almost recommend it for her yoke trick alone.


Right sides out:

tn_P1030149 tn_P1030150

Inside the shirt:

tn_P1030146 tn_P1030148

Under-arm seams:



He tells me he likes the shirt 🙂


I’m very happy with the result on this one. The bonus of making this shirt (apart from a happy hubby) is that it was a great way to prepare the first assignment (make your own shirt) in my one-year sewing course which I started last week.


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