Hi guys, welcome to another Minerva make!

You've seen skirts and dresses from me so far, this time I'm breaking the trend and have made one of my favourite garments to sew - a shirt! I love a good crazy printed shirt, the plain corporate ones are just sooo boring, right?

When I saw this 'Madame' Fabric on the Minerva website, I knew that I would have to make something with it - I love the print! It's black, red and white and has classy ladies all over it. It's a medium weight cotton, heavier than a cotton lawn but lighter than a quilting cotton - perfect for a skirt, dress or a top for the cooler months.

I wasn't sure of the scale of the design when I chose the fabric, so I had in my mind that I would either make a shirt or a skirt depending on the size of the print. My first choice was to sew a shirt, but I wasn't sure whether the design would be too large scale - thankfully it wasn't, the ladies are only a couple of inches tall.

This is a Vogue/DKNY V1462 shirt, which is my go-to shirt pattern - a loose-fitting, boyfriend style shirt with proper cuffs and sleeve placket. I've made a lot of variations of this shirt, and I'm slowly tweaking it to get the perfect fit.  I find fitted shirts to be a tad too formal for me so I prefer a looser fit, which is also more comfortable. One thing I cannot bear is restrictive clothing!

The cotton fabric softened up a bit after the first wash, so it's really nice to wear against the skin. I had to delve into the depths of my interfacing box in order to find some white bits to use for the collar and cuffs - usually I would use charcoal coloured as I have masses of that (due to the fact I usually sew with darker colours) , but I was worried that this would have discoloured the pieces when seen from the outside so I played it safe with white.

I hemmed the shirt with black bias tape, as is my usual method. It's *SO* much easier to get a good curved hem this way, rather than double pressing a hem. I know it's labour-intensive to do two passes through the machine to get the tape on, but I could never get the hem to go round the curves properly by pressing it and it always looked a total mess on the inside. Using bias tape instead is not only easier (for me, anyway) but gives a more polished finish - double win!

Even though it's a crazy print, I spent time pattern matching across the front as from afar you can see the general pattern and I didn't want it to be glaringly obvious that I hadn't bothered to match. If you haven't attempted it before, pattern matching across a placket can seem quite scary but it's actually really easy - that 'centre front' marking is your friend! Just make sure that the centre line is on the same part of the pattern for both pieces, and at the same height, and you're good to go - when you have sewn the plackets you should find that the design overlaps nicely.

Even though white is a colour that you very, VERY rarely see me in, I just couldn't resist this print and I'm really happy with how the shirt has turned out! I think there's enough black and red in the design to balance out the white. I spent a long time deciding on button colour - black, grey, or red... they all looked good. I even considered using all three colours and going for a mish-mash set but I didn't want there to be too much going on so opted for the plain and simple black ones. I think it compliments the crazy pattern pretty well!

If you've never sewn a shirt before, don't be put off by the collar or cuffs - just follow the instructions step by step. If you can sew a seam, you can sew a shirt! This pattern doesn't have any darts and the placket is already part of the front pieces - you just double fold a section over, and voila! A placket appears :)

Well guys I hope you've enjoyed this post... I'll be back again next month!

Have a lovely Christmas everyone!

Sarah @ Wanderstitch