Last summer I purchased a washed tencel fabric in a gorgeous shade of royal blue from Homespun Boutique in Ithaca. Since then, I've been waiting for it to tell me what it wanted to be. I knew I wanted a top out of it, but I wasn't sure if it would be a shell or a shirt. Since a shirt requires buttons, I interviewed several blue shirt buttons from Sawyer Brook (oh, how I love having my studio right next door to SB. I had to walk all of 30 feet to get these buttons!). If I found a button that looked great, I would make a shirt.
Well, that square beauty on the right sure looked good! It's dyed corozo, aka "vegetable ivory", carved from the tagua nut. The color is a perfect match, and the square shape mimics the straight lines of the woven stripes in the fabric. This little button was my decision maker, and I moved forward with making a shirt. (If you're interested in the button, it is available in several colors here.)
I started with the same OOP Sandra Betzina Vogue pattern I used for my Nuevo Yukata shirt last summer. This time I left the neckline as drafted, rather than lowering the front a bit. I drafted a square-cornered mandarin collar and a long pocket.
In the pattern instructions, Sandra gives permission to not put buttons at the top if there are no plans to wear it buttoned up. I don't like close-fitting fabric at my neck, and knew I'd never wear it buttoned, so I took advantage of her permission.
The shirt went together very easily. The fabric has good drape and the texture keeps it from being slippery. I made short sleeves and turned the sleeve hem allowance up twice and stitched, like the front bands are done. I did the same at the top of the pocket. I would have done the same at the hem, but didn't cut it long enough to do so.
I really like how the buttons look on the fabric. I love how the grain of the natural nut shows in the finished button.
Ok, so why don't I like shirts? I think it has to do with the fabric. I love knits because they are soft and smooth and don't stand away from my body. This washed tencel has nice drape and breathes well, and I have to say it's a relatively comfortable shirt. But there's just too much fabric at the neck, at least for summer wear. I wore it yesterday and found it to be comfortable in 60 degree temperatures, but soon the weather will be too warm to wear it. I think I'll get more use out of it in fall and spring, when I can also wear it with a tank or cami underneath.
Not a pain in the neck, and such a gorgeous color!