Ralph Pink Sahara White Shirt by Sewing Tidbits

The other white shirt

Dear readers,

It looks like the new blog format is working for me so far, I hope it is for you too. However it’s too soon to tell if I will be able to keep it up. It wouldn’t be the first time that I manage to maintain decent activity levels on the blog, only to let it completely go a month later… One thing I forgot to mention though is that I don’t currently plan on posting on other platforms than here and Instagram. No more PR, Kollabora (which never seemed to foster interactions or traffic anyway), Burdastyle or Thread and Needle. Traffic was never high on this blog and will certainly drop now but I kind of like the idea of a narrower little corner of the Internet, mostly with regular readers.

Squareshirt SewingTidbits-2
But let’s talk about today’s topic, another big square white shirt. Whenever I sew a white top, I kick myself for not making more. It’s so easy to be seduced by colors and prints in pretty fabric, but there are not many garments as versatile as white tops and blouses.

When I made the Ralph Pink pattern I mentioned last week, I already had in mind a crisp poplin version. Probably because of this Burda pattern (coincidentally Mokosha just posted about it, and it’s reminding me that it would probably fit my current needs) and this Everlane number :

I decided to start with my silk-blend version so that the drape would help with the extra-volume. I really like my previous version, but decided to take in the sides even more (total of 5″ on each side seam, as opposed to 3″ last time) and shorten the sleeves (3″) to account for the stiffer fabric. Unfortunately this required redrafting almost completely the front since I was reaching the sleeve cuffs in a straight line. While I was redrafting, I took the opportunity to modify the curved seam line you can see in the front. On the original pattern the front seam is purely decorative, with no shaping. But since I was going with a shape closer to the body, I included a sort of bust dart.

I’m not sure you can see very well above but the dotted paper is my modified front pattern and the white one the original pattern. I also modified the top collar pattern to create a smaller/more current collar.

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The fabric is the most beautiful Japanese 100% cotton shirting. I found it at Mood’s and I have just no word to describe how smooth and perfect it is. It sewed well but I had a little bit of puckering that I could not completely iron out, for which I have no explanation. There is also the always tricky curved underarm seam, which was made extra difficult by the use of French seams. For this shirt, I finally  remembered to make my buttonholes and sew the buttons BEFORE hemming. No one will believe but I swear that the CF matched exactly in length before, but I am no Beth of SunnyGal Studio and I cannot explain how the lower picture happened!

Some of you may have a serious eye twitch already and believe me I do too! Let me explain how ironic the situation is. Being French (I know it’s a lame lame excuse), I’m a very critical blog reader. Lately, I kept noticing garments with the traditional closure for womenswear (right over left, ALWAYS right over left) had been avoided/omitted. It’s quite disturbing to the eye in my opinion. Well guess what happened next… I marked my buttonholes actively thinking:”Ha! You are not going to catch me making THAT dumb mistake!!” [Smirk face]. I sewed all the buttonholes , all the buttons, hemmed the shirt only to realize that I had just done it! I inverted the closure!!! Oh well…. *Shameful Face*

I really love the final garment. It fits my current needs perfectly and has been through several wash and wear cycles. I hope not to outgrow it too fast because it’s a very office friendly option in my shrinking wardrobe. I don’t have a definite word on Ralph Pink’s Sahara Shirt Pattern, like most patterns it did require a certain level modifications to match the idea that I had in mind. I did appreciate that the pattern pieces were relatively simple and went together easily.

As you can see in the inspiration pictures, a crucial aspect to modeling a square shirt is to pretend you’re about to casually perform a set of crunches.  I will comply as long as I’m not required to do the actual crunches!

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That’s it for today! Hopefully I will be back soon with more pictures of recent makes. This post is proof that I CAN take pictures inside my apartment, even if they are on the boring side… Oooh tropical background of Haiti, how I miss you!! Any tips for indoor pictures you would like to share?

30 thoughts on “The other white shirt

  1. Chloe

    Hah – I did the same thing with my most recent project, carefully laid it out and then proceeded to but the left and right front flipped over. So my new blouse opens the wrong way! I’m hoping the busy pattern distracts the eye. And as for your white shirt, I love that interesting seam line, and can easily overlook your backwards buttoning.

  2. Splinters&Stitches

    The very first shirt I made for my husband I goofed up the snaps like that, and while my hubby has worn it to death anyway, it *is* awkward to watch him put it on because he habitually starts to button it the other way and then has to change. I do the same thing when I’m putting away clothes, you kind of get into a groove and then Argh! that one weird one jumps out at you. I’ve been much more careful with his shirts ever since. I don’t have any idea if I do it right for mine or not. Probably not, but I don’t notice as much. 😉

    Also, your love of white shirts may quickly become a thing of the past…do you by chance look good in mustard yellow? 😛

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Hahahaha, your comment made me laugh so much because it had absolutely not crossed my mind that I won’t be able to keep my shirts white for some time!! Thankfully I have three more months to get some sense in my delusional head (and get used to mustard yellow)…

  3. Tara

    I am in awe of every single shirt you show on the blog. Shirts are a favorite in my closet, but for some reason, I never get to sew one. I still intently save all the shirt tutorials and shirt hacks I find online.
    I’ve got a question about the fabric, though.
    I live in Tokyo, and although I ve looked for Japanese cotton in many fabric shops, I haven t found awesome japanese cottons in Japan (kind of ironic). Is there a brand or a place of manufacture written on the fabric tag?

    • Sewing Tidbits

      OOOooh I’m so jealous that you live in Tokyo. Visiting/living in Japan is a not-so-secret dream of mine.
      Unfortunately I cannot help you much with the origin of the Fabric, labels are usually pretty bad here with just the fabric content, sometimes the origin and the price. If it’s any help the fabric had a contrasting red thread in the selvedge (a little like nice denim)… Sorry!!

  4. sewingforcatpeople

    Oh it’s so lovely, I want to make one for myself.
    One question, how do you live in a white shirt without ruining it?

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thanks! That’s an excellent question with a less than excellent answer: I don’t… But I try to tackle stains as soon as they appear, which as meant sometimes undressing in the office bathroom!

  5. 24

    It’s unusual that I comment every post on a blog. But I like the way you begin talks, it’s what I appreciate at this time. Though I will try not to write (too much) every time…
    I’m not a “shirt girl”, but I like what you’ve done with this one and the way you wear it.
    For indoor pictures I do like you, in front of a wall near a window, even if my wall is not “free” (I’ve tried every spot in my house, and even with a buffet in my back, this spot is the best…). I use a 35mm lens too, which help me a lot when the light is not the best.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      I’m much more of a talker than a writer so I really struggled to write my posts when I started blogging. Until I realized that I had to pretend I was talking to actual people. I know it’s a bit tacky to start all posts by “Dear readers”, but it’s really what gets me typing! I’m so happy it works for you!
      Since I moved in January and I live by myself, I intentionally left an empty wall for pictures. I hope that shows my commitment to blogging… But I don’t find the buffet in your pictures disturbing at all!
      I also use a 35/1.8 lens, it has made a huge difference for my pictures (I think).

  6. crab and bee

    I looooove white shirts, including yours! It looks like a Rachel Comey design I have coveted. I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to them. (Ironic that I only have one, and I thrifted it!) I find the fact that the buttonhole side changes on shirts intended for males/females kind of silly. I think they should all be on the right because it’s easier.

  7. Becky

    As usual, your FO is gorgeous. I love a white shirt more than anything. White shirts with jeans, white shirts with dress pants, white shirts with skirts, you name it, they all look elegant and classic! I am very hard on my clothes, but it doesn’t keep me from wearing those white shirts, and I have tried every stain remover on the market. Current favorite – Z’out. You may inspire me to sew one. I have never sewn a white shirt, mmmmmmmmm.

  8. Lynsey

    You shirt is lovely, in my opinion you can never have enough white tops/shirts, as for which side goes over which I always pick the one with the neatest top stitching! This may change though as I get more experienced and when the both come well.

  9. mokosha

    loving this shirt on you! and how crisp and stylish it looks.. i’ve never made a white shirt (well, i’ve hardly ever made anything white, as from some reason white is not my color, i look strange wearing it), but maybe i should at least try making a solid color shirt, as it might be way easier to mix and match with other items, than my loud printed shirts are..

  10. gingermakes

    I love the style lines of this shirt- it’s so cool! It’s funny, I realized after making a shirt with the proper women’s button band that it feels so awkward to put it on because I’d worn unisex buttondowns for so long. So silly!

  11. Melanie

    I really like the modifications you made on this pattern! I’ve actually had my eyes on it, and seeing your previous version, i can tell this is a classic case of burda having wayyyyyyyy to much ease built into their “loose-fitting” patterns. Yours turned out really great and if I get around to making it I’ll certainly apply the same side-seam and sleeve length adjustments!
    Also, congratulations! And you’re making pregnancy really stylish with all these great garments!

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