Not Quite Spring Shirts

Well, spring is taking it's sweet time this year!  I am really (REALLY) ready for a bit of sunny weather.  It's been a long, grey stretch and my SAD is kicking in big time!  I have a bunch of pretty linen on my cutting table but it just hasn't felt right yet to cut into it.  I'm still wanting soft, cozy sweat-shirty things.  So that's what I have been making.

I saw a shirt, on a recent shopping trip to Chicago, that had some interesting design features...the shoulder seam was pitched forward kind of wrapping the shoulder from the neck to the sleeve seam and the back side seam also wrapped to the front.  The back had a graceful set of seams that ended up flaring the back hem a bit over the hips and the sleeve seam met in two places on the underside, preventing a bunch of intersecting seams in the armpit.  (Yes, I did spend some quality time in the fitting room with said shirt!) 

On the same Chicago venture, I had picked up a really soft remanent at Vogue Fabrics.  It is a double-faced cotton jersey, grey on one side, off white on the reverse and super soft!  I also had a grey athletic type knit that I decided to use for my 'trial balloon' of the somewhat whacky pattern.

You can see the crazy shapes...the center front is the left hand piece and the other piece is the side back pattern piece.  Check out the length of the front armhole seam vs. the back arm hole seam! 

The other feature that I added (not part of the original shirt) is a thumb hole at the sleeve hem.  I never get to use them on shirts that I buy, because they end up somewhere between my wrist and my elbow, not conveniently located for my thumb.  If that wasn't enough, I decided that because the fabric was reversible, the shirt surely had to reverse as well.  This definitely required a trial balloon before launching in.

I hit the jackpot!  I made the first go with the athletic knit and it turned out great!  So I dove right into the second shirt while I still remembered what I had done on the first one.  I can't decide which is my favorite.  But I have been wearing them non stop because they are soooo comfortable and perfect for this end of winter almost spring season.  The crazy seaming and wrapping really works for my broad shoulders and upper back and the forward side seam hugs the hem in around my hips ever so gently.  I may end up with a whole wardrobe of these sweatshirts!  (I already have 2...no 3!)

Some details...

On the first shirt I used a darker grey rib knit to make the thumb hole, the neckband and the center back detail.  This one has a basic crew type neckline.  You can see the back neck detail and the dropped sleeve and forward twisting shoulder seam....(and the little bit of green that has given me hope that spring will actually spring!)  



For the reversible version I chose a v-neckline.  I made the white side solid white and reversed the hems and bands for the grey side.  The thumb hole was a bit of a head scratcher, but turned out in the end.

I knocked the front corner off the sleeve and added a seam allowance...I cut the 'corner' piece double with a fold that finished the thumb hole.

It was a bit tricky to make sure I had the colors that I wanted on the correct sides of the shirt!

I used my serger with off white thread to sew the seams on the grey side and then stitched them in place so they looked like a flat-felled seam on the white side.

The finished shirt is so soft and will actually be a great weight for a summer evening cover!  


....I wonder how a linen version would work...😏....hmmmmmm....


  1. Great looking top with interesting seam details. The thumb hole is ingenious so often they are just an opening in the sleeve seam. The back seams would be a good way to use those fabric leftovers. Hmm something to store away to try later.

  2. ...and you could incorporate the back neck detail into your favorite shirt! I love my thumb holes!