handmade chambray top

Chambray V-Neck Shirt

With each year that passes since I started sewing in 2013, I buy fewer clothes. It’s impossible to quell Inner Sewing Voice saying, “Meh, I could probably make that. Or something like it.” It’s annoying, because the truth is I absolutely cannot make every piece of clothing I see and like. Sometimes Inner Sewing Voice needs to be taken down a peg.

There are times, however, when I break form and buy something new. When that happens, I look for details that would be hard to replicate—nice hardware, a fantastic fabric, or intricate embroidery. One of the last blouses I bought is from Dot Fox, a boutique on Bardstown Road in Louisville. After trying on a few ill-fitting vintage pieces (vintage is not meant for tall people with broad backs and wide hips), I found a lighter-than-air, rust-colored blouse with pretty silver embroidery on the front and an interesting neckline detail.

The blouse, by a brand called Entro, has a center front seam and is lined in the front for added coverage. It’s made from a thin rayon-poly blend that’s soft and semi-sheer. I love this shirt! It’s different than a lot of the tops I own, and I wanted to take a stab at sewing something inspired by its details.

handmade chambray top

Enter my DIY, franken-pattered chambray top. After unsuccessfully trying to trace the garment (the crinkly fabric made it way too frustrating), I decided to use a couple commercial patterns as a base. I used the armhole, sleeve cap, shoulder, and back neckline of Vogue 8944, and the side angle of Tessuti’s Ruby top for the front and back side seams.

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handmade chambray top

Here are the design details I wanted to achieve:

  • Loose-fitting through the body
  • Center front seam
  • Sharp v-neck
  • Button closure or tie at neck

I eyeballed the V neckline and ended up having to pinch some fabric out near the neck. It was a pretty easy fix, but I’m thinking that to create a sharp, more severe V, I probably needed to cut off a smaller wedge on the front pattern piece.

handmade chambray shirt

To finish the V, I used this step-by-step Burda tutorial for binding a v-neck. After that, I finished the neckline with a wide piece of self bias binding, which extends into the neck ties. I can’t remember all the steps I took to finish the neck edge, but before the finished product, the binding was facing up like a sad little collar. The finished product lies relatively flat on my neck, so I’m calling it a success!

handmade chambray top

The ties are anchored with small sew-on snaps. I like the way they hang gently at the center this way. The snaps are also unassuming enough that I can wear the ties hanging loose or tie the ends in a loose knot. Whatevs!

handmade chambray top

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I wore this all day with my handmade jeans, and it made for an easy, comfy outfit. I’m thrilled this sewing experiment turned out pretty well! Have you ever franken-patterned anything?

6 thoughts on “Chambray V-Neck Shirt

  1. It’s lovely. I think it’s relaxed and you got just what you wanted by the look of it. I did a Frankendress not so long ago, where I combined two patterns because I needed very simple lines for a heavily patterned fabric.

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  2. Great top, love the V shape and how the ties have a snap on them, I might need to give it a try as I heavily altered the Cheyenne tunic and now use it as a kind of sloper. the rust coloured top is lovely too.

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