Back in February (how long ago this feels), I took my 2nd sewing class with Workshop SF to learn how to sew a simple boxy top, Shirt No 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing. This is a great, beginner-friendly pattern for a wardrobe staple that I’ll easily get a ton of wear out of. Since that class, I’ve made a few variations and wanted to share what I’ve learned so far.
- Size: XS
- Material: Unknown, mid-weight linen type
- Adjustments: Cropped Straight Hem
This was the one made in class – based on the sizing chart on the pattern, I went with XS. Our instructor, Alex, had multiple manila cut outs in each size for us to use – so we could save the included pattern for use at home.
The shoulders are actually a bit tight on this one, and as you can see it has a pretty swingy fit at the hemline. I’m not sure what material was supplied for the class, but I like the weight and the structure of this heavy-ish linen. However, the final product was a little too cropped for me, so I wanted to size up on my next shirt.
- Size: S
- Material: 100% cotton linen, light-mid-weight
- Adjustments: None
After tracing the pattern onto swedish tracing paper (so cool and handy!), I noticed that the original pattern is about 1.5” longer than the one we used in class, and a little slimmer overall. So I decided to use the original pattern with no modifications to see how it would turn out. Overall, the fit was good but still a smidge too short for my liking.
- Size: S
- Material: 100% cotton linen, lightweight
- Adjustments: Extended hemline 2”, reverse curve front hem, curved back hem
After extending the hem, I also wanted to try a curved hem like the one on Only Child’s Alta Top (which I love). The linen used here is the most lightweight and gauze-y of the three. I found it a little challenging to work with, as it would easily distort / stretch. This resulted in one of my sleeves being slightly turned in a bit more than the other… I’m sure I’m the only one who will notice, however!
Additionally, I learned the importance of staystiching the neckline hem before adding on the bias tape. Unfortunately, I didn’t do this and stretched out my neckline while sewing – it now sticks up a little. Oops, another lesson learned. For now, I’ll pretend it’s a feature and not a bug :)
Of the three, I like the fit and style of this one the most – I’ll most likely make another with more exaggeration of the hem curve (you can barely make out the high-low) or with a straight flat hem like in the first top.
I’ve learned a lot during the process of sewing these three Shirt No 1 s! This pattern is a great intro to bias tape for necklines and french seams (love these). I think this is a great beginner pattern with a generous fit and endless potential for playing around with modifications.
If you’re looking to graduate from coasters and face masks to clothing, I’d highly recommend this pattern. It’s also perfect timing for spring and summer – I love seeing others get creative with prints and styles on the #shirtno1 tag on Instagram. I hope you find this helpful – happy crafting!
Pictured: Narrow clothing rack from Amazon – love using this to plan out my outfits for the week!