Hello Sewists,

First off I should tell you that this make will be my first appearance on the Minerva Craft Blog. Yes, I put my hand up for the ‘product reviewers’ call out on Instagram. It’s a great trade-off; you pick a few fabrics from a selection, they send you one and you blog about it. Simple.

Looking through the list of options has really opened my eyes to all the different fabrics available. In the past, I’ve sewed with a small variety of fabrics, but the main bulk of my sewing is with shirting or quilting cotton, denim or drill… To the best of my knowledge I’ve never even touched a Ponte de Roma or a Challis…! I try to select as many fabrics from the list as I can so that there is an element of lottery to it. I got off lightly on this first one as I’ve never sewn with poplin before, and it’s a pretty user-friendly fabric!

Check out the Minerva blog for the full low-down… here’s a bit more about the shirt & a couple of extra details…

All I had to do was pick a project. It’s another La Maison Victor make. This one’s from the 2nd (… or is it 3rd…?) UK edition; the Bernie Shirt.

I might have to start being selective over which issues I buy from now on. I’m lucky that my local newsagent stocks the magazine, but at what is effectively £5.99 a month for one men’s pattern (I’ve yet to sew one of the women’s or children’s patterns- have you?) it’ll start using up too much of both money, and, more preciously, shelf space!

I’ve made clothes for work… clothes for parties… for everyday, high-days and holidays. But there’s one scenario I often find myself in that I am unsuitably attired for: the DIY’er! One day I’ll take the time to perfect a set of overalls like the ones I made for CousinA… for the meantime I’ll take separates…

The Bernie suggests to me a kind-of ‘Danny Zuco’/Systematic/ hydromatic vibe. So I thought I’d take that theme and run with it. This is my #MechanicChic! …

I made a few tweaks to the pattern: I added two lower front pockets, with pleats in them; because A: it looks cool and B: they’ll hold more stuff.

If my Omer Jacket had overtones of the Superhero-offduty- this make is what the baddie would wear on his day off. You know, Blowfeld doin’ a jigsaw… or DrNo cleaning out the cat-litter-tray. Either way, I can’t wait to get a bit of paint on it!

Construction-wise it could have been easier; rather than ‘burrito’ it had you reach over to sew each of the shoulder seams separately. I ignored all of this as I only had enough fabric to cut one yoke. I’m not sure I got the button placket instructions right either to be honest. You can make a shirt by any method that suits you. I often think the ‘hi-jinks’ is there merely to ‘bespoke’ the pattern. But if you make it yourself it’s bespoke anyway…

I couldn’t be happier with this one. I decided to treat it like jeans and double topstitch almost everywhere. I also put rivets on all the stress points and used metal snaps down the front. (The colours match a bit better in real life!)

So, I drafted front patch pockets with flaps to make it feel like an ateliers smock. I also drafted tabs for the sleeve and epaulets on the shoulders. I figured, why not…?! You can see here, as the snaps do not need to function, I left out all the back gubbins and just attached the outer snap…

I hemmed the sleeves before they went in. I used this method to create a turn-up.

The Easestitch-Plus technique (that I’ve mentioned before) really helped with this shirt as the narrow bicep of the sleeve translated to a pretty steep sleeve-cap and some easing-in is definitely required. Easestitch-Plus to the rescue…

And the rest of it came together like a dream.

Cotton poplin is definitely a fabric I like to work with. This one is probably more suited to trousers or skirts than shirts, but with my utilitarian theme, I think I pitched it just right!

Obviously I really need a new DIY project to give this shirt a proper test-run! (… but since I’ve started sewing I’m ashamed to admit that the DIY has taken a bit of a back seat!)

Here I am wearing it anyway…!

Happy sewing!

Notes to self;

  • Try out as many different types of fabric as possible!
  • Change the washer on the hot tap in the bathroom!