June 15, 2024

This August, Never Underestimate the Power of an Oversized Collared Shirt

Part of putting together monthly themes over here at Needle Sharp is paying attention to trends in the sewing community. Sometimes, these are subtle and fun to parse out. And sometimes the trend is so obvious, you can't miss it. 

Such is the case with the recent spate of button up shirts. Anyone else notice this? Everyone seems to be releasing a new pattern with these tailored beauties. In the last 6 months alone, we have new patterns from Closet Core, Friday Pattern Company, Papercut Patterns, and Named Clothing. And that's just the big companies. I'm sure the smaller pdf indies have also contributed a bunch.

So it goes without saying that we needed to pounce on this trend. Menswear and tailored items have always been some of our favorites, so doing oversized button-ups fits right in. They're comfy yet sophisticated, work-friendly yet relaxed. They work well for summer as sun-shirts or beach coverups and transition nicely into autumn to be paired with sweaters and jeans. All in all, a wardrobe powerhouse.

In keeping with the classic style of these shirts, we stuck to classic shirting fabrics, in light, easy to coordinate colors. But that doesn't mean we didn't throw in a few surprise choices too. 

So, without further ado, let's dig in

Sew Essential Box: Oversized Shirt from The Assembly Line

Sew Essential Box - August 2024 - Needle Sharp

A trendsetter in its own right, the Oversized Shirt from The Assembly Line has been around for a few years now, but it fits perfectly into the recent vogue of pattern releases. And when they say oversized, they mean it. This shirt mimics the fit of a men's shirt that is a few sizes too big, but scales it to a smaller body. The key is in the proportions - while the body is roomy, the collar and sleeves fit properly. It creates a look that is stylized yet classic. Oh, and did we mention it had pockets?

Wear this shirt as loungewear around the house or as a layer over leggings. Dress it up with a blazer and work pants. You could also belt it for a more waist-defining look. However you decide to wear it, you'll have a awesome, tailored outfit!

For fabrics, we went with soft colors and classic cotton. But you'll also find a cool gauze in there for fun. So here they are!

  • Light Blue Classic Stripe Cotton Shirting - A blue striped shirt is a classic for a reason. It's flattering on most anyone; it goes with nearly everything; and it's incredibly stylish. With the lightweight hand of cotton and a crisp drape, this fabric will feel lush and airy. Turned into an oversized shirt, it will dress up any outfit, whether you pair it with leggings or dress pants. A perfect shirt for work and play!
  • White Cotton Sateen Shirting - Soft, silky smooth and lightweight, this shirting is destined to become your favorite button-down shirt. A tight satin weave gives the fabric a beautiful shine, and the crisp drape lends itself beautifully to the tailored look of this shirt. An absolute classic for your wardrobe.
  • Cotton Candy Organic Cotton Double Gauze - On a recent trip to J. Crew Factory, I saw a whole line of double gauze button ups and I was inspired. The contrast of a soft, squishy fabric with the tailored, crisp design feels counterintuitive but it works so well! This gauze is a pale, baby pink - just enough color to warm up your cheeks and your spirit. Turn it into the perfect overshirt for the summer and beyond!

Sew Select Box: Remy Shirt from Papercut Patterns

 Sew Select Box - August 2024 - Needle Sharp

Papercut disappeared from the paper pattern scene for a roughly a year while their owner went through some health issues, but they returned this spring with a whole new collection of patterns. Among them was this fantastic shirt.

At first glance, the shirt seems like a traditional button up, but some clever twists make it a more adventurous option. For one, it uses fewer and larger buttons, playing with the scale of the shirt. In addition, it comes with a very chic short sleeved version that can be made for summer heat. Plus, it can even be turned into a shacket when weather turns cold again. 

We decided to keep it summer focused, though, with our fabric options. Crisp shirtings are the name of the game, but we've also found a unique UPF fabric if you want extra protection from the sun. Let's dig in!

  • White Cotton Poplin - Crisp and classic, this cotton poplin is the platonic ideal of a shirting fabric. The fabric has a matte finish and dry hand, perfect for work, the beach, or the supermarket. Light yet structured, it's the shirt that will go with everything!
  • Rainbow Stripe Stretch Cotton Shirting - Rainbows aren't just for Pride (though we are announcing this fabric during Pride month). This cotton shirting a delight. Crisp, with a nice, dry hand and some added spandex for stretch, this fabric will become a playful and fun button-up. The stripe has classic shirting elements while the rainbow colors add an element of surprise. A joyful fabric indeed!
  • Sky Blue UPF Cotton Tencel Twill - Since this shirt can also be worn as a shacket in winter, we thought it would make an awesome overshirt in summer. Sun protection is important and this fabric has a UPF rating of 50, making it your new go-to beach coverup or gardening shirt. You'll be as stylish as you are protected!

Sew Indulgent Box: Jenna Shirt and Dress from Closet Core Patterns

Sew Indulgent Box - August 2024 - Needle Sharp

The Jenna Shirt was named after Jenna Lyons, a style hero of mine, who transformed J Crew in the late aughts (a style era that may always be my favorite). What was distinctive about Jenna Lyons's style was her willingness to mix feminine touches with masculine forms. T-shirts with ruffles, tuxedo style sweatpants, and yes, oversized shirts for women.

The Jenna Shirt embraces the same dichotomy with soft lines such as a curved hem and drop shoulders with more tailored elements such as a sharp collar and placketed sleeves. It adds up to a shirt that can be worn just about anywhere. Plus with three views, you can truly customize it to your style.

We wanted to play with the elements of this shirt with a few different cotton options, ranging from a quintessential shirting to a surprising, almost lace-like, eyelet. So read on to learn all about the fabrics! 

  • Pink Minicheck Cotton Shirting - A twist on a shirting classic, this micro-check combines a classic pattern with a fun, baby pink color. Flirty yet demure, this fabric reminds us of old-school bespoke fitted shirts that were all the rage in the early aughts. Crisp, tightly woven, and wonderfully soft, this fabric will be and amazing shirt or dress. Barbie-approved!
  • Denim Organic Cotton Double Gauze - We do love a good double gauze. What better fabric to make secret pajamas? This cotton gauze is light and slightly squishy and will just float on the body in this over-sized shirt/dress. The blue is the color of pale washed denim and we love how the softness of the color matches the softness of the fabric. If you're looking for fabric that feels like you've been wrapped in a baby blanket, look no further!
  • White Embroidered Cotton Voile - *Note - this option includes fabric for the shirt only* If you're looking to create an heirloom looking garment, this is the fabric for you! A luxurious embroidered cotton, it is nicely subtle, with stripes of intricate floral lines and tiny dotted chrysanthemum-type flowers. The holes are quite small, so this shirt doesn't need to be lined, but it will be slightly translucent, a style choice for a delicate, upscale shirt. We're swooning already!

In our Tried and True Boxes, we're bringing back our skirts boxes from 2022. Skirts are having a moment, so we'd be remiss if we didn't revisit these. They're mid-length, swishy, and oh-so-adaptable to your handmade wardrobe.

Until next time. . .

Happy sewing!



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