I was first introduced to Sleeping Giant Patterns when we were both featured in the October 2023 In a Haystack. This is a wonderful digital sewing subscription service that hooks you up with wild discounts to UK and US based fabric shops, features behind the scenes content, and includes a free PDF pattern each month. Jonviea from Sleeping Giant Patterns and I hit it off and decided to collaborate on a few projects.
Jonviea sent me her Rondeau Shirt pattern (up to a 55.5" chest) which is typically a menswear pattern but I love breaking the rules and modified it a little bit for my vision which was an oversized and boxy grunge button down linen shirt. I was inspired by Lianne of @justsewsew who had sewn up a gorgeous boxy menswear shirt out of our almond white cotton linen.
Something I love about Sleeping Giant Patterns is that there are a variety of masculine and feminine patterns in her collection but you aren't limited by a traditional women's wear collection. Jonviea's collection is also brimming with adventure and an almost 1970's vintage aesthetic which I find super charming. She has a family history of shirt making and grew up in the Adirondacks and that mountain-dwelling spirit shows in her collection.
I made the Rondeau Shirt in a size up from where I fell in the size chart - I sized up from a small to a medium. I asked Jonviea how to modify it to be more boxy and she said to eliminate the very slight curves of the side seams to make the body more straight so I did that. She also recommended I add a couple inches of length but I was feeling super bold and added 4.75" of length to the body for an almost tunic length vibe. I wanted all the drama and wanted to show off as much of this gorgeous Electro Blues linen as possible.
I used 2 yards of Electro Blues, a scrumptiously soft and vibrant 100% European linen produced by Merchant & Mills. Because of my super length modification I did run out of fabric and had to piece together just the button hole placket pieces but I was able to hide that by joining the pieces at the gingham squares so you would probably never notice. I really don't mind piecing fabric together when I get creative with my modifications and run out of fabric (a frequent occurrence for me) - I think it adds some handmade charm.
I used the Cinnamon Dust buttons by Merchant and Mills from the shop when I finally finished adding the buttons. The photo below shows how my shirt looks after it comes out of a wash and a low tumble dry cycle: perfectly crinkly and rustic, the way I love my linen. I know Merchant & Mills advocates for air-drying your linen but I am a tired toddler mom and will put anything but wool in a low tumble dry.
My best friend is planning her own Rondeau Shirt hack, inspired by mine is going to remove the side seam curves and will lengthen the shirt. She is using a few yards of the shop's Japanese Yak + Organic Cotton Flannel in the Golden Milk colorway - I can't wait to see it! Hers is going to be so cozy and will be a perfect Winter layering piece.
I cannot recommend the Rondeau Shirt enough - if you follow my IG shop page (@fluidplusdrape) you will see me wearing it in a lot of my reels and stories because I cannot get enough of it. I love how the super oversized gingham squares of the Electro Blues almost looks classic but adds drama because of their size. The pattern has a super cute western style yoke in the back and is well designed and drafted. Jonviea's instructions were great as well - I didn't have any issues assembling the shirt.
P.S. don't laugh at me but I also wear this shirt as pajamas, loungewear, as well as daywear. #secretpajamas anyone?