Sarah-jeanne of Paulinessence Patterns said hi to me one day on IG and we started chatting and I think her patterns are so lovely. She is French and is living in the US so I can see a French perspective in her designs but they have a vintage vibe to them too. We decided to do a little collaboration / exchange. I gifted her a few yards of the Lilac Daydreams Gingham and she gifted me the Lorica Shirt pattern (avail in sizes 6-22 up to a 43" bust). We are both have sewing-related businesses so we decided it would be fun to try each other's products and share them online to uplift each other's small businesses.
The Lorica Shirt has two collar options and I chose the large collar (option 1).
For this French and vintage inspired pattern, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about my shop's fabrics but landed on the Sunray Wide Lemon by Atelier Brunette (available in my shop). The yellow in this fabric is slightly muted so it's giving vintage vibes which is perfect for this project and it's also perfectly playful for the large collar. I also used Atelier Brunette Off White Quartz buttons from my shop.
Sunray Wide Lemon stumped me at first - I couldn't figure out what it reminded me of but after sewing with it, I realized that it totally reminds me of vintage beach umbrellas! Photo by Food52.
Sarah-jeanne of Paulinessence Patterns recommended that I size down if I wanted a more fitted shirt because the pattern is a bit oversized. I did decide to size down for a closer fit. My bust measurement (35") put me at size 12 on the size chart so I sized down to size 10. My only modification was to remove the darts to accommodate my small bust. My postpartum / post nursing body has changed and my bust is much flatter and darts are fitting me so awkwardly - good thing they can be removed! I followed this tutorial from Helen's Closet on removing darts. Above is the finished pattern piece after the dart removal.
I highly recommend following the cutting layout for this pattern! The modal fabric shrunk probably 10-15% in the wash and frayed quite a bit and I didn't follow the cutting layout (lots of regrets there) and I had to cut more and more fabric to finish the project. I think I tried to get away with 1.5 yards but ended up needing 2.5 yards total but I totally goofed with not following the cutting layout. Normally it doesn't make big difference in my sewing but this pattern has a very clever layout and the pattern pieces are large (big sleeves, big collar etc) so it's important.
The pattern pieces (minus the collar).
The modal fabric pressed really nicely but it does fray a ton so finishing those seams is a must! I used my serger and pressed the seams open.
The bodice (in progress).
The bodice, the collar, and the facing. I had a tricky time with the facing. I must have messed up my seam allowances somewhere because the facing didn't match up perfectly for me and I had to rip out the shoulders of the facing and try again and again and it still doesn't sit perfectly flat in the blouse but it's hidden. I am an intermediate sewist but I have only made one collared shirt in the past so this style is still new to me. This style is easier though than a collared shirt that has a collar stand - because this is a flat collar, the construction is a little easier in my opinion.
This was my first time using an elastic button braid! It was super fun and surprisingly easy. I ordered this button braid from HumboldtHaberdashery on Etsy. There ended up being too many loops for my liking so after it was constructed, I just snipped off every other loop. I am so glad I did this because I used 27 buttons for this shirt and had to sew every single one by hand! I also didn't want the shirt to be weighed down by so many buttons so I'm glad I spaced them out.
I also found myself confused about how to do the wrist opening for the buttons but luckily there are great tutorials on the web for just about any sewing skill so I followed this tutorial by Professor Pincushion.
Voila! This is my beautiful finished Lorica Shirt which I paired with a skirt I refashioned out of an old Wiksten Shift Dress.
A detail shot of the adorable little quartz buttons from Atelier Brunette.
I love my finished Lorica Shirt in Sunray Wide Lemon - it's easy to style with other pieces in my wardrobe and I learned some new skills along the way like installing a button braid. The Sunray Wide Lemon modal is really soft and breathable.