My handmade wardrobe – A white shirt and jersey trousers.

These are two makes that I think are quickly becoming wardrobe staples. I love a simple white shirt especially a fairly casual one. Its an easy to wear choice that doesn’t require much thinking. I never decide what I’m going to wear until I get up in the morning and usually when I get up I have two little people asking me a hundred questions or needing help with what they are wearing! So it’s great (particularly when running late – always!) to have a simple shirt that I can throw on with jeans or trousers that will definitely look OK no matter how harassed I am.

The shirt pattern is Thread count 1617 which came free with a sewing magazine a few months ago (unfortunately I can’t remember which mag it was). There are various versions on the pattern. I chose this long line version with pockets and roll back sleeves that fasten with buttons and tabs. I used semi sheer check cotton fabric from my shop.

I am really happy with the way it turned out. I Love the proportions of the style. The make up was easy and went together quickly with no problems. The fit is exactly what I hoped for and it feels great to wear.

The one thing I forgot all about for some reason was pattern matching. Despite thinking about pattern matching almost on a daily basis I just didn’t on this. The checks are quite subtle on the fabric because they are self colour. However I was a bit disappointed to notice how badly ‘out’ they were down the sides. Due to me not even considering pattern matching while I happily chopped the shirt out. Nevertheless it hasn’t put me off wearing this shirt. I love it.  I think I will be making more shirts with this pattern. I might try a printed cotton lawn next.

The trousers are a version of my self drafted cigarette trouser pattern that I’ve made a million times.  I’m a big fan of the whole Athlesiure trend where easy workout clothes meet everyday styles. I wanted a pair of comfy jersey trousers that were more trouser than jogger.  These have side pockets and elasticated waist. I used an Art gallery knit  fabric. The elastane in this fabric gives it a bit of body but they still feel light and comfy. I think These would also work out well in a drapey woven viscose. Maybe a bit late for this year but I may well try them next year.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...


  1. Chantal L. on August 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I love both the shirt and the trousers! I have the same shirt pattern and you’ve just convinced me that I need to bump it up in my sewing list!

    • Julia Claridge on August 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      thank you Chantal. Yes its a great pattern. I think I might try it in a Lady McElroy lawn and also in a heavier cotton or linen! you can never have to many tops 🙂

  2. Rosemary on August 30, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I have never used a thread count pattern but have three in my collection. Would you recommend them?

    • Julia Claridge on September 1, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Rosemary, yes I thought it was a good pattern, I think its the first or maybe second one I’ve tried. Lots of plus points. The shirt has some tailored looking details but done in a more simplified way which was a nice surprise. I adjusted the size based on my bust measurement according to their size chart which worked well. I would definitely use more Threadcount patterns. Do you have a favorite brand?

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