Use double-sided checked fabric and coordinating linen to create Louise Nichol’s casual shirt for boys. With sizes for three age range, this handsome design features a cute patch pocket and press stud fastenings, so it’s easy to wear but will look super cool.
- Fabric: checked, 110cm x 115cm; blue
- Thread, coordinating
- Buttons, blue, 2cm, six
- Press studs, clear, six
- Dressmaking paper
- Fabric pen, disappearing
- Ages (5-6, 7-8), 9-10
- The instructions include a 5mm seam allowance (unless stated)
Stitch a boy’s shirt
To create the back pattern, draw a rectangle onto dressmaking paper measuring 48cm x 55cm for age 9-10 (42cm x 52cm, age 7-8; 36cm x 49cm, age 5-6). Measure 4cm in from both top corners either side and 24cm for age 9-10 (21cm, age 7-8; 18cm, age 5-6,) down. Draw lines to join the top and bottom points. This will be the armholes.
To shape the shoulders, measure in 14.5cm for age 9-10 (13.5cm, age 7-8; 11.5cm, age 5-6) from both top corners and 3cm down. Draw lines to join these points. Draw a slight curve in the centre and cut to form the neck hole. Cut these shapes out. You should now have a measurement of 16cm for age 9-10 (15cm, age 7-8; 14cm, age 5-6) across the top.
For the front pattern, draw another rectangle onto dressmaking paper measuring 27cm x 55cm for age 9-10 (23cm x 52cm, age 7-8; 21cm x 49cm, age 5-6). On one side measure and cut the armhole and shoulder shapes as described in steps 1 and 2. Then measure 7cm for age 9-10 (6cm, age 7-8; 5cm, age 5-6) down the inside edge and draw a curve for the neck from here to the highest point of the shoulder slope. Cut out.
Use your patterns to cut out one back and two front pieces from checked fabric, reversing the pattern for one of the front pieces. With right sides together, pin the shoulders and machine stitch. Press the seams open.
For the sleeves, draw a rectangle onto dressmaking paper measuring 22cm x 40cm for age 9-10 (21cm x 36cm, age 7-8; 20cm x 32cm, age 5-6). Measure into the centre point along the top edge, make a mark then measure down 8cm on both sides. Draw lines down from the centre point to each of the 8cm points. Measure in 2cm from both of the bottom corners and draw a line from these points to the 8cm points. Cut out, rounding off the centre point to a slight curve. Use your pattern to cut out two sleeves from checked fabric.
With right sides together, pin the sleeves to the armholes, beginning in the centre and working out to either side. Machine stitch together, making sure the fabric doesn’t gather underneath as you’re sewing. Clip the seam and press.
Cut two pieces of blue fabric each measuring 36cm for age 9-10 (32cm, age 7-8; 28cm, age 5-6) x 6.5cm and pin them to the wrong side of the bottom edges of the sleeves. Stitch and press the seams open. Matching the underarm seams, pin the front and back panels, then sew together. Clip the seam under the arms.
Turn under the raw edge of the blue fabric sleeve seam and hand sew in place to give a neat edge using tiny over stitches. Continue stitching slightly onto the checked fabric. Turn the sleeve through, then turn the bottom up by 5mm, pin, then turn up again by 3cm. Pin, tack and machine 3mm from the top edge of the blue fabric.
Cut two rectangles of blue fabric each measuring 12cm x 50cm for age 9-10 (10.5cm x 48cm, age 7-8; 9cm x 45cm, age 5-6). On both pieces fold over the long edges and one of the short edges by 1cm, trim the corners slightly and press. Fold in half lengthways and press again. Pin onto the front edges of the shirt so you have half the fabric in front and half behind, matching the edges front and back, and with the folded short edges at the top. Machine up the outside long edges, along the top short ones and down the other side 2mm from the edge.
For the collar, measure from the top corner on the outside edge of one of the blue strips going down the front, round the back of the neck to the other top corner. Add a 1cm seam allowance. Use this measurement x 12cm for age 9-10 (10cm, age 7-8; 8cm, age 5-6) to cut two rectangles, one from checked fabric and one from blue. Pin right sides together and stitch around three edges leaving one long side open. Snip the corners, turn through and press. Turn the open edges up by 1cm inside the collar and press.
Pin the collar to the shirt neck, beginning in the middle and working your way out, with the blue fabric on the inside, checked on the outside – sitting the shirt neck inside the collar with the bottom edges matching on either side. Tack and stitch in place. Remove the tacking and where the bottom corners of the collar meet the top corners of the blue strips that run down the front, work a few over stitches to secure.
For the pocket, cut 10cm x 11cm of checked fabric and 3cm x 11cm of blue fabric. Pin the two long edges right sides together and stitch. Press the seam open. Measure up 1.5cm on the blue fabric then turn the top edge over to the inside and press. Sew along the top 3mm from the edge.
Trim the corners slightly then turn all three raw edges in by 1cm and press. Position on the shirt and tack into place making sure the top edges are tucked in. Machine onto the shirt, doubling over the stitching at the top edges of the pocket to make it stronger. Remove the tacking.
Turn up the bottom hem of the shirt by 5mm, then by another 2cm, slightly trimming and turning in the end corners. Pin, tack and machine stitch.
Measure and mark with a disappearing fabric pen the position of the buttons so they are equal distances apart. Begin with the top and bottom ones before calculating the rest. Stitch in place, then position and sew press studs on the inside to line up with the buttons.