Earlier this year I worked on evaluating my wardrobe using the Seamwork Magazine Design Your Wardrobe series. The series of worksheets helped me evaluate what was missing from my wardrobe and the styles of garments that I’d like to sew. (You can learn more about the course here.) One of the things I discovered is that I like boxy tops. After a little research, I found the Willamette Shirt by Hey June patterns. It’s an easy to sew collared shirt with a loose, boxy fit. Just what I was looking for.
This pattern has a reputation as a great beginner collared shirt pattern and being quick to sew. It does not disappoint in either respect. If you have never sewn a collar before this is a great one to start with because there is no collar stand or fiddly pieces to match up. I really appreciated that the instructions finish so many of the seams. I didn’t need to thread up my overlocker at all. The one thing I would do differently to make a perfectly enclosed finish is to hide the seam for the cuff. But I was a little anxious to finish the shirt and just zig-zagged that seam.
I cut a size 10 and did a 1” full bust adjustment using this tutorial from Hey June. The tutorial was really easy to understand and didn't take very long to do. I also added 2 3/8 inches to the length of the front. For reference, my upper bust is 35” and my full bust is 38”. I also added topstitching on the collar.
By looking at the line drawings I was honestly a little confused about the different views of this design and how the shirt closed. Basically it's a roomy button down without the buttons. (Another reason it's quick to sew.) The front of the shirt is kept closed by topstitching the front pieces closed. It’s not really that confusing, the details just weren’t apparent to me.
I was inspired by Miss Make’s knotted version so I did not topstitch my hem all the way to the bottom. With the front partially topstitched, I can wear it open or knotted depending on my mood. I considered adding buttons but decided I'd just wait and see if I wanted buttons later. I think that buttons would add a nice detail to the front. I'll probably wear it a few more times before deciding.
The fabric is a medium weight cotton from The Fabric Store. The fabric is a little heavy so it doesn't drape as nicely as other draperier (I know that’s not a word but shouldn’t it be?) fabrics would. Anyway, I think with a few more washes it will soften up and the weight doesn’t bother me at all. I actually have a few more yards of this fabric and am thinking about making it into Burnside Bibs or maybe a jumpsuit. I will likely make this pattern again and look forward to trying it in a different kind of fabric.