What comes first? The fabric or the pattern? On this occasion I decided on both within 10 minutes – this never usually happens! I’d spotted the Lady McElroy ‘Sign of the Times’ fabric on Sew Me Sunshine and it truly was love at first sight. The quirky motifs on a pale pink background are right up my street! I knew also that I was craving a statement garment, I’d made a few simpler makes recently and needed a lengthier project I could get stuck in to. Cue the Thea Boho Sleeve Shirt. Ooh THE SLEEVES! Having never made a shirt before and, as someone who loves gathered sleeves, this was definitely the perfect pattern to pair with my fabric.
So, let’s start with the fabric. This is a Lady McElroy cotton lawn. Being a cotton, it’s really lovely to work with and has the perfect amount of structure for a lightweight, comfortable shirt. The fabric is covered in modern hand and face motifs on a pale pink background and is a really lovely quality cotton.
I decided on view B which is the gathered sleeve variation – the feature I was most excited about sewing! I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this pattern was to follow. Having never made a shirt before, the construction was relatively simple. However, before I dived in, I was glad that I listened to my intuition and looked up pattern reviews from other sewists. Many had put heed to the importance of transferring all pattern markings and it’s definitely something that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when sewing the self-facing.
Likewise, when you’re cutting out your fabric, pay attention to the instructions on the front bodice pattern pieces. These two pieces are different and must be placed on one, single layer of fabric with the print facing right side up. The only change I made to the pattern was to use single layers of fabric for the sleeve gathers, the pattern asks you to line the inside of the gathers with the fabric but I didn’t have enough! Luckily, it’s not that noticeable.
I referred to the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern sheet as opposed to following those on the pattern envelope as it makes it much easier to determine your size. The Thea Boho Shirt is actually the Vogue 9331 and as with many of the Big Four patterns, the sizes can be a little generous. I was actually between sizes but decided to cut a size 14 throughout, it is a little baggy on me admittedly, but to be honest I don’t mind.
Changes to make next time
I know I’ve said this before but I would probably alter the pattern next time to get a better fit. I don’t feel super confident about sizing alterations but it is something I want to improve on. The shoulders are a little wide for me and next time I would probably grade from a 12 at the bust to a 14 at the waist. Another change would be to add the peter pan collar as I think this would suit me better.
Thank you for reading my review of the Thea Boho Sleeve Shirt. Have you tried this one?