New shirt: Seamwork Roan in electric blue

I bought this electric blue semi-sheer cotton in Athens when I was visiting with my sister in March – not only is it beautiful, but it was so reasonably priced! I knew I wanted to make a shirt with it, and preferably something a bit oversized, so when I saw the design for one of May’s Seamwork patterns – the Seamwork Roan, I thought of the match-up right away.

Note: I’m a Seamwork ambassador, which allows me access to the monthly patterns early, although there’s no obligation to make them. Opinions are my own.

The Pattern

The Seamwork Roan is actually described as an oversized button-down tunic, but it feels like more of a shirt to me. My favourite thing about it is definitely all the little details – this is a button DOWN shirt, which means that the edges of the collar are physically buttoned to the shirt body. I never knew this was what defined a button-down for the longest time, until Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame enlightened me on one particular episode. Thank you Tim!

The shirt/tunic/whatever also features a proper cuff and sleeve placket with two buttons to keep it fastened, which is another neat design touch. There’s a two-piece collar and a curved hem.

Sizing and fitting

I made the misses 14, which represents two sizes down from where my measurements would put me. I estimated that this would give me an oversized shirt, but not SUPER oversized. As you can see, there’s still plenty of room in there. I toyed with the idea of adding a dart, as I’d normally need an FBA when sizing down this much, but took a close look at the sample photos and finished measurements and decided I’d probably be okay – and it worked out just fine.

I made a few further adjustments that are reasonably standard for me. I took 1.5″ out of the sleeves and an inch out of the body. I liked where the hem ended up – past my bum but not crazy-long.

Construction and adjustments

As per most Seamwork patterns, the instructions were super. I thought the trickier parts, like the cuff and placket, were laid out and explained very well. I liked the fact that the curvy hem was pre-pressed at an early stage – it made it so much easier to deal with later on in the process.

However, there were a few aspects that weren’t my favourite and/or that I would tweak next time:

  • There is a centre back seam, which seems unnecessary, so I’d remove that
  • I like the dropped sleeve, but the sleevehead is set into the shoulder and there’s quite a bit of gathering. I guess on a broader shoulder it might work, but on me I felt like I had a second pair of elbows sticking out. I gave the sleeveheads a good press to get them as flat as possible and it looks okay with my sleeved rolled up. I would definitely flatten it out another time.
  • The pockets as originally designed were too big for my tastes. I reduced the size by about a third (I just eyeballed it) and used just one. The instructions for the pockets are quite near the front of the document, so I skipped the whole section until the end.
  • The cuffs were very wide. I would narrow them by about a third again.

Despite my few design issues, I’ve worn this shirt several times already and it’s extremely comfortable, has gotten compliments every time and goes with tons of other items in my wardrobe. I just love this electric blue colour. So I have to call it a big win!

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