August Mini Wardrobe Plan-The White Shirt

Building a successful wardrobe that serves you well begins with the basics.  They are the backbone of every great wardrobe and can pull together many different looks.  Simply stated, wardrobe basics make it easier to get dressed in the morning.  I’m collaborating with Andrea, from Sew-to-Fit, to help you put together basic wardrobe pieces so you will have outfits you love. I will discuss fabrics and patterns that work with various figure types.   Andrea will follow up with a series of YouTube videos on pattern alterations for the different figure types as well as a few sewing tips. These videos will include real women fitting sessions to help you get a better idea of what you can do to make your own perfect white shirt.  Be sure to sign up for Sew Much Fabric’s mailing list (scroll to the bottom of the home page) for additional exclusive information.

The first wardrobe basic is a classic white shirt.  A white shirt is one of the hardest working items in your closet right up there with your jeans.  It’s an excellent layering piece and white can add brightness to any color.  A white shirt can go to the office, the grocery store and take you out for a night on the town. Having a white shirt can quickly expand your outfit combinations.

The most popular fabric for a classic white shirt is cotton. A white cotton shirt is clean, crisp and chic.  It’s also the most versatile.  A white shirt made with silk is elegant and luxurious-perfect for work and special occasions.  And linen (Sold Out) is also a great choice however it’s best worn in the spring/summer and for more causal settings. Also keep in mind to select a white that works best for your complexion.

Selecting a pattern that works for your particular body type is important to get that polished look you want from a wardrobe basic.  McCalls 6124 is a great pattern for all figure types.  The princess seams gives plenty of opportunities to alter for the bust, waist and hips.  But there are patterns that can help to enhance your particular figure type.  Of course I won’t be able to cover all of the many varied figure types.  And some patterns can work for more than one figure type.  But I hope this will help you to look at patterns more critically and analyze what will best work for you.

Burda Style 2/2010 #114 This figure type needs patterns that nip in at the waist. This can be achieved with a shaped side seam, vertical dart or princess seam.

Vogue 9029 Pay attention to button placement if you have a large bust.  A pattern that has a seam through the shoulders is great because the chest/shoulder area is usually smaller in proportion to the full bust as well as the hips.  If you select a short sleeve make sure the hem falls above or below the fullest part of the bust.

Sewaholic Grainline-The Sewaholic pattern line is made for the smaller bust /larger hip woman.   The pockets help to balance out the hips.  Simplicity 1279 has gathers at the shoulders another way to balance out the hips and give fullness to a small bust.

Burda 6839  The hem should cut across the fullest part of the stomach no longer than high hip.  Princess seams are helpful in fitting around the stomach area.  A fabric with structure (Cotton or Linen) vs a soft drapy fabric (Charmeuse) works well for this figure type.  Ruching is also another option.

Vogue 8772 Shaped side seams can give the illusion of a waistline.

A white shirt will offer you endless styling options. Once you have your classic white shirt have fun making other styles like a wrap top or peplum and enjoy a wardrobe of white shirts!


  1. Art Attack
    August 21, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    Great post, Roz! Can't wait to see all the tips you and Andrea put together since you are both fashion idols of mine!:D

    • Andrea
      August 22, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      That is awesome.. Thank you so much. Never thought of myself as "fashion" idol. Hehe. So cool.

  2. Roz
    August 21, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Dorcas, you are definitely one I was for fashion!!

  3. Anonymous
    August 23, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    Great article, Roz! Thanks for posting it!!! Ronnie

  4. Julie Starr
    August 28, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    I, too, loved this post, Roz. Truer fashion advice was never spoken! Looks like you've got some wonderful white shirting fabrics.

  5. Roz
    August 29, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Thanks Ronnie and Julie!!

  6. MaryEllen
    August 31, 2015 / 2:19 am

    Really great info – thx looking forward to more tips !

  7. Roz
    August 31, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    Thank you MaryEllen!

  8. Jodi
    September 27, 2015 / 2:12 am

    Very helpful as my body has changed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *