The Curlew Shirt, Hacked!

The Curlew shirt and dress pattern is from the Merchant & Mills Workbook and I’ve already made two versions of it. The one I’m sharing here is the third one, so you can probably tell I like it quite a bit!!! It’s a lovely pattern to make and I love the fit. You can probably see from the  second photo below that it’s cut on the bias so it hangs and shapes to your body really beautifully.


I had 1.3m of this gorgeous Alison Glass plus print from her ‘handcrafted 1’ collection. As much as I liked the pluses, I thought they would make perfect ‘kisses’ when cut on the bias… and so it came to be!


Having cut each of the front and back pieces as per the pattern instructions, I then prepared them by stay-stitching the neckline and armholes, as well as sewing up the bust darts. I did not use any *tape* around these edges but I did use strips of woven interfacing when joining the shoulders. I joined the sides using a very narrow zigzag and then finished the seam allowances.

*please note, I only used one layer of fabric for the body*

I like to do things back to front sometimes and before even starting with the sleeves I finished the hem on the body as well. I did this by turning and pressing first 1cm and then 2cm towards the wrong side. I used a blind stitch on the sewing machine, but you can hem it in any way you like.



I was using the pattern pieces I’d cut when I made a long sleeved version and didn’t want to alter these, so to make the short sleeves I just folded the pattern piece up to the length I wanted. In this case 7cm down from the armpit. This included 3cm hem allowance.  While I’m at the hem, there’s something I forgot to include in my sleeve alteration process so had to correct that swiftly. I did not allow the right angle at the seam for the hem to sit flat when turned up. Please see the third photo down captioned ‘correction’ to understand what I did to fix this. When joining up the sleeves, I had to stop at the hem allowance point (3cm), put the needle down, then pivot and continue stitching out towards the corner of the hem. This allowed sufficient width to fix the issue (before it became an issue!). I prepared the sleeves for hemming by turning and pressing first 1cm and then 2cm towards the wrong side. I hemmed the sleeves using the same blind stitch as on the body. The sleeves were now ready to be attached. Please note that I did sew two rows of gathering stitches on the caps prior to sewing up the sleeves. These really do help when easing the sleeves into the armholes.



Once the sleeves were attached, I was ready to think about the neckline. It took a little while to decide on the best way and proportion but once i worked that out and decided on a funnel roll neck, I just went for it. I calculated that (I made the size 10 UK) I needed a piece 20cm wide and 65cm long cut on the bias and joined into a loop. I then folded this lengthways and attached the raw edges to the neckline, stitching it together and finishing the raw edges together.


And that was that… because, remember, I had already done all the hemming earlier so there wasn’t anything else to do. Can’t wait to wear it… sometime in the future… when the sun decides to shine!!!

P.S. I wrote this last week when it was still ‘winter’ here in the UK… but the sun is certainly shining today and I managed to get a photo of me wearing it : )


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