Good morning, Curvy Sewing Collective! My name is Elaine and this is my review of The Liberty Shirt by The Sewing Workshop. This pattern is, apparently, a knock-off of a Issey Miyaki shirt and has a loose-fitting, easy style. Its size range is XS-XXL, which covers up to a bust measurement of 46 inches and a hip measurement of 47.5 inches.
This is one of my favorite patterns of all time, readers. To the best of my memory, I have made it three times as a shirt, once as a sweater, six times as a T shirt, and once as a jacket. That is 11 makes! A record for me. While I do not have pictures of every one I have made, many of them are on The Sewing Workshop’s website gallery. I go to Puyallup every year and, every year, Linda Lee takes a picture of my Liberty, and puts it in her gallery!
So, why is it one of my favorites? Well, you only need to fit this shirt through the bust, shoulders, and the sleeves. There is lots of designer ease through the hip making this a perfect pattern for a pear shaped woman, like myself. What’s more, it’s a truly versatile little pattern. I have made it most times with her little standup collar, as in the pattern illustration above, but today’s review is about one I made with a collar from another shirt pattern. The fabric in this one is a non-stretch cotton, a lovely hand-dyed Marcia Derse fabric that I bought last year at Puyallup. Needless to say, I swung around to her booth again and bought 2 more lengths for more shirts. It is really about 3 steps up from quilting cotton and has a lovely hand!
Construction of The Liberty Shirt is very straightforward with lots of good, clear directions and the pattern pieces all fit together really well. The Sewing Workshop patterns often have a sewing lesson and this pattern has a wonderful demonstration of mitred corners. There are 4 pages of directions to help you make this shirt. They also sell the directions to make the T shirt but I have never bought them and just figured it out on my own.
I have grown somewhat since I last made it as a shirt, so I will go over the changes I made to this one and why. My bust today is 45″ and my hips are 47″. I chose the size Large because I like how that fits in the shoulder. The XL is too “drop shoulder” a look for me, but the Large does not give me enough across the chest. Unfortunately, there is no bust dart in this pattern. I was somewhat worried about doing a FBA, as the side seams on this shirt are asymmetrical, but forged ahead anyway.
Overall, I added 1.25 inches as an adjustment and put the dart in at the side seam. To do this, I first cut off the bottom of the pattern, so that I would not add anything more to the bottom of the pattern. There is more than enough hip room in this pattern, trust me! This also gave me a chance to do my other major fit adjustment: adding 3.5 inches in the length. As printed, this pattern is short on me, cutting me right above my crotch. I really dislike that length on me! When I joined the pattern back together, I added in my extra lenght, and used my French curve to make the two fit together. Remember that, when you do a FBA to the front, that you get extra length at the center front, so you also need to add that to your front facing. Ask me how I know this! The only adjustment I made to the back of the pattern was to add the 3 1/2 inches in length. I also cut the back bottom at the XXL length. This adds a bit of extra to that hi- low effect. Just my preference, but I think it’s cute.
I changed the front neckline to match the different collar I chose. Luckily, it was only a change in the shape of the neckline!
What would I change next time? (And there will be a next time!) Well, I will cut out the dart as a little box and move it down 1 inch. I found that I am not as perky in the bust area and this dart is a bit too high. 😉
For me this pattern gets a 5 out of 5 rating! Any pattern that gets made 11 times deserves it. This is one of those shout it from the rooftops patterns. I have loved every one I’ve made! There is flattering shape in this pattern, even though it could look boxy in the illustration. It also has good sizing for plus sized women and with an FBA it can be made even bigger than their sizing. I believe in a t-shirt knit that it should fit a woman up to a 60 inch hip!