Pattern Fantastique’s Phen shirt pattern has intrigued me for a long time. Just look at that shape! Even the simplest cuffs for this pattern are curved!
The Shirty September theme of #magamsewalong (make a garment a month) was the perfect reason to try it out.
I used a small floral cotton shirting from my stash but originally from someone else’s stash – I scored this lovely fabric from one of the second hand shops at Port Elliott. It has “Cloud 9 organic cotton” printed on the selvedge and has a crisp shirting weight feel to it – if it’s quilting cotton, it’s very nice quality!
Small floral on a dark background – almost the worse fabric for a shirt with lots of details:
– like two front pockets with rounded corners and placed unusually high. Bet you can’t see them unless I put my hands in them
– a deep back yoke with stitching at the top of the pleat and a hanging loop, completely camouflaged
– two piece sleeves which turn into the “placket”, those curved cuffs I already mentioned…
The only thing that isn’t lost in the florals is the amazing dropped shoulder batwing sleeves.
I made a size 18 and its a smidge tight at the hips.
I didn’t baste the side seams to check the fit – an excellent tip from Beck, IsewthereforeIam for this pattern – and I think I probably continued the seam too far. The curved seams mean a few mm too far and you’ve gone down a size or three.
The curved seams also mean that you can have an incredibly blousy top without a lot of volume to tuck in. Genius design.
This pattern has very comprehensive instructions and many of the steps also have diagrams. The only one I ignored was interfacing. Instead of using iron on or sew in interfacing, I just added another layer of fabric. Except for the front button band. Which was a mistake – the button holes are a bit puckered on each end.
I appreciated that the instructions included trimming for turn of the cloth for the cuffs, collar, collar band and yoke. You don’t usually get this level of detail on a shirt pattern.
But it’s those instructions that made this a Shirty September sew for me.
Either the instructions were written a bit differently to what I expected, or I’m used to next to no instructions and just doing my own thing. I seemed to spend a lot of time reading them and checking them rather than just sewing. And that made me shirty! Beck has also recently made this pattern and written a great post about it – I agree with everything she says about the instructions!
Will I make it again? Probably! I’m intrigued by the “bunny ears” tie collar and tie cuffs version and I’d like to try it again in a drapier fabric. And I won’t need to read the instructions next time!