Shirty September with Pattern Fantastique’s Phen

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!

(Yes, I did print my pdf pattern on pink paper)

The Shirty September theme of #magamsewalong (make a garment a month) was the perfect reason to try it out.

(A new shirt and a new skirt! It was a shirty and skirty September for me. The skirt is another version of Burda 09/2008 #134 in a wool cotton blend)

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

(Look at the pockets! Don’t look at the waist with some of the facing showing. It doesn’t pay to tuck your shirt in quickly and without a mirror before a photo)

– 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.

(Untucked. With bonus tired face)

(Tucked in. With the same tired face, and a touch of shirtiness to my expression)

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.

(The result of my attention to trimming to get the right amount of turn of cloth is impossible to see with this patterned fabric. But I know I did it, and it worked!)

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!

12 thoughts on “Shirty September with Pattern Fantastique’s Phen

  1. Well done, the blouse is beautiful Elle. 🙂
    Unfortunately being top heavy I cannot wear them – I’m looking forward to the day I get my breast reduction, thinking of all the clothes I’ll be able to wear! Faith xo

  2. Nice sewing! Shirts are such a pain in the butt, so many details… I am a fan of batwing sleeves except when it comes to layering them. Any layer that goes on top of a batwing must also be a batwing!

  3. Lovely shirt, great fabric find! I’ve been eyeing off this pattern and sitting on the fence about it, although I like many of the details. Might have to rethink that after seeing your great review.

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