In a closet full of different styles, the white linen shirt is the very definition of a wardrobe staple. Paired easily with anything from jeans to trousers or a simple skirt, it instantly adds a touch of sophistication and cool masculinity. And even though your standard button-down will always do the trick, today we’d like to show you our modern update on the classic white linen shirt.
The shirt we imagined combines traditional tailored features like button bands, sleeve cuffs and a yoke with a minimalist styling, relaxed fit and a stand up collar. It falls perfectly, looks sharp and feels luxuriously soft due to our high quality linen.
Follow this step-by-step tutorial and make this beautiful shirt that every woman should own.
2 yards of medium weight 100% linen in IL019 OPTIC WHITE Softened
Matching sewing thread, 10-12 buttons
Pattern paper, scissors, pins, ruler, seam ripper, fabric marker, chalk, buttonhole foot, measure tape, 18 mm bias tape maker, needle, sewing machine
You can access the pattern by following this link HERE. Remember to add seam allowances as indicated in the pattern.
Please note that this shirt has a relaxed fit and would suit sizes XS – M. If you need a larger size, then we’d recommend adding a couple of inches to the sides of the front and back panels and some extra volume to the sleeves. If you need help grading your pattern, please follow this tutorial.
For the mandarin collar, draw your own pattern following the instructions in THIS tutorial.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
As always, we start with the button bands.
1. Follow our detailed tutorial and complete the button bands. Remember that in women’s shirts the buttonholes are placed on the right and the buttons – on the left. So make sure that the left side of your front pattern (the longer one) is folded twice towards the wrong side, whereas the right side (the shorter one) is finished with a separate 1″ wide piece of fabric.
As for the interfacing – this step is optional. You don’t need to interface the button bands unless you want to give it more support and a crispier look.
Do not sew the buttonholes and attach the buttons yet, we’ll do it at the very end of our tutorial.
2. Sew the patch pocket to the right side of your left front piece following the first method explained in this tutorial.
Place your pocket 5.5” down from the neckline and 2.5” from the folded button band.
Usually, the bottom hem is the last thing you sew. But since this shirt’s hem is rather curvy, we’ll sew the hem now and assemble the shoulder/side seams after. As you can see, there’s a pretty sharp inverted corner at the side seams where the curves meet, so it would be impossible to just fold and stitch along the entire hem at once.
3. Finish the bottom hem using the great technique for curvy edges explained in this tutorial.
Now that the preparation is over, we can finally assemble the back and the fronts of the shirt with a yoke.
4. You’ll find the detailed instructions on how to attach the yoke in this step-by-step tutorial.
First create a 1″-wide box pleat:
Then attach the yokes:
5. Time to draw and attach the collar. You’ll find the detailed explanation in this tutorial.
Next up – the sleeves!
6. Before attaching the sleeves, sew the continuous bound plackets on each sleeve following this tutorial (steps 1-11).
7. Pin the sleeves to the armholes right sides together. Make sure that the bound slits are positioned towards the back of your shirt.
8. Stitch at a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance then grade and serge/zigzag the raw edges together. Press the seam allowances towards the sleeve.
9. Pin the side seams and the underarms.
10. Stitch the side seams and the underarms all in one seam at a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance then grade and serge/zigzag the raw edges together. Press the seam allowances towards the sleeve.
11. Following the same tutorial, sew and attach the cuffs to each sleeve.
12. Lastly, sew the buttonholes and attach the buttons. Remember, that the buttonholes are sewn on the right button band and the tower side of the cuff, whereas the buttons – on the left side of the button band and the left side of the cuff.
For the buttonholes, you can follow our detailed tutorial HERE. As for the buttons, check our tutorial HERE for instructions. Overlap the shirt and place a pin into the center of each buttonhole. This is where you’ll need to attach the button.
The number and the spacing are really up to you. If you want your buttons closer, just leave smaller gaps between them. We decided to space our buttons 2,5″ (6 cm) apart.
13. Give your shirt a good last press and you are all done!
A classic piece on its own, this simple white linen shirt also works well as a canvas for any number of cute embellishments. Add a contrasting pocket, colored buttons or even customize it with some hand embroidery.