Easy Linen Shirt

This past week I attacked my second project from the book Sewing for Boys, the Easy Linen Shirt. I would have had to agree with the name of the shirt and the many other bloggers who rave about how simple this shirt really is to construct, until I got to the collar. Maybe it’s my beginner status, or the fact I seem to have trouble following directions (and therefor using other people’s patterns) but it took me a long time, a lot of fiddling, a bit of swallowing back the curse words I was so sorely tempted to emit, and in the end it was a less than perfect execution. Still, I’m happy with the shirt, feel I learned and grew from the experience. And Eli is thrilled with his new threads, so all in all, definitely a worthwhile experience.

Ooops! Forgot to iron it for the picture!

This shirt contains parts of an old linen shirt and skirt of mine, a men’s cotton shirt and the elephants are courtesy of a Banana Republic canvas shopping bag. I made the 4/5 size so the arms are a bit too long for Eli still.

A little touch of embroidery.

Because I did some of the sewing while he played nearby in the living room, I sang to him a little ditty I made up so as to buy myself a little time before he was too impatient to have me playing with him again. It went, “Mama’s making Eli and elephant shirt, elephant shirt, an elephant shirt. Mama’s making Eli an elephant shirt, that he can wear to __(insert a place he likes to go to)__.”  It worked. He’d say “Again, again, again!” after each verse. After we’d run through it a few times, I began to leave the last word out for him to fill in himself. EVERY TIME he’d exclaim “Ikea!” Usually followed by “Eli go to Ikea?! Eli go now! Go in the silver car!!” Yeah, Eli, Mama likes Ikea too. But we can’t go every day.

Large Elephant from a canvas Banana Republic shopping bag someone had passed on to me.

I used french seams on the arms and side seams. It was only my second time doing so… the first time being over two years ago. I’m loving how finished it looks! If the seam looks wide to you it’s because it is. I misread 3/8″ seams throughout as 5/8″ (I kept hearing the refrain printed in the comment section of just about every elementary report card I ever had (“doesn’t listen and follow instructions”) as I dealt with the consequences of this. Luckily the shirt is a size bigger than Eli currently wears for things made from this book so it will still fit for a while. It may be a bit tight by the time his arms grow into the sleeves though.

Here’s my little guy showing off his new shirt.

He’s always done with the photo session before I am!

Thanks for reading!


Here’s where I’m linking up:

Tea Rose Home


I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blogjembellish clothes

upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,


Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday


Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Heart and Soul Blog Hop


Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up WednesdayWaste Not Want Not Wednesday,


Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama2805,


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal




  1. faerylandmom said,

    November 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I love it!

  2. Maysem said,

    November 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I LOVE it Karen!! Love the addition of the elephant… it’s just perfect! I think you did an amazing job as always. And at least you are better than me with holding back those curse words… I’m trying to get better at it and tell myself I need to mess up sometimes because how else will I learn… it’s a learning experience;)

    • November 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks for the compliment! As for the cursing having a 2 1/2 year old in the room who is starting to repeat everything we say gives even a little more added incentive to not spout off as the mood strikes! And yea, I give myself the lecture about it being a learning experience, etc., etc… many times as I’m tempted to trash the whole thing in the midst of frustration! In the end I’m glad “the garbage truck didn’t eat it” as Eli would so eloquently put it!

  3. ReStitch Me said,

    November 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    It’s a GREAT shirt! Eli looks so cute in it. So, you got the “doesn’t listen and follow instructions” on your report card too?? Sigh. I’m still guilty sometimes too. 🙂

  4. November 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

    What an adorable boy and a darling shirt! Well done!

  5. danandmariel said,

    November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    So cute! I would love to have you come share this or any of your great ideas at the link party on ‘Or so she says…’ There’s one going on right now (and every Saturday – Tuesday). Hope to see you there! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com

  6. Karen Schulz said,

    November 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Visiting from We did it Wednesday. This is great. My Eli would love it. I am looking up the book you talk about. thanks for sharing

  7. Kat&Zefi said,

    November 21, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Great job on the shirt!

  8. November 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Great work on that hirt Karen! and I love your use of recycled materials!
    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  9. Anja said,

    November 25, 2012 at 5:08 am

    What a cute idea! It’s hard to make something that adorable for boys, but you nailed it =)

    • November 25, 2012 at 5:31 am

      Thanks! I’ve found a few blogs for boy-inspiration and my to-do list for Eli is now longer than I’ll probably ever accomplish. And now I’m expecting a little girl… So much sewing, never enough time and energy!

  10. November 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    This is so cute, and I love that little elephant! I also love that it’s all upcycled old clothes 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday! I’ve pinned this and look forward to seeing what you’re up to this week 🙂

  11. Inder said,

    November 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Looks great!! At this age, I find they get taller and their arms get longer, but their little bodies stay skinny as they lengthen out. It’ll be interesting to see how long this fits!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: