Cotton and Steel Mustang Shirt

July 21, 2014

Well this is probably the coolest shirt I’ve ever made! If I didn’t rave about Cotton & Steel enough in my last post, you’ve got to check out this company! Melody Miller plus four co-founding designers equals some seriously dreamy stuff. Go watch their videos and then thank me later when you fall in love. All three prints used in my shirt come from Cotton & Steel’s debut collections: Mustang and Netorious.


I used a total of three sewing patterns to complete this shirt. The body of the shirt is the Smooth Sailing blouse by Wearing History, but I added the sleeves from the Archer pattern and a fancier sleeve placket from a menswear pattern in my stash. Easing the Archer sleeves into the Smooth Sailing bodice gave them just enough puffiness at the cap.


This is the first time I’ve ever done a sleeve placket like this but I decided to give it a shot because I always have bad luck with the placket included in the Archer pattern. I always get a pucker at the curve of the placket opening or my bias strip rips away from the fabric completely. I’m so happy I decided to try this method because now I prefer it! I found an excellent tutorial on YouTube and got nearly perfect results the first time. I promise it’s way easier than it looks!


I fussy cut the mustangs on the pocket and the yokes so they wouldn’t get cut off in the seam allowance of any of the pieces. I got really lucky with the star print though because I wasn’t paying attention to that print placement at all! It didn’t occur to me that I even should be paying attention to that print layout until I went to line up the front pieces and said “Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, please form straight lines, please form straight lines, pleasssseeeeeee form stra… YESS!!!” The stars form lines across the fabric so it would have looked really bad if those lines didn’t run totally parallel across the front of my shirt. The Sewing Gods were on my side that time!


I had planned to make my own piping for the aqua accents, but decided to conserve fabric and bulk by using flat on-grain strips of fabric instead. I really like the way it looks!


Oh, and I got a hair cut! I was inspired by my Short Vintage Hair post, what can I say. Unfortunately the pretty tiger lily colors washed out of my hair in about three days so I went back to red. It matches my shirt! Plus, this shade of red is one of my favorites ever. …it’s probably not my mom’s favorite, but she doesn’t hate it either 😉


I used The Snap Setter tool with the Snap Source brand pearl snaps and I really can’t say enough good things about this brand. I was skeptical to buy it because the website is super out dated and the purple surf board thingy looks pretty hokey, but in all seriousness this tool gives me perfect snaps every single time. I had tried the bargain snaps from Jo-Ann’s previously and the results were nothing short of awful. Not the case with the Snap Setter! I’m super happy with it.


I used bias tape again for the bottom hem because I wanted to conserve all the length I could. The Smooth Sailing blouse is a 1930s/40s reproduction so the length is really short. Turning up the hem by a quarter inch instead of an inch and a half made it much more wearable with low rise jeans. (The Lucky Lucille tags are from an Etsy seller. I had them made several years ago but Custom Couture Label Co is the name I think…)


Well I hope you’re not sick of seeing button-up shirts yet because I’m definitely not sick of making them! Every new one I make is a little bit better than the last, and I’m really enjoying the process of trying to slow down and build skill. I’m also learning what I like and don’t like in a button-up pattern with each rendition I try.


I know I like western accents, the fancier sleeve plackets, and snaps instead of buttons. I think I like the longer curved hem lengths and no breast pockets though. I loooooove mixed prints, but next time I’d like to use just one pattern instead of three.

The bottom line? I LOVE THIS SHIRT!

Do you mix prints or hack patterns? What sewing concoctions have you fallen in love with lately?