In Sewing

Cotton and Steel Mustang Shirt

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?


  • Elizabee

    I think this is an awful shirt. But you seem like a nice person (Lucille says so) so I’m willing to take it off your hands as a favour. Yes, I’m that kind! Just wrap it up and send it to me. COD. Like, now.

    Love the three patterns!

  • Shayna

    I know this is an old post, but I want you to know, this is the best thing I have ever seen on any sewing blog. THE BEST. I want one. Screw that, I want twelve!

    • Haha aww thanks, Shayna! That’s a seriously fantastic compliment 🙂 🙂

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  • I just found your blog. I am in love with this shirt/project. I can make 1950’s drndl skirts and dresses. I would love to learn to do this..

    Jenn – stopping over from

  • Your blouse is gorgeous. I love the combination of prints you used…I don’t know that I would ever think to combine those 3 prints but they look outstanding together!

  • This shirt is fantastic! I know exactly what you mean about learning with each shirt, even if you are using the same or similar profiles–I’m learning with every blouse what particular details I like, and it helps me to hone my eye for future projects!

  • SabineC

    Love your new hair, and no wonder you jump this high – who wouldn’t with such a fabulous new shirt!?
    You have given an ‘classic’ shirt style a completely fresh and modern twist. When you gathered the material, it may have looked like a bit of a color/pattern clash, but you made everything work together so well! Congratulations on a beautiful and inspired make 🙂

  • This shirt is amazing – a work of art. The fabrics work so well together and your attention to detail is just incredible. Perfectly executed – a truly unique and beautiful garment. I also love your hair – the style and colour are just perfect for you. Ann xxx

  • Fabulosity! Your cuff snaps are divine, and love the binding along the inside of the hem 🙂

  • Cindy

    I think this is one of my favorite garments that you’ve made. It’s really fun!

  • I love your new shirt!! And the new haircut – both are so inspiring!!

  • your shirt is looking great !

  • Wow! This shirt is amazing! I just did my first mix of patterns and I love the result more than the two patterns by themselves.

  • I love the mixed prints! You really have me interested in the snaps because I love my snap up shirts. Such an inspiring sewing project!

  • Michelle Fuller

    The first thing I noticed was your hair cut/color. I love it, it looks wonderful on you. And I also love your shirt! I didn’t think the yellow would look too great with the aqua accents, but I was pleasantly surprised at how nice your shirt turned out!


  • I think this is my favourite thing that you have ever made! I love the bright colours. Your sleeve placket design looks very similar to the button placket I recently made on a kaftan style shirt dress, where the buttons only go down to my chest. I don’t know about your pattern piece but the moment I saw this one I became really really nervous, because it looked really complicated, until I followed the instructions and it was really easy. I think it’s a really smart bit of detail on your shirt!

  • PinhouseP

    Totally fabulous shirt!!!!!!! And I especially love the sleeve heads. I’ve made a couple of Smooth Sailing blouses, but never wear them because of the overly puffy sleeves. It is a very nice pattern though. Your fabric choices are great, and the buttons…oh wow!

  • This is ridiculously gorgeous! Such a neat job, great fabrics, and good fit. I love the hair too! I was just longing to grow my hair and now I’m tempted to cut it shorter instead! (so fickle *sigh*)

  • Adorable hair cut and the shirt

  • Oh my word, it’s even more gloriously fantastic than I’d pictured in my mind. Awesome, awesome work, dear Rochelle!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  • Jenny

    LOVE your new haircut! You are all around adorable! #goldstar

  • stgilbert

    Eeeeep! What an amazing shirt!! And your hair is so cute! So much happiness in this post – hooray! 🙂

  • Your shirt is fantastic!! I love the colors in it a lot.
    And I love the new haircut, the cut and color suit you very well.

    I always find myself mixing and hacking patterns together, more for when I’m making cosplays though.

  • ShanniLoves

    excellent print mixing!

  • It’s finished! And it’s sooooo cool!!!! Do you just feel awfully proud wearing it? I’m sure you will be asked every time you wear it, “Where did you buy your shirt?” Followed by, “You are so talented!!!”

    Your hair is A-dor-able!!! I love the little flip in the back. I just got a pixie cut last week, I need to try that little flip! :o)


  • I hack patterns ALL the time but I have to say I am so in love with my few button up shirt patterns that it’s almost embarrassing : ) I’m loving your new creations, once I finish with my 20’s projects I’m back to shirts!

    • Hello Ms. Loran:

      Will you share which patterns you have grown to love? After reading Rochelle’s post here I’d like to give ’em a try.

      Thanks in advance.


  • LOVE IT! Both hair and shirt! What an inspiration! I love mixing prints too and the mix of modern with the past. You hit the nail on the head with this outfit!

  • Nicole

    This shirt wins for best shirt of all time. I love the fabrics you used!

  • Hannah

    The shirt looks so great! And I absolutely love your haircut, it looks so amazing!:)

  • MAD14kt

    LOVELY!!!! 😉

  • This is such a cute shirt! I love how you paired fabrics and have the horses galloping across your shoulders. The colors are so fun. I agree with your love of the longer, curved hem and lack of front pockets. Well done!

  • You took the words right out of my mouth: that is the coolest shirt you’ve ever made or that anyone’s ever made. I love love love it!

  • Heather Lou

    This is so country rad I can’t even deal. We need to find you a rodeo. From the 40s.

  • You have a lovely balance of fabric patterns there. I’m making a shirt at the moment. It’s really enjoyable 🙂

  • Chantel

    WOW! Super cute shirt! Amazing how you mixed the fabrics! I can hack a pattern but to mix prints — usually too chicken to try but I may give it a go after seeing your uber cool shirt! such fun 🙂

  • Lady, your shirt is snazzy and that hair cut is even snazzier. Sometimes I wish I could just touch the hem of your garment and maybe some of that sewing saavy that oozes from you, a small, minute portion may rub off on me.

    Excellent project as always, Rochelle.



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

      I hadn’t in the past but looks like I’ll surely try it now even if only once. This shirt is just too cute. Then again, you have a lovely petite silhouette it wouldn’t look like that on me. But hey, I’m a glutton for punishment as my Mom would say. I’d like to try it at least once. I like the way the shirt hugs your waist. Sexy, cool.

  • Lovely! Power clashing is always best. And now I know what those dang sleeve-vents are really called (thank you!). Got to try my hand at a placket some time soon.

  • I’m not usually that big a fan of shirts but OMG you nailed this!!! I absolutely love everything about it!!!

  • Tilly Buttons

    Wow, what an amazing make! The fabrics all look really cute together, I love the flat piping in particular. And omigawd you can jump high, lady!

  • sarah

    this is amazing – no wonder you are jumping with joy.

  • lovely details ;o)

  • I think this mah be one of the best things I’ve seen you make. It’s got great lines but your fabric choice just really makes your personality shine through. Well done.

  • I love your makeup and hair in this post! The shirt also looks really great! I like that this version is a little more fitted. You might be making a lot of button downs, but they’re each a little different so that makes it super fun to see what you do next!

  • Maria

    Rochelle, this is such a beautiful shirt! You’ve put so many details and so much work into this wonderfully made project. the mixed prints and color combination works great! Very admirable.

  • Too cute! You are really perfecting the art of the shirt 🙂 love all the cute accents!

  • Victoria

    I’m usually too nervous to mix patterns, but I really like the sleeves on this shirt- looks great! I love that mustang fabric, you did a really great job on this shirt, and I like the placket a lot. I’ll have to check out the snap setter, I always mess it up. I’m really excited to see what else you make, it’s making me really want to sew some button ups.

    And your hair looks awesome!

  • I wish I had your skills! I need to learn to make button up shirts. I’m just scared. Maybe that will be my fall goal.

    I made several Renfew/Coco mashups in order to mix up the neckline but keep the ease of a Coco-style dress. I just bought the Nettie pattern, and I see many neckline changes via Renfrew there, too. I like the basic of a t-shirt but the special of a neckline.

    Between your fantastic eye for color and awesome sewing skills, I would say this is a shirt to be PROUD to wear. Its amazing. I think you should keep on keeping on!!

    PS- Love the hair! I’m a firm believer that the joy of hair is it grows, so you can change it up!

  • I really love this shirt! I’m trying to remake a favorite shirt of mine at the moment- the Perfect shirt from JCrew- because I want a million more in whatever print I want. Without taking any of mine apart, I’m trying to draft a pattern to get one to fit as perfectly as the original. Its tedious work for sure. Of the shirts you’ve tried, which do you think has the most feminine, fitted fit? And I’m all for pattern hacking!

  • Your hair, love. The shirt, is just too frickin cute.

  • Your hair is certainly the showstopper, but the way you mixed the sewing patterns and the fabrics so flawlessly is inspiring!

  • I love it! Gosh, you did an amazing job. The fabrics are so cool.
    Love you hair, too. I had mine that colour for ages.

  • Such a cute shirt! But I think your amazing hair takes center stage on this post! This haircut is so great on you! Also thanks for the info on the snaps, I’ve been meaning to try using snaps.