three contrast details for your classic shirt

Take a close look at the photo below. Do you notice anything? There are three places on this shirt where I used a contrast fabric for a subtle and surprising bit of fun. See if you can find them. (Don’t worry; I didn’t make it too hard.)

I told you I sewed the Classic Shirt about six times in chambray when I was developing the pattern, and I wasn’t exaggerating. This is one of those samples. I’ll take you through the details. First, the neckline:

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt with contrast inside front placket

See that gingham? It’s only visible on the inside of the placket. To add it, I used the same technique as the set-in placket on View A, but I trimmed and sewed it to the outside of the wearer’s left shirt front instead, so it ended up on the inside of the shirt when it was finished. It’s a detail that’s really easy to sew, and you could add a floral or a stripe here, or simply a bright pop of color if you want. (You can also use it to save a shirt if you accidentally trim both front edges. Ask me how I know….)

Next, here’s the sleeve tower placket:

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt with contrast underportion of tower placket As mentioned in the instructions for the Classic Shirt, if you cut the smaller piece of the tower placket in a different fabric you’ll get this little touch of contrast. Again, fun and subtle. It only shows if you roll up your sleeves.

And one final detail at the hem:

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt with contrast side gusset Here I added a side gusset in the same contrast fabric, and while I was at it I also added a machine bartack, not really for its functional purposes but more for the little pop of color it gives.

When you put all these little details together you get a shirt with some personality to it. And when people notice the details you can proudly tell them you made it! Or you can keep that a secret, as you prefer. Here they are again, all together.

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt with contrast details

Obviously you can get a lot more bold than this. Maybe use a bright floral or even a fluorescent solid? Can you think of other places it might be fun to add a contrast detail to your shirt? Maybe on the underside of the collar? The facing of the sleeve cuff? Bartacks on the pockets?

Have at it. Get creative and see what you can come up with.




  1. Murry

    The contrast elements add so much to the finished shirt. A little extra thought and time will give me that little extra oomph to my own shirt. Thanks again for the tips!


    i have always loved the shirt …so comfy …i agree to adding contrasting fabric really adds to the style …just a pop out if ya would add more on the outside …at least that is how i like it …great looking shirt and can be made into so many different looks … never knew about the different sizes for our bust sizes …great idea…

  3. Love these extra custom details. A true classic.

  4. I made the facings on my collar and sleeve cuffs contrasting as well! Still loving this pattern!


      that is what makes them so special for each of us for we can add to make it ours…yes i get it looks grand…

  5. Sarah Helene

    Perfect shirt!


      they are so comfy to wear and you can either make them stand out or just be comfy with our special affects..

  6. Awfulknitter

    Ha, I have enough trouble throwing away little fabric scraps as it is! Now I am doomed to have a bag of teeny Liberty lawn bits for ever!

    1. Joanne

      Slightly late to the party here … but this is exactly why I keep teeny tiny scraps of Liberty scraps ( my husband gets whole shirts in Liberty – I just end up looking like a frumpy Nana in Liberty – but this might just work !!!)

  7. PsychicSewerKathleen

    Beautiful shirt! I’ve been on a binge making couple of months with shirts and have discovered (rather surprisingly!) how much I love making them. All those fiddly bits are so much fun! I haven’t gotten to the stage where I’m ready to get super creative but it’s coming. I think shirts are so flattering on men and women – they don’t cling like a lot of knits and when made to fit YOU they are super comfortable. In a light cotton or linen super cool in the summer months.


      i agree anyone can wear them and look nice or just be in the moment as some would say, i just enjoy being comfortable

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