the camp shirt: two versions by erica

Erica is here from the Advisors Circle to share two beautiful versions of our new Camp Shirt + Dress pattern: one casual and one dressy. Read on for her experiences and what fitting changes she made after her first version. You may remember Erica from her previous posts on the Neighborhood Sweatshirt, Hollywood Trousers, and Rush Hour Dress + Blouse.

As soon as the Camp Shirt + Dress pattern was announced, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a dressy version which I could also wear casually.  I decided to splurge on some silk charmeuse from Liberty of London.

Before cutting into the Liberty silk charmeuse for my final version, I first wanted to test my size with a wearable muslin. I selected some reversible double-gauze from my stash, purchased from Miss Matatabi several years ago. I could have spared myself a lot of effort by choosing to use the small-scale, navy and white, gingham side of this fabric as the right side, but instead I decided to challenge myself to pattern match with the large-scale, navy and red, plaid side of the fabric. I spent more time cutting the fabric than actually sewing!

Our Camp Shirt in reversible double gauze.

I had less fabric than recommended on the pattern envelope, which meant that I had no extra fabric in case I made a mistake. I didn’t even have enough spare fabric to pattern match for front pockets, so I left out that bit of the style. I’m rather pleased with my pattern-matching efforts. The somewhat loose weave of this cotton fabric makes it exquisitely soft, but the weave isn’t so loose that it will pucker after a wash. I can’t wait to wear it on cold winter days.

Our Camp Shirt in luxurious Liberty silk charmeuse.

The Liberty of London silk charmeuse is one of the most luxurious fabrics I’ve used in recent years, and it did not disappoint! After the meticulous (tedious?) cutting experience of the cotton plaid gauze, I decided to give myself a break and not bother to try and pattern match for this bold and psychedelic-themed Liberty print. The large scale is not at all like the tiny floral prints that I usually use from Liberty of London. I assumed that the slippery smooth surface of the charmeuse would be challenging, but surprisingly, the fabric was more stable than I imagined and pressed well with lots of steam from my iron. As much as I love the traditional collar stand of the Classic Shirt pattern, I think the Camp Shirt collar is a better choice for the drape of charmeuse.

Our Camp Shirt in luxurious Liberty silk charmeuse.

As expected from all of my experience with Liesl + Co. patterns, the sewing instructions were very clear. Carefully referring to the instructions along the way ensured that I barely touched my seam ripper. I left out the buttons and buttonholes on the sleeve plackets, because usually I wear this style of shirt rolled at the sleeves unless I am layering it underneath a sweater.

Our Camp Shirt in reversible double gauze.

I usually like the shoulder fit in Liesl + Co. size 6, so I decided to make the cotton version in a completely unmodified size 6 as my starting point. In general, I was happy with the fit and grateful that the cup work is already built into the pattern.

However, for the silk version, I graded down to a size 4 in the bodice and also shortened each sleeve by 3/4 inch by following these instructions. I was not surprised to have to adjust the sleeve length, as I’m on the shorter side (5’5”) of the height range for the Liesl + Co. pattern block. I did not adjust the bodice length for either version.

Our Camp Shirt in luxurious Liberty silk charmeuse.

My pattern matching is not perfect, but I conquered a big sewing fear. I’m glad I chose to feature the reverse gingham side of the fabric for the inner placket, although it was a wee bit mind-bending to keep track of which was my “wrong side” versus “right side” of my reversible fabric! Plus, making something I love from fabric in my stash is always a win.

Our Camp Shirt in reversible double gauze.

I am sure I will reach for this silk blouse often to wear with dressy trousers and skirts as well as grungy jeans. My question is whether I should wear it tucked or untucked? I usually gravitate to wearing solid colors, but a print now and again keeps my wardrobe lively.

Our Camp Shirt in luxurious Liberty silk charmeuse.


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  1. Elisabeth

    I love the reverse print on the plackets and when you cuff it, and it’s really nice to see what the same pattern looks like in different fabrics. Two great shirts!

    1. Erica

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I thought it would be fun to share how different this pattern can look with different fabrics… and so I could add some variety to my wardrobe!

  2. Lisa

    I love both of those! Very nice job, and lovely additions to your wardrobe.

    1. Erica

      Thank you, Lisa!

  3. Connie

    You have done a beautiful job of constructing both shirts, and they both look lovely on you. Well done! And thanks for sharing. I didn’t know Liberty made silk charmeuse.

    1. Erica

      Thanks, Connie! I appreciate it. I also once used Liberty’s wool and cotton blend fabric to make a Lisette blouse. I wish it was easier to find their fabrics that are not in their typical cotton lawn, but they are all lovely in any substrate.

  4. Elaine Power

    What a fabulous job you have done, love both Of your fabric choices.

    1. Erica

      Thank you, Elaine! I have already worn both shirts several times. The pattern is well drafted.

  5. Nancy Werner

    Thanks for your camp shirt story. I had no idea there was reversible double gauze. Anyway, it was interesting and inspiring to hear about your process in creating these lovely garments.

    1. Erica

      Thank you, Nancy! I couldn’t resist purchasing this fabric when I saw it, even though it took me years to decide what to finally make with it. It is fun—getting 2 prints at once.

  6. Deborah Kaye

    So beautiful, great style and fit. I hope they are favorites for you.

    1. Erica

      So kind of you to say, Deborah. Thank you.

  7. Jennifer

    Both turned out beautifully! I have also pondered using something from Liberty other than their lawn…Thank you for taking the time to share with us!

    1. Erica

      Thank you, Jennifer. I hope you make it!

  8. Leanna

    Both blouses are stunning! You look great!

  9. Erica

    Thanks, Leanna!!

  10. SShaw

    Beautiful! I love the colorful silk fabric you chose. It’s lovely and suits the pattern very well.

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