Home Needles and Threads Chemainus, the funky shirt

Chemainus, the funky shirt

by Elsa

Back to the sewing room with the Chemainus top by Itch to Stitch. May was a bit tricky to navigate with the lockdown, my son’s college applications results, and homeschooling the Miss. I had lost my ‘sew-jo’.


But came some cute projects like that one or pm-patterns’ Muse.

The pattern

This top really attracted me because of that curved hem. I love curved hems because they visually lengthen the leg, especially when you’re petite.

Dolman sleeves have a nice insert, that can be sewn out of the same fabric or some contrast fabric. I added some lace for a bit of cuteness. I want to sew another Chemainus in solid, but with piping inserted in the dolman seams. I’ll see when I have time to do this (and add some long sleeve maybe…for winter!).

Front and back box pleats add some width that is compensated by a shaped waist. Hence a top that is not boxy. I like that shaping there for a more feminine look.

The front buttoned placket can be THE technical point. Kennis walks us throught that with detailed instructions. The key is pressing those lines that she drew on the pattern piece. Nothing tricky.

My Chemainus top

I compared my measurements to both the size chart and the finished size chart. I decided to cut a size 8 B, but since my back is narrow, I downsized and cut a size 6B for the the upper bust graded to a 8 for waist and hips.

I also shortened 3 cm at the Lengthen/Shorten line. I didn’t want a too long top that would shorten me more! Besides narrow shoulders, I also have short torso. I usually have to shortent my top to hi at the right and visually make me taller than I am!

That’s the beauty of sewing for oneself: one can enhance our features.

The fabric is the one that I used for my daughter’s romantic off-the-shoulder top. It’s from Les Coupons de Saint Pierre.

This top asks for something lightweight and flowy to prevent any boxiness. A poplin, some viscose would be perfect.

This fabric had a nice lace border. it wasn’t as wide as the insert piece, but it’s cute nonetheless.

In short, this top looks simple, but when wearing it, I look all put-up, even with a pair of denims and Go-Walk shoes!!!

How would you imagine your Chemainus?


auschick 3 July 2020 - 18 h 12 min

Great work! I really love your fabric combo!

Elsa 3 July 2020 - 19 h 34 min

Thank you!



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