The School of Making offers a wide range of sewing patterns—both in The School of Making Book Series and as standalone patterns—to fit many different body types and lifestyles. In the past, we’ve also adapted sewing patterns from other designers using our techniques and materials, with beautiful results. Some of our favorites from the past are the Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts, Anna Maria Horner, both The Dress Shirt and The Factory Dress from Merchant & Mills, along with a multitude of designer patterns from Vogue Patterns. Our latest installment in this series is the Nell Shirt from Kristine Vejar of A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, California.
A Verb for Keeping Warm has been one of our wholesale partners for years—well since we first started wholesaling. We’ve taught multiple workshops in and around San Francisco and have had the opportunity on multiple occasions to host events and hang out with Kristine, Adrienne, and the whole crew at A Verb for Keeping Warm.
Kristine is a cult figure in the world of making. Her book The Modern Natural Dyer is a gorgeous tome with the subtitle: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen, and Cotton at Home. Indeed. In Chapter 5, there is a project featuring an Alabama Chanin top and our ever popular Crop Cardigan. We collaborated with Kristine on one of our beloved Maggie Tops using a cut flower printing technique on our 100% Organic Cotton Jersey fabric. Kristine created the fabric for us and the garment can be found on page 79 of The Modern Natural Dyer. You can see that we have a beautiful history, an ongoing partnership, and deep friendship.
The Nell Shirt is a modern twist on a classic button-down shirt. The top was originally designed for woven fabrics, but with a few alterations, it works just as well with our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey. (You may want to size down when using a knit fabric.) We made the top with a combination of our Forest and Peacock medium-weight jersey using Forest and Navy colored Button Craft Thread and a beautiful hand-dyed indigo embroidery floss from A Verb for Keeping Warm.
Nell Shirt Pattern (Printed version or Digital PDF version)
2 yards of 60”-wide 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey for garment body and sleeves
1 yard of 60”-wide 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey for contrasting inset Front Panel
1 spool of Button Craft Thread or 2 spools if making a contrasting colored garment
1 spool of Embroidery Floss or skein of hand-dyed floss
Basic sewing supplies: scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter
The School of Making Book Series: These books contain the basic sewing and embroidery techniques we used to make our version of this shirt.
Follow all instructions using the following modifications for the knit fabric:
We reduced the 1/2” seam allowances on every pattern piece to 1/4″ by removing 1/4” from every seam. Do not adjust hemline or any pattern lines marked “Cut on Fold.”
Eliminate all interfacing for knit fabrics.
Hand-sew all seams with a straight stitch, leaving 1/4” seam allowance, using a double strand of thread on medium-weight cotton jersey.
When instructions read “press,” we felled these construction seams to the inside.
Where instructions read “Finish by Hand,” we used a Blind Stitch.
We left our shirt hem as a raw cut edge.
OUR DESIGN CHOICES
FRONT—Cut 1 on fold in Forest
BACK—Cut 1 on fold in Forest
FRONT PANEL—Cut 4 in Peacock
SLEEVES—Cut 2 in Forest
CUFFS—Cut 4 in Peacock
BACK LINING—Cut 1 on fold in Forest
Button Craft Thread—Forest and Navy
AVFKW Naturally Dyed Embroidery Floss
P.S. – We’ve partnered with A Verb For Keeping Warm to create a Nell Bundle—3 yards of our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey (2 yards Forest, 1 yard Peacock), 2 spools of Button Craft Thread, one skein AVFKW Naturally Dyed Embroidery and a printed copy of the Nell pattern. You can purchase the bundle and pattern on the A Verb for Keeping Warm website.