This isn't the first time we've sung the praises of Sprout Patterns, and believe you me, it won't be the last. I do however, feel that this time it's all the more resounding as we're talking about a shirt here guys - a whole shirt, made from start to finish in half a day, and that's being generous in my estimation. That's the beauty of Sprout - sure, sometimes you really feel like eeking out a project and making it last, really taking your time to enjoy and savour the painstaking tracing, marking and cutting of your paper pattern... NOT! I can't speak for everyone, but the joy of receiving my fabric with the pattern pieces already laid out on the fabric and ready for me to simply cut and sew... Well. Less time spent with paper and more time with fabric is always a good thing, in my book. This is exactly what you get from Sprout Patterns! And to add an even juicier layer to the whole experience, Sprout is actually the sister company to the US fabric printing giant, Spoonflower, to give you an idea as to what kind of a monster fabric selection we're talking about when choosing your garment-to-be.
As I mentioned, this isn't our first Sprout make - you can read more about the process and how it all works from when I wrote about my Sprout Anna Dress here, and check out Charlotte's delectably summery Sprout Zeena Dress here.
But back to my Sarah Shirt...
As always for me, the hardest part was choosing a fabric design. Being the stereotypical Libra that I am, I managed to narrow it down to four possibilities, but I then had to put it through the Instagram "Help! Which do I choose?!" machine before resting assured that my initial instinct had in fact been correct, and I settled on a pretty orangey red cotton lawn with a sort of early 40s (I think) style geometric design. When it arrived and I saw it in real life, I was even happier with it than I had expected. Score!
Of course, one of the most obvious potential pitfalls of printing a pattern directly onto new fabric, is the issue of it shrinking in the wash. Sprout have very cleverly factored the shrinkage of each fabric they offer into their workings, so that your pattern will be printed ever so slightly bigger so that it shrinks to the right size in the pre-wash! If you're worried however, or coming up between sizes, I'd say go one size up/the larger of the two to be on the safe side. Especially with this design - floaty and free - a little extra room won't hurt.
The other potential issue with print, cut & sew patterns is that of pattern alteration. Needless to say, there is no scope whatsoever for slash and spread alterations here! And that is precisely why you'll only find our more easy-going, and less fitted designs available on Sprout. At the time of writing this post, other BHL x Sprout patterns available, other than the Sarah shirt, are the Anna dress, the Victoria blazer and the Zeena dress.
As expected, my Sarah was a breeze to sew and I love my finished shirt! The only extras you'll need for your Sarah shirts when going down the Sprout route are buttons and a little lightweight woven interfacing for the collar and cuffs. Shirtmaking has never been so straightforward!
I even made the whole process even faster and breezier with my no-buttonholes cheat technique, which you can discover here ;)
...and finally, a "cheeky" flash of buttock embroidery, which, if you feel so inclined, you can see more of over on my personal Instagram @elisalex :)