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Chai Shirt & Dress From Itch-To-Stitch Designs

Did you know I've never made a proper collared and button down shirt before? Chai Shirt from Itch-To-Stitch is my very first one!

Pattern Details

Whether you are a fan of all things Shirt Dress or all things Itch-To-Stitch, you are going to be so excited about the Chai Shirt & Dress

The PDF pattern is drafted for sizes 00-20 with cup sizes A, B, C, D, DD available for each size. You can use the layers feature to print only the size(s) you need and there are print charts in the pattern telling you which pages you'll need to print for your cup size. 

The Pattern Test Group for Chai ranged from 00A cup ladies all the way to 20DD cup ladies. I highly recommend you check out the launch post HERE to see just how flattering this pattern can be, no matter your size.

Design Features

- Dress and Shirt versions
- Traditional collar on a stand
-Short, gathered sleeve or sleeveless option
-High and wide waistband 
-A line skirt, with pockets on the dress version

Making The Muslin

The pattern clearly indicates that Chai Shirt & Dress is purposely designed to have a close fitting bodice and waistband. For that reason, I highly recommend making a muslin before diving into your favorite fabric. Though you may have the same measurement as the pattern chart, how that volume is distributed on your body can make fitting slim garments tricky. 

I'm measuring a 10 at the waist and I am between an 8 & 10 for my bust and hips. Just for giggles (ok, I'm lazy), I started off with a size 8C muslin.

Not the right choice for me. It's clearly too tight. I should have listened to Kennis and saved myself the trouble! My recommendation to you: Don't lie about your waist measurement, and if you are between sizes, size up for your muslin.

The 10C is a much better starting point! I've definitely got some droopiness in the front and too much length in the back. Fortunately, it's easy to fix:

I pulled the whole blouse up about 1 inch at the shoulders. What a difference, eh? Suddenly the waistband is sitting in the right spot. No longer frumpy, and definitely looking slimmer. Of course, removing that inch from the shoulders is NOT the way to go for the final garment. You don't want to mess with a perfectly good armhole or have to redraft the collar pieces. 

There's a Lengthen/Shorten Line on the pattern. Take your inch out there! 

I ripped off the bodice portion of muslin #2, recut it with my standard 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment, reduced the bodice 1 inch and attached it to the waist/skirt from muslin #2. I put the sleeves on so I could check the range of motion and upper back fit. Muslin #2.5 was nearly perfect. To fix the last of those lower back rumples, I took a 3/8 inch swayback adjustment on the bodice.  

Fitting Points To Consider

Chai Shirt & Dress differs in a couple key ways from a traditional button down blouse:
  • The shoulder line is cut on the narrow side. It is meant to end before your shoulder point. This makes a flattering line for the sleeveless option. 
  • The slightly gathered sleeve caps are feminine but not puffy. They round up over your shoulder point, rather than sit at it, which balances both wide or narrow shoulders and provides a great range of motion for your arms.
  • The waist band is intended to sit above your waist. The bottom of the band should lay at the narrowest part of your abdomen, generally an inch or two above your belly button. Only evaluate fit after you've gotten the waistband into the right position. The waist band sitting too low can create several fitting problems:
    • The waist may appear too tight 
    • Bust may appear too tight because the fullness is sitting too low
    • Bagginess/tightness above the lower back
    • The hips of the skirt may feel too tight

My First Collar

I've put off plenty of projects because I have an unnatural fear of a handful of techniques. A proper collar was one of them. Yeah, was. It was so easy, I really have been silly. 

Both collar stands are interfaced. I used Shirt Crisp from Fashion Sewing Supply for this whole project. It was a great match for the 100% cotton chambray I used for my shirt.

The under collar is purposely drafted to be a touch smaller than the over collar. Don't panic when you've turned it out and end up with a bit of bubbling. It's normal!

Press it flat and take care that there's a tiny bead of the over collar wrapping around under. It's easy when the pieces are drafted to behave this way.

View from the under collar side. Isn't it pretty?

The pattern instructions take you step-by-step through attaching everything together. Since both collar stands are fused with interfacing, you don't have to be too shy about trimming the seam allowances. You don't want a bunch of bulk in that small space.

TADA! I have to admit, I was pretty pleased with myself the night it came together.

Attaching the finished collar to the neck of the shirt is a bit make-shift for me. When I line the edges up, I seem to get a weird overhang of the shirt stand. It's not just this project, but others, like jeans waist bands, that use the same attaching technique. I fudged it this time by off setting the edges and tucking things in subtly.  

I'm sure it's not correct, and it's probably why I have those tiny ripples, but really, who's going to care about that? I MADE A COLLAR! 

Finished Photos

Here's what you've all been waiting for: Showing off my lovely new Chai Shirt!

Planning To Add Chai To Your Wardrobe?

How many can I finish before fall?

Chai Shirt & Dress is now available in the Itch-To-Stitch shop! It is discounted through August 13, 2017 for $9.60.

While you are there, take advantage of the Buy More Save More discount* and round out your fall wardrobe plans.

*Buy More Save More in the Itch-To-Stitch Pattern Shop
Spend $20 or more, get 15% off your entire cart
Spend $30 or more, get 20% off your entire cart
Discount applied automatically

Talk about what your are sewing at Itch-To-Stitch Designs on Facebook!


  1. I love how you styled it with a pair of denims! Casual-chic!

    1. Thank you, I'm far more likely to wear it with jeans than a skirt for every-day. I like how the pattern can go with either style.

  2. Beautiful shirt! I admire the fact that you are always working so precisely, Crystal.

    1. Thanks, Ilse! Some patterns require precision, and some you can get away with cutting corners. My goal is that the casual observer can't tell which is which for me!

  3. Wow, you are so detailed! I admire you for it! Great shirt!

    1. Thank you, Diane! It was so much fun testing this round, wasn't it?


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