After being sick for over a week and doing little to no sewing I decided I needed a project today. I wanted something new to me that I would really have to follow the directions for. As I was going through my patterns and fabric stash I came across the Women’s Henley by Patterns for Pirates. Luckily I had just enough fabric to get started right away!
The Women’s Henley is full of options. You can chose from the henley style button closure, traditional neckband or a hood. There are short and long sleeve options. You can also chose how you finish your sleeve. There are instructions for hemming, cuffing, using a button tab and even thumb hole cuffs. The bottom of the top can be straight hemmed, curve hemmed, or banded.
The fit of the henley is a bit more relaxed than some of the other Pattern for Pirates patterns. Even so, I chose to do a Medium this time. My measurements put me in a small for my chest and hips and I usually just grade out at the waist to a medium. Since this was a more easy wearing style I just went all over medium. I do not feel like it was too big and will probably continue to make it this way. I do think I need a petite adjustment above the bust as I am getting some wrinkles there. Next time I will probably take off 1/2″ horizontally above the bust to correct for this.
Onto the construction…my pattern printed out pretty easily. There are no layer options on my copy. I believe this pattern has been updated to include them, but I have just never went back to re-download the pattern. Even without the layers it is easy to follow the size patterns to cut out the size you need. I print in black and white and have no issues deciphering between sizes. The pages are clearly labeled so you know what page comes next when you are gluing them together. I had my pattern pieces ready in no time.
I chose to do the placket neckline, button tab sleeves and the regular straight hem. There is no pattern piece for the placket, there are measurements to cut this on the chart that is printed on the front shirt pattern piece. I used knit for my placket and used a light interfacing on the back of it as the pattern instructions suggested. Once the pieces were cut and my interfacing fused I was ready to get started.
First step was to complete my placket. The first time I pressed my folds I did it the wrong direction (I put the shortest side vertically instead of horizontally!) I quickly realized my placket was not matching the pictures and started over. Second time was a charm. I did not find the process of the placket difficult. It ended up being difficult for me due to my fabric choice. I had so much bulk to work with. The bottom of the placket is just not as neat as I would like it to be. I think next time I will use a woven fabric instead of medium weight cotton lycra to reduce some of the bulk. Once the placket was in the rest of the process was the same as any knit shirt pattern.
Overall, I am very pleased with my new shirt. I really like the fit of this shirt. It is just enough ease to be comfortable but still have some feminine shaping. Once I make my usual petite adjustments this pattern will become a staple for me. Next time I will try out the traditional neckband and some short sleeves.