Last fall, seamstress extraordinaire Bonnie, made The Sewing Workshop’s Cottage Shirt out of this beautiful Basket Weave Square Stitch in Maroon from Diamond Textiles.
One of our most popular patterns, this loose-fitting camp shirt features a tailored collar, armhole bands, side vents and a stylish exaggerated hem. The boxy nature of this shirt provides great drape in the sides and shoulders, but what I especially liked about this design is that there are no sleeves to fuss with!
A Little Camp Shirt History
A traditional camp shirt is what many would call a ‘casual button-up’. Made from a woven fabric, camp shirts are loose, short-sleeved and straight cut with a simple placket front opening and a “camp collar” – a one-piece collar that can be worn open or closed at the neck. It usually has a straight hemmed bottom falling at around hip level, and is not intended to be tucked into trousers.
While this design has been around since the 1800’s, it didn’t become popular in North America until the 1950s. There’s some debate where from it originated, but the American style was most likely influenced by Cuban fashion at the time.
The looseness and versatility of the camp shirt made it popular amongst people working out in the sun. Since men were expected to wear button-down collared shirts, this breezy design hit two birds with one stone creating something that was appropriate for working and for some late-night dancing!
In the case of the Cottage Shirt, Linda Lee of The Sewing Workshop has taken this traditional design, kept all the breeziness and added a little modern, feminine flair!
Bonnie made this shirt in a small through the main body, but an XXL in length so it hits me perfectly at the hips! I like a little extra length, but a more cropped version of this shirt looks great as well.
Though the pattern includes a 6 inch hem, Bonnie chose to go with 4 inches instead. This reduced bulk and helped the hem and the bottom of the front placket to lay more nicely.
What I love about our Diamond Textile Wovens is that the ‘wrong’ side is just as stunning as the right side! Bonnie showcased this feature by reversing the back yoke, adding just a bit of detail to this make!
The Cottage Shirt is also well-suited to linen. One of our Quarry Trail cotton/linen blends would be a great choice for fall (I’d LOVE to pair the Robert Kaufman’s Half Moon Linen in Black with some loud Key Lime Green .59 Confetti Buttons), or, for a brighter, breezier look, you could try the Digital Floral Print Linen in Black & Blue or the Digital Ramie in Orange!
No matter your fabric choices, pre-plan your project with The Sewing Workshop’s Cottage Shirt Sew Alongs! They have several helpful guides for trickier steps, like the collar and stand!
Usually, I hate anything boxy on me because of my broad shoulders and hips. So I typically wear something to accent my waist. But my love for the Cottage Shirt lies in how many ways it can be styled!
When I’m out and about, I like something loose that I can move in (and sweat in) a little more comfortably – I don’t want anything too tight. Button this bad boy straight down and embrace the flow while playing beach volleyball. Wear it to work with a fashionable French tuck (I styled my belt to be brown to compliment the contrasting color in the fabric). Wear it open with a graphic tee, or just layer in your favorite top! No matter your shape or style, The Cottage Shirt delivers endless opportunity of expression for the wearer! Thanks Bonnie!