White Cotton Lawn Shirt, Early-Sixties Style!


There’s something about white shirts I adore: they’re clean, crisp, and high-contrast.

I’d picked up up some lovely white cotton lawn at Mood Fabrics in NYC (available online here) and knew it would be perfect for a summer shirt. Lawn is a lightweight cotton weave with a crisper hand than, say, voile. It’s semi-transparent, and the weave is often easily visible.


You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of vintage styles and own a collection of vintage sewing patterns which I often use for my projects. I made this shirt using Simplicity 4971, a men’s shirt and pants pattern dating from the early Nineteen Sixties.  The pattern has some lovely details that make it unusual, like the notched cuff (the first I’ve ever made) and an applied waistband.




The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the length by roughly 1 3/4″ — with a shirt style like this one, the waistband must hit in precisely the right spot.




I love everything about this shirt except that I have to be careful not to drip food on it! Even while sewing it, I had to stop and remove a few stains from the fabric. (NOTE: If you’ve just eaten chocolate wash your hands before touching white fabric.) The style is retro but not campy and the convertible style collar, classic. It’s crisp and cool and perfect for the summer months ahead.

Do you ever sew all-white garments?

Thanks for reading!




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