Happy Friday + Randomness (a grey polka-dotted shirt)


Happy Friday, friends! I try to be a stickler about my blog schedule and meant to post this on Wednesday, but you know how it goes. Though I had a completed shirt, with the waning light situation (and oh, it’s so frigid these days), I didn’t have decent enough brightness to get photos until yesterday morning — I jumped out of the shower and snapped a few quick pix while I toasted a couple of slices of bread for breakfast.


Details, details:

Pattern: Pattern m from Basic Black Book

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Grey Cotton with White Polka Dots from here (they only seem to have the black available)

Size: M

Modifications: Before machine stitching, I hand-basted the collar, cuffs and front plackets. This makes for a much cleaner finish, I think.

Do you remember the black Franklin dress I made a few weeks back? This is the same fabric in the grey color way. I should have invested heavily in the grey because it has the perfect weight and drape.


I’m liking princess seams in lieu of bust darts more and more – I think the shape is a lot more flattering. Here, I’m tossing the camera remote and pondering about what I can scrounge up in the fridge to put in K’s lunchbox (pomegranate seeds, sunflower butter, string cheese and pita crackers as it turns out).


I’m not a fan of the sleeve cuffs, but it doesn’t really matter since I’ll always wear the sleeves rolled up. What you see above is how the sleeves look sans rolling. And I think the collar might be a little too big for the overall shape. I’m also of the opinion that the buttons should be smaller; to my eyes, the current size is throwing off the balance — what do you think? I didn’t have enough of any other buttons and these were grey so I said “design element!” and called it good.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the shirt a lot. It’s neutral and it has polka dots. That’s sufficient to earn my approval. A word of caution about the instructions though: they’re super sparse. In fact, I had to fill in the blanks on many occasions and I suspect I put the collar on incorrectly as it didn’t fit very well, but the beauty of fabric is that it stretches and careful hand-stitching can hide many a flaw.

I’m wearing the shirt as I write this in a coffee shop late in the afternoon and it’s so comfy. A man sitting next to me complimented me on it — not something that happens often. Actually, he saw the photo of the shirt on my laptop and asked me if I’m a photographer. I said, “Er. Uh. Um. Sort of.” Awkward. He was very friendly and when I ‘fessed up that I sew and that I was actually wearing the shirt in the photo, he told me about a time he tried to sew pajama pants in college (it didn’t go so well). “Your shirt is incredible!” he effused, which prompted more  “Er. Uh. Thank you. Um.” I need to learn how to accept compliments more graciously. And here K and I are, pow-wowing over whether she should wear that uber bright pink top to school (she ended up nixing it):


I wouldn’t call this the easiest shirt to sew, but it was a gratifying project and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I have another one already to go with a different button-down shirt pattern, and I might be able to share it next week…we shall see.


The winner of the giveaway is Mirabilys. Congrats! So so fun to read all the awesome/suh-weet/killer/lovely comments, yo.


Have a delightful weekend, all!

It’s that time again
Advent calendar planning
My mind is churning

The ones from last year and year before have been huge, huge hits in our household. I may have set an unsustainable standard for myself…




20 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness (a grey polka-dotted shirt)

  1. You look amazing! I really like the shape of the shirt on you…I bet you could go a size smaller eh? Really, really nice. I have been bitten by the home made advent calendars, thanks to you lovely ones!!! I’m brainstorming some ideas right now. Happy Friday!

    1. I was wondering if I could go one size smaller too, but I think I like the looseness. Making advent calendars is so, so fun – I bet yours will be gorgeous!

    1. Yup, yup! My bust darts are always way off, but princess seams seem to work out for me on a regular basis. Thanks, Brienne!

  2. Big love. The shirt looks great on you. Next time if someone talks to you again in the coffee shop “um..I’m … Kinda… A children’s book writer, uh, too” 😀
    I’ve opted for Lego advent calendar this year instead of a chocolate version and considered myself super wise. But after seeing yours from previous years, I’m speechless.

    1. Ha, I always dread the “What do you do?” question because I don’t know what to say! The Lego advent calendar sounds amazing! I tend to go overboard with the advent calendar thing, and I should definitely scale back 🙂 Thanks Jing!

  3. I am always looking forward to that last picture. When I read your post on my mobile it is always a happy surprise because I only see it at the end! You two make my heart sing! How is that for “awesome”? Oh, and I also love the shirt!

    1. Aw, thanks Ute! Slim pickings from this photo shoot because of the limited time we had, but sometimes the limitations result in unexpected gems. I love how K and I are looking at each other in that last image 🙂

  4. The shirt looks so lovely that you have inspired me to sew today… Well, maybe not a shirt, but certainly something (its meant to be work today!).

  5. The shirt looks really professional and nicely made. I agree with man in the cafe. I am excited to see your advent calendar. The ones from past years are magical.

    I made an advent calendar one year in which I wrapped 24 childrens books and assigned a number to each. Many books were library books so I just sent them back or renewed them once we were done. We have done this twice and I think this is in the works for this year. I also bought a handspun yarn calendar of sorts. there are 24 art yarns in mini balls based on scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I can knit some every day to get a story scarf. My older daughter knits, but does not purl, so we can work together.

    1. I love the book advent calendar idea and had considered doing something similar too, and the yarn calendar sounds fantastic, Max! I have all these grand ideas but my procrastinating tendencies always forces me to pare down. Still, I’ve been happy with the end results 🙂 Thanks for the shirt love!

  6. grey + polka dots? isn’t that always a recipe for a successful project?:) love this shirt, and of course your fabric choice is spot-on. I’d totally wear this! Clearly the man in the coffee shop recognizes talent/good taste when he sees it! And hand-basting . . . I must admit I”m impressed:)
    Hope you had a lovely weekend, Sanae. Thanks, as always, for posting your beautiful creations for us to enjoy. And thanks to K for last last shot which brought a smile to my face.

    1. Thank you, Lucinda! The hand-basting is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately because I’m just not able to get decent top stitching done without it. I must not be pinning properly or something…we had a wonderful weekend, and I hope you did too! 🙂

  7. I love the last picture of you and K together in a casual scene. I don´t remember seeing you smiling on your blog pictures ( I know it can feel weird smiling wide and open when posing for clothes showing) but you definitely should. You have a beautiful smile. Your sparkle on that picture.

    1. Aw, thank you Miren! You’re right, I do feel silly sometimes smiling at the camera when I’m snapping with my remote by myself, so I tend to take my photos when K is around – I feel much more natural that way 🙂

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