Silk squiggle Sarah

BHL Sarah shirt

Hey hey! Sharing my new shirt today, which is By Hand London’s latest release, the Sarah Shirt. It was released yesterday, but don’t worry I’m not that fast: I helped the girls out on the pattern development so got to sew it up pre-release.

BHL Sarah shirt

Now if you review my previous projects you’ll see a serious dearth of button-down, collared shirts. They’ve just never been my thing, but I’ve been trying a few new shapes and styles lately (turtlenecks, wide leg pants) so thought it was time to give them another go. And I like it a lot! Sarah has two views – one with long, full sleeves gathered into a little cuff and a rounded collar, and one with short cuffed sleeves and a pointed collar. Both have a super-swingy flared shape with box pleats on the front and back yokes – the big bonuses of this silhouette being extreeeeme comfort and very easy to fit.

BHL Sarah shirt

I cut a straight size 8/12 of View 2 and the fit is pretty good, even without making any of my usual BHL adjustments. It’s great for us pears as the shoulder/bust fit is nice and snug while flaring over the hips and bum. Next time I’ll do a full biceps adjustment as the sleeves are a wee bit tight, but not unbearably so. (nb. it looked really cute sleeveless before I added them – potential future ‘hack’…) I’d also use less stiff interfacing in the collar – it was all I had to hand but it should definitely be lighter weight as it doesn’t want to lie completely flat.

BHL Sarah shirt

The yoke is sewn burrito-style for a clean finish and the collar needs a bit of handstitching on the underside but winds up nice and tidy too. I used French seams throughout except the armsyces which are overlocked. I’d call it a weekender type of project – not too taxing but enough detail to keep it interesting. And I hope if you buy it you like the instruction booklet and tech diagrams, because that’s mostly my handiwork…!


My fabric is a lovely lightweight silk that I’ve had in my stash for ages after scooping it up in a House of Hackney sample sale. I bought a lot of it so I’ve still got enough left for another project. I think you’ll need something as drapey as you can manage for this shirt so you don’t get a stiff sticky-outy lampshade effect. Spray starch would be my pro tip to make cutting and stitching floaty fabrics easier.

BHL Sarah shirt

I like how it looks with all the swinginess tucked in too! I’m really glad I got a little push to try a new silhouette – it’s been worn to work and on an evening out to the opera already, and I might make a second in a solid colour. You can pick up the Sarah PDF pattern here. Are you a fan of the swing?

22 thoughts on “Silk squiggle Sarah

  1. Avatarbec

    ooh! love it! There’s something pretty perfect about this pattern… not sure if it’s the collar, blouse-y-ness or what? Those BHL gals are good!! Love the silk!

  2. AvatarWaco

    That pattern really suits you. I like that it doesn’t swing all the way in to peasant top territory. And that fabric is great! Glad to have the tip about spray starch, as I have some very floaty, think polyester I’m wanting to make into a blouse and I think that will help.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Yes, I think it’s a nice balance of volume with the slim shoulder and sleeves. Spray starch is a lifesaver!

  3. AvatarMarie

    Although I didn’t have time to test Sarah, I’m defo gonna check her out! I love a little blouse, but always have to grade up around the hip area, so love the look of the swing hem on this :o) Perfect for my shape! Really love your version, that fabric is beautiful!

  4. AvatarKristi

    This is such a pretty design. I’m trying to branch out from cotton wovens. This seems like a great project to get some practice with silk. Love yours!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Ha. this silk was honestly in my stash for so long because I was a little bit afraid of dealing with it. But it was actually fine! Crepe type like this has a nice grip so not too scary and slippery.

  5. AvatarHannah

    Love this! I know what you mean about the swing, I sometimes feel like it just hangs off my bust and makes me look bigger. But there is def a place for it in my wardrobe and with skinny jeans I think it looks brill :) Going to try it out next week!

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