Sonya Philip's Shirt No. 1 Hack and More

 I recently purchased some gorgeous linen fabrics from the Doggie Bag sale on

It's an ongoing, ever-changing source, and you never know what you might find there. 1/2 yard remnants in interesting colors will make nice scarves; 1 yard cuts for a top; 1 1/2 to 2 yard cuts in textured linens for throws or lightweight blankets. I'm not even half way through my order, and I've already made the two coverlets/throws and one top. 

The throws were easy-peasy. I kept the selvedge edges as-is. Here is a lovely reversible linen in a gorgeous indigo/cobalt blue on one side and natural linen on the other.

The sewn edge is a simple hem ~ iron 1/4", fold over and iron again, then stitch. This is heavy weight, and perfect for so many things, like cozying up in a chair outside on a chilly evening, or cuddled into while watching TV, or placing at the end of a bed. 

The second throw is textured linen/cotton, medium weight in bleached white, ISO10Bleached. The cotton makes it extra soft. When you receive this fabric, it's flat and easy to sew. Once it's washed and dried it magically changes to this fluffy, pillowy texture. Again, I left the selvedges as-is. I cut the raw edges perfectly straight, zig-zag stitched about 1/2" away from the edge, and fringed it to match the selvage edge. I'll put this at the bottom of my bed just in case I need an extra layer as the weather begins to cool. 

For the top I modified 100 Acts of Sewing Shirt No. 1 pattern by Sonya Philip and used just one yard of Fabric-Store IL019 softened linen in Elephant. The color is absolute perfection for me, a gorgeous deep slate gray/blue. It'll go really well with my new pandemic silver hair! 

I decided to have a go at creating a portrait/funnel/cowl type neck on this pattern. There was a lot of guesstimating involved as I've never made nor do I have a top like this. Since I was working with linen with no ease or stretch, I knew the neck had to be wider than my head or I'd never get it on. I measured my head and figured out what the smallest opening should be, added seam allowance, and an extra inch to be on the safe side. I thought 7-8" tall would be ample. I made it 9" for seam allowance, figuring I could easily cut it down if I needed to. The tricky part was just where to start the curve on the shoulder up to the top of the funnel. I approximated at about the halfway point, and used a French curve ruler to make a nice transition curve from top to bottom. You can see my chicken scratch notes on the neck pattern.

I used French seams for the sides; and a simple hem for the bottom, arms, and neck. I liked the shirt on, but the neck opening at the shoulders seemed a tad too large, so I tacked the top edge of the neck at the seam onto the shoulder seam. I also made a small tack in the front top of the neck onto the front of the shirt. Now it sits just about right, laying with a soft, blossomy drape. Next time I will begin the neck about 1" further up the shoulder, making the bottom portion of the neck a little narrower. 

There is ample room in this top for a long-sleeved under layer when the weather starts getting chilly. It will be a great transition piece, and goes with just about everything I own. Next, I'll get to fringing up those scarves; and I still need to figure out just what to do with that houndstoothe-like fabric. Any suggestions are most welcomed!


  1. Love the top. Love anything called Elephant. I'll try that neckline hack with a pattern I have. Thanks for the link to those delicious fabrics.

    1. Hello Barbara ~ I'm glad you like it. I'm seriously thinking of redoing my bedroom coverlet in this color! I hope your hack goes well; please do let us know.

  2. Hello!
    This is Lauren from Thanks so much for reviewing our fabrics here on your blog! Your projects came out so nicely and we love how you've included your notes about adjusting the neckline on your top :)

    There are a few links to our fabrics which may come up broken since they were purchased from our Doggie Bag (DB) section which are remnants and end of bolt cuts. So once they are purchased, that fabric entry will be 'sold out'.

    You can find the fabrics listed in this blog post by searching the product code if you are interested. For example, the waffle fabric's code is 'IS010'.

    1. Hi Lauren~
      Thanks for letting me know about the links. I'll try to get in there and reroute them so they come up correctly. Your fabrics are really great, and I know fellow sewers will want to check them out!