Sahara Shirt

Double Gauze, Double Size

My maternity wardrobe started off with some basic jersey things, but I knew I wanted to make some more involved stuff too. I do get why you’d want to wear only the most comfortable things as you get more uncomfortable in your body. For the moment I feel fine though and I can’t see why I couldn’t just bring my style into maternity wear. I would’t want to sew only jerseys for 9 months either. The one I’m showing off here is a mix between what I see as my style, and a new to me shape. Spoiler alert: I love it and it makes me feel fabulous! That the fabric is a luscious soft double gauze certainly helps, and I’m so glad I put aside my doubts and just went for it.

Sahara Shirt

The pattern is the Sahara Shirt from Ralph Pink Patterns. Normally I’d worry that this oversized shape would make me look pregnant but since I actually am, it is just perfect. I know oversized like this isn’t for everyone – I’ve read so many times that women want to wear fitted clothing to minimise their belly and other growing body parts. But I enjoy getting bigger. I’ve always been long and thin, gaining weight is not something I ever struggled with. It’s all new to me and I love the curves I’m getting, I feel very feminine. Plus it’s temporary and for a legitimate reason. Now that I see the photo’s it doesn’t actually look as big as I thought. It just feels like a lot of fabric when I wear it.

Sahara Shirt
Sahara Shirt

It’s a simple pattern to put together, it’s always fun to work with a new (to me) designer. I feel like you can tell Ralph Pink has a background in the fashion industry. Some things are taken as common knowledge, like the placement of the buttons and buttonholes, they’re not marked on the pattern. I had to look up the right distances over at Grainline. It’s also pretty quick to put together, be it not that I chose to go with French seams wherever possible, and I topstitched most seams like in a regular button down. I love the sharp look it gets from that. The only adjustments I made were lengthening the back and sides 1″ (2,5 cm) and the front 1 3/5″ (4 cm), and lowering the collar at the front about 3/8″ (1 cm). Next time I’ll lengthen the sides a bit more.

Sahara Shirt
Sahara Shirt

The fabric is a double gauze by Kokka, designed by Ellen Luckett Baker, called Monochrome Circles on Mint. I ordered from the Village Haberdashery, but forgot that it was 45″ and not 60″ wide. When I wanted to order more it was sold out, so I had to order half a yard from the US. So not exactly a cheap shirt, but neither do you need as much fabric as stated in the instructions. It’s wonderfully soft and flowing. There was a time during construction when I was scared I was actually making a big hospital gown because of it’s shapelessness and the colour, but fortunately it turned out well.

Sahara Shirt
Sahara Shirt

Nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment after sewing up a garment that looks polished. The pearl snaps fit so well with the fabric and the look of the garment, there’s nothing I would have done differently. Except for the under collar construction, I followed the instructions but should have used Andrea’s construction method. I love wearing it buttoned up like this, it counters the loose style and the collar is comfortable. I have plans for another one actually, but we’ll see, there’s also a Simone dress, possibly dungaree shorts and some designs of my own on the agenda. Oh, and a new pattern that is nearing the finish line!

What do you think of this style? Would you wear it, pregnant or not?

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  1. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I think the dress looks great on you and would look equally good in a patterned fabric. If I was pregnant now I would wear this as it looks great and isn’t tight across the bump. It will also make a great layering “coat” in say navy linen.

    1. Thanks Rachel! Good idea about the coat, I was wondering how to solve that problem this summer.

  2. This is so gorgeous on you. I love the fabric and you are glowing!

    You were lucky – I bought the Luschi jacket from Ralph pink and won’t get anything else. I always check patterns before I start and besides unmatching seam lines and confusing directions the biggest stumbling block was the very important front binding which has no indication via notches or otherwise which way up it should go:(. It has notches on both sides of the long edge, both of which don’t make sense when trying to match with jacket front. Luckily I didn’t cut into my beautiful linen! I’ve written to him three times with no response yet. Totally the opposite to you…. Am I spoilt?

    1. I should have clarified that I’m pretty advanced, coats, jackets, my wedding dress….

    2. Oh that’s too bad! I did spot some little mistakes too but they didn’t interfere with the construction. This is a very simple pattern though. When I had trouble printing the pattern I got a pretty quick response. I haven’t seen much of his patterns made up so I don’t know what the general experience is.

    3. Hey Lisa
      He replied really nicely and apologetically and now I feel really bad because I had no idea it was a bank holiday weekend in the UK. What a sweetie – he’s taking the jacket offline till he fixes it and wants to send me the front band in my size so I can get on with it – that’s what i call extra service:)…..I tried to edit my previous comment but can’t so I really have to stress that he has more than made up for my problem:).

    4. That’s great! Glad it worked out. I don’t think any designer would be indifferent about bad experiences with one of their patterns. I can delete your comment for you if you want? Or take out the second half?

  3. Great looking shirt!! That’s exactly the type of shirt I was looking for (I think we are due around the same time), I’m seeing it slightly shorter in a crisp white poplin to wear un-belted…

    1. Thanks! It is really very wide though, basically a giant square. I’m thinking of shaping the side seams into sleeves for the next version, so it is not so wide and looks better unbelted.

  4. such a lovely shirt! Perfect fabric and the colour looks so great on you. I don’t think I would wear a shirt as wide as this, I’m short-ish and have wide calves so it would probably make me look like a little gnome, but you look fabulous!

    1. Thanks Inge! I do think my length is saving me with this one. It definitely feels more frumpy than it looks.

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