Pattern Review: Pauline Alice Reina Shirt
I nabbed myself a shirt's worth of an amazing printed cotton by Kokka (sorry, now sold out). Planets! Ghosts! Fishponds! It took me a while to settle on a pattern to do it justice. When a customer came in talking about an older pattern by Spanish designer Pauline Alice, I revisited her catalogue and found the Reina Shirt. The pattern features some lovely detail, as well as unbroken expanses of fabric to make the most of a print.
The Reina Shirt was released in 2016, and the designer says: "I’ve been inspired by the delicate and romantic blouses of the late XIXth century, with their high collars, buttoned cuffs and lace inserts. But I also wanted something that feels modern and can be worn with denims or a simple skirt, that’s why there are two versions of the Reina shirt pattern."
The Reina came together nicely, although turning the tubes for all those tiny button loops was a bit sweary. I cut each long piece in half before turning, to help make it easier, and I still ended up with enough length for all the loops.
BUTTON LOOP ATTACHMENT: I sewed the front button loops on exactly as per instructions, and they've ended up pretty short - a very tight squeeze for my 11.5mm corozo buttons. On the sleeve cuffs, I gave the loops just a fraction more wiggle room. They feel juuuuust riiiiight. Fortunately, the shirt goes on and off easily without using the front buttons - I can even wash and iron it like that. I might just leave them done up forever!
And the reward for making all those button loops? When you're almost finished sewing, you don't have to make buttonholes. Halleluia.
JOINING FRONT BODICE TO YOKE: The neckline edge of the bodice matches to the dot marking on the yoke, not the raw edge. This is mentioned in the instructions, and visible on the diagram, but could have been spelt out a bit more clearly for someone like me who is barrelling on through. There's a full seam allowance width of yoke that should end up sticking out. This is where the collar or tie will be attached. Yeah, I had to unpick a bit.
SLEEVE CUFFS: I'm a bit in love with these cuffs, and the construction method was new to me. I found it worked well, and gives a clean finish inside and out.