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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.

Reina Shirt line drawing
(image from Pauline Alice website)


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."

I made the long sleeve version, and the summary is: I love it. It feels just a wee bit big, but not so much that I'll try to alter it.
I cut a size 44, with a simple narrow shoulder adjustment that took a full inch out of the shoulder width (2" total yoke width). I'd read a blog post (SewManju, 2018) that mentioned the shoulders were a bit wide, and I did a bit of measuring. In the end, I think I could have gone down a size all over, along with the yoke reduction. (NB: my shoulders are narrow, but I do wonder if the shoulder has been graded out a bit far in the larger sizes.)
Here's how I did the narrow shoulder adjustment. This is an over-the shoulder yoke, and front and back bodices are gathered onto it. I sliced straight down the middle, on the grainline, overlapped the halves and then re-straightened the top and bottom edges. The bodice pieces are simply gathered a bit tighter to match the reduced width.
Reina Shirt altered yoke



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!

Reina Shirt front button loops

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.

Reina Shirt sleeve cuff construction
Reina Shirt cuff
After a wash the shirt has 'relaxed' a bit and feels less oversized than it did when I first finished it.
Pauline Alice Reina Shirt pattern review
Pauline Alice Reina Shirt pattern review
Pauline Alice reina Shirt pattern review
Pauline Alice Reina Shirt pattern review
To make this long sleeve Reina, the pattern specifies 2.65m of a 110cm fabric like this one, for all sizes (34 - 48). I used a fraction more so I could play with the pattern placement.
Since I finished this, the weather here in Adelaide has been a bit jolly cold for the wearing of romantic shirts. So I'm looking forward to some milder days when this will make more sense.
Lovely pattern! May make again! 
Recommended fabrics: seersucker, cotton lawn, double gauze, linen.
- Jane xx


Linda (ACraftyScrivener)

Linda (ACraftyScrivener) said:

I love the details of your posts Jane!! Beautiful, easy to wear shirt ftw!

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