Guest Sewist: Flowers for Spring

Over spring break kid #1 decided they wanted to sew something!

Although they’ve made some small hand-sewn projects over the years, this was the first time sewing a garment with a machine. The results were great! Especially for a beginner. I’m a very proud mama.

The pattern is Jalie 4020, the Florence Shirt and Shirtdress. The pattern-maker describes it as follows:

Boxy button-front shirt and shirtdress with band collar, cut-in sleeves finished with a band, and rectangle chest pockets.

I can confirm, it’s exactly as advertised.

This was my first time working with Jalie patterns. All the sizes come on the same sheet of paper (not tissue), nested (generally) and you just trace out the size you need.

The instructions were good, but a bit brief, and printed right on the pattern sheet. However, Jalie also offers stand-alone instructions for all their patterns as PDF downloads on standard printer paper. You can see the instructions for this particular pattern here. I love this! It’s so convenient for screens while you are sewing, especially tablets.

I also appreciate the large size range. It makes it easy to use the patterns more than once, and to grade between sizes.

The pockets are really large. We’ve already sewn this a second time in cotton gauze (photos soon) and in a more drapey fabric they look a bit less boxy. But that’s the design! It’s just like the picture.

This is a nice, easy beginner project – though I helped with the buttonholes and buttons.

There is no tricky piecing and no set-in sleeves – which is unusual for a button-up shirt, but handy when you are learning to sew.

The most difficult part for a beginner was turning the one-piece collar and edge-stitching neatly through all the layers of fabric.

The fabric is a floral cotton poplin – a great fabric for people just learning to sew.


Pattern Review: Jalie 4020, the Florence Shirt and Shirtdress, available in 28 sizes from 2T to 24. View A (shirt).
Fabric: Cotton poplin from Fabricville.
Size: T. Jalie uses their own sizing system, but this is about a size 14 in Big Four pattern sizing.
Cost: Pattern: $16. Fabric: About $20.
Sewing Level: Easy.
Modifications: None.
Results: Great!