Thursday, March 1, 2012

It started with a tooled leather bag

La Mia Boutique pattern number 733, 2011

Now you may be wondering why it occurred to me to start making cowgirl shirts. When I bought my tooled leather bag I did a google search to find out about their pedigree and discovered they were part of the western genre. Now tell me, my north American sewing friends, does it seem strange to you to see someone on the other side of the world in a temperate climate wearing a cowgirl shirt? Do I look ridiculous to you? I'm just curious.

The whole look:

The culprit:

At any rate, I love this look. It's so fun and so comfortable! My goodness me, why isn't the world in western shirts?

I am using "the complete photo guide to perfect fitting" to refine the fit. After making this shirt, I contoured the waist and hip in a little more, made a high round back alteration and narrowed the shoulder, raised the underarm curve on the side piece and raised the front neckline, so now I have to make it again to see the effects of those adjustments.

In the book she makes multiple muslins to get that perfect fit - I prefer to make wearable muslins because I need the sewing practice, I like to have something to show for my efforts and I can't bear to throw away fabric. I can see the sense of multiple muslins I just can't quite bring myself to do it.

svBev, please send me your address - my email address is in my profile and I'll send you the Jilly Jean - I can't wait to see how you tame it into fitting submission.

Kbenco, the La Mia Boutique was my "subscription of shame" - a whole year's worth of magazines and so far, only a few muslins to show for it...


  1. I truly love this shirt. I want one just like it. I hope you are greeting everyone you meet by saying "Howdy".
    Now, I'm just off to lassoo myself some morning tea.

  2. Oh Mary Nana! It's not a cowboy shirt without pearl snaps!
    I do like your shirt though. It reminds me of a 1950s men's casual shirt. It's graphic and fun. And it fits you really nicely too. I'm in the process of sewing my first shirt now. They are a lot of work!

  3. This is so you! I think this is one of my favourites. I agree with Karin, it has a real retro feel to it. Did you have Miller Shirts in New Zealand in the 70's? They were the height of fashion in Australia back then.

  4. This is so you! I think this is one of my favourites. I agree with Karin, it has a real retro feel to it. Did you have Miller Shirts in New Zealand in the 70's? They were the height of fashion in Australia back then.

  5. I love the yokes in particular in Western shirts. Your contrast yoke is just right. These shirts are quite popular in central QLD- especially as you go further inland, they are so practical and smart looking.
    I should make one to wear with my Akubra.

  6. I love the shirt--the fabric is great. If you don't want it, please do send to me.

    Rose in SV

    SV = Silicon Valley

  7. That is so super cute. love the plaidish fabric - is it cut on the bias? - and the navy shoulders. I would never think of that combo but it works great.

  8. Cute fabric and a great shirt. As a kid, I used to get a western shirt to wear to the Rodeo every year!

  9. It's very cute, and it fits you so well! Well done :-)

  10. That looks smart and stylish! Looks like you really nailed the fit, too.

  11. I'm not in North america, just the wild Western suburbs of Sydney and I think your shirt looks cute.
    p.s what is that silver thing in the background of your second pic?

  12. That`s not crazy at all - you don`t need any cows to round up - you can just swagger down the sidewalks , spittin out baccy, and twirling your pistols ( I suppose sawn off shotguns will do at a pinch ) .

  13. Yoked cowboy shirts are comfortable and practical, and oh so fun to doll up with contrast trim, piping, embroidery and pearl snaps. Yours is wonderful and looks great on you. I don't have any shirts, but I have a pair of black cowgirl boots with red roses stiched on the sides and I recently found an issue of Cowgirl Magazine at my local bookstore -"The only western lifestyle magazine for women". (They have a website) It stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the issues of Traditional Home, Southern Living, and Coastal Living I couln't resist. Boy are there some gorgeous outfits in that magazine!

  14. There's always room for a little cowgirl couture, isn't there? I think if you go looking you will find that it is a huge fashion subculture for western gear.

  15. I like the retro feel to it as well. Love the direction of the plaid and the contrasting blue.

  16. I think western style shirts are cool. Nice job!


  17. We still have a rodeo court - full of princesses and the queen. They wear cowboy shirts for appearances. They also sport long hair in long curls. I see shirts with shaped yokes coming back into fashion as I last sewed one in the 70's. I also have a customer who custom sews cowboy shirts with serious bling.
    If you need pearl snaps to completely turn your shirt into a cowboy shirt, give me a holler - I'd be glad to send you some.
    Kathy in Canbyland, Oregon

    p.s. You look great.

  18. This has just the right "touch of western". And I agree with others that the fit looks really good.
    I was just looking at a western-yoked 70's men's shirt pattern I have - my husband says he'll wear it if I make it!

  19. Cute shirt, Mary Nanna... Cowboy shirts do need pearl snaps.. :) Your shirt is super cute, though!

  20. I have a blog award for you, pick it up and pass it on if you like... (Only if you want.) :)

  21. It looks rather cool!
    To my mind, western shirt always have those pointed yokes with piping. I love the fabric you have chosen.
    and thanks so much for your kind congratulations :)

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. It's been a month without you. Hope you're doing well.

  24. Love the shirt. a fabulous look.

  25. Those Western-styled shirts with are seriously SHARP and should be "mainstreamed"...what does it say that people are worried about 'looking ridiculous' in a Western shirt,- but apparently NOBODY thought "Ridiculous!" when jeans featured the opportunity to put butt cracks and hip BLUBBER in the public domain!

    I absolutely do NOT any longer feel self-conscious about wearing anything I feel like wearing these days, after seeing all that actually walking around in public! No outfit I could come up with could ever look even remotely that idiotic!

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