Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Simplicity 2447 (View E) • Denim Gap Shirt

I don't know exactly what it was about working at the Gap in the 1990s that I loved SO much. I got to fold clothes all day, chat with strangers about current fashion and run around returning merchandise to shelves and exchanging sizes. And I worked in downtown Seattle, so the people-watching was incredible. I loved this job.

As anyone who's ever stepped foot in a Gap knows, there's a standard Uniform for the job: the denim shirt and khaki pant combo. The denim shirt came in colour ranges from stone washed (hey, it was the 1990s) to dark denim with white topstitching (classy!). Sometimes The Uniform was worn with Doc Martens (best for being on concrete all day), sometimes worn with flats.  It was a classic combination that I loved and wore often. The only problem with The Uniform was that, oftentimes the denim shirt was shapeless and baggy. Simplicity 2447 solved that problem. The shoulder princess seams add shaping to the front and the shirt-tail hem extends to my hip, making me look slimmer. And you know, if I lose weight at any point, I can always cinch it with a belt!

Pattern Description: Misses shirt in two lengths with front, collar and sleeve variations. I made view E (short sleeved, shoulder princess. No ruffle.)

Pattern Sizing: 6–14

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! But without the precious front ruffle. (It was too "countrified" for me.)

Were the instructions easy to follow? As an "easy-to-sew" shirt, this pattern was incredibly easy to follow. Great for a beginner who has never made a button-up shirt before.
I put the sleeves in flat, before sewing up the side seams – a technique I employ often. I think the sleeve caps ease in better this way.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes: The princess seams are easy to adjust (with help from "Fit for Real People"). Dislikes: The back didn't work for me. The center pleat made the back of the shirt hang funny, so I divided the pleats and made two smaller pleats located closer to the sides. It solved the wonk.

Fabric Used: 100% Cotton denim in scratch wash which I've been seeing all over the place in fashion mags right now. It's very 1920 "working man's" cloth.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Graded the 12 to a 16 in the hips (my usual), high round back and full bust adjustments. Adjusted the pleats in back.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't know that I'd sew this shirt again since I have another pattern in the stash that's includes princess seams extending to the back. This project was quick, easy, and delightful to sew. It'll be a workhorse in my summer wardrobe.

Conclusion: I'll be wearing this shirt for years to come! But never again with pleated khakis.


  1. Let's hear it for a high round back and a full bust! Way-hey! (and the ability to adjust patterns in order to accommodate said blessings :)

  2. Your shirt looks lovely! I think we are the same generation, I remember all those clothes from the GAP.

    I just found your blog. You have sewn some great stuff. Is it OK for me to add you to my blog roll?

  3. You bet, Karin! Hope you enjoy the posts!