Finley Inspired Shirt

19 Feb Finley Inspired Shirt

Happy Tuesday!


Maybe you’re a fan of Finley shirts like me. For me, one of the great pleasures of sewing lies in the ability to adapt and incorporate favorite RTW clothing details while leaving behind what doesn’t work. I bought a Finley shirt nearly 20 years ago not realizing it didn’t fit me properly until I returned to fashion sewing. (excess fabric in the back)

Finley’s  ‘Rocky’ shirt inspired me to reach for a favorite shirt pattern and give it an update. Butterick 5526 is a pattern I’ve sewn on numerous occasions (last time blogged here).B5526

The Rocky shirt is fitted with princess seams and sewn in a stretch cotton.


Since my fabric is a silk twill, I wanted the shirt to drape. View B allowed me to do just that with its minimal seaming and absence of bust darts.


For the 4″ ties, I cut two 10″ strips of fabric which were folded in half and sewn using a 1/2″ seam. Below is a ‘test’ piece I used to experiment with a rounded tie vs. a pointed tie.

I chose the pointed tie to echo the shape of the collar.


Sewing the ties into the side seams worked nicely since the fabric is lightweight………..IMG_0757

……. and I keep them loosely tied so the back drape is not affected and distorted.


Silk can be tricky, but for me, silk twill is manageable due to it’s texture. I found this twill at Britex last year, and bought it with a blouse in mind. The shirt was sewn with French seams and after looking at past Butterick 5526 projects, I trimmed 1/2″ off of the collar width.

Since I rarely tuck shirts in, I think the ties give the shirt a clean finished look, and it’s a project I’m sewing again – next time in a cotton fitted with princess seams. IMG_0765 2

PS…… the knockoff Valentino Rockstud shoes are from Lulu’s for a whopping $22 😊

Have a good one!

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 07:42h, 19 February Reply

    This is a great look, Sarah! The fabric is perfect for your adaptation of the pattern; the ties are beautifully executed. One question – how long did you make the ties? Happy Tuesday, indeed!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:47h, 19 February Reply

      Thanks so much, Karen. I am away from home without a measuring tape😂, but I cut them extra long, found a comfortable length after tying the knot, and adjusted accordingly. Since they are silk, I thought a slightly longer length would work nicely. I’m sure I will go with a shorter length when I make it in cotton.

  • Nicki
    Posted at 07:57h, 19 February Reply

    I like yours more than the white inspiration shirt! It looks great on you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:02h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Nicki! In my option the inspiration shirt looks a little large in the shoulders 😉

  • Pattie Giordani
    Posted at 08:17h, 19 February Reply

    And large in the price! Wowza. You have mad skills—your work is impeccable!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:33h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Pattie 😉 I keep trying – you noticed the price and it’s hard to justify this type of purchase when I can sew and get a better fit as well!

  • Mollie Bobo
    Posted at 08:24h, 19 February Reply

    A really good looking shirt!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:34h, 19 February Reply

      Thanks so much, Mollie!

  • peggy leah
    Posted at 08:37h, 19 February Reply

    Fabulous shirt. I love those expensive Finley’s too! silk twill is
    a lot easier to work with if I remember correctly. The gray
    check looks elegant and expensive. A truly great look for you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:15h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, Peggy 😉 Silk twill has just enough texture & weight to be easier to handle than others.

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 08:47h, 19 February Reply

    Awesome look.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:15h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Kathleen!

  • Sharon R Killian
    Posted at 08:55h, 19 February Reply

    Beautiful, Sarah! Think I need to make one, or several, of these!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:17h, 19 February Reply

      Go for it, Sharon…… I hope you make several!

  • Renée
    Posted at 09:46h, 19 February Reply

    This is a very elegant look that could go anywhere. I like your version better than
    the “Rocky” on the Finley site. This will be added to my sewing wish list!
    Thanks for another great look Sarah!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:18h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, Renee! I love that sewists can choose to leave out what doesn’t work for our style 😉

  • Talk Landeau
    Posted at 09:59h, 19 February Reply

    What an elegant shirt. It looks fantastic on you. You’re such an inspiration to me. I love your blog. Thank you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:19h, 19 February Reply

      Ahh….. many thanks Talk Landeau 🤗🤗

  • Kathy T
    Posted at 10:06h, 19 February Reply

    Absolutely beautiful, refined and elegant. Perfect fabric choice and fit. Happy to receive your posts for inspiration for my future sewing projects.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:20h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you so much Kathy for being a Goodbye Valentino reader! We’re all in it together 😉

  • Mari-Liis
    Posted at 10:27h, 19 February Reply

    This is beautiful!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:20h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Mari-Liis!

  • LuLu Thomas
    Posted at 11:07h, 19 February Reply

    You have created an undeniable beautiful blouse. You are such an inspiration to me. My sewing skills are no where close to you, but I can always dream! Thank you for sharing. One question, if you do not mind……I was unaware of lulu’s wed site. Do you know if their shoes come in narrow width?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:24h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Lulu! Not only can you dream but you can do it! Start with easy to work with fabric and follow the instructions – practice makes perfect…… I have no idea about the shoe width 😉

      • LuLu Thomas
        Posted at 19:40h, 19 February Reply

        Thank you for answering my question and especially for the encouragement of my sewing. I am trying to do easy patterns, but I seem to pick out the wrong fabric. I find fabric to be a real challenge. I will keep trying and I have high hopes for the future! Thank you again, LuLu

  • Lisa Milam
    Posted at 11:53h, 19 February Reply

    Your top is lovely. I love that you adapted a favorite pattern to mimic a RTW top. I am very interested in the pants you are wearing. I like the seaming and the fabric very much. Did you make them? If so, what is the pattern and the fabric? Thanks!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:25h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, Lisa. The pants are one of those rare finds. They are Derek Lam leather jeans that I found at 90% off at a store going out of business. A once in a lifetime bargain for sure😉

  • Lisa C in Dallas
    Posted at 12:41h, 19 February Reply

    A stylist once showed me a Finley shirt. It was gorgeous and fit beautifully but I could not justify the price. I’m so glad you were able to create your own version. Very elegant!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:27h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, Lisa! I’m loving the result and plan to try other styles 😉

  • Rosalind Clayton
    Posted at 13:49h, 19 February Reply

    LOVE this Sarah, thanks for the idea! I’ll incorporate it into my next blouse make!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:27h, 19 February Reply

      It’s easy to do and I hope you will! Many thanks for the comment, Rosalind 😉

  • Marianne Johansson
    Posted at 14:11h, 19 February Reply

    Very nice blouse 👚 sweet ❤️

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:28h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Marianne!

  • Karen Festa
    Posted at 15:10h, 19 February Reply

    Its wonderful. Question did you insert the side ties into the princess seams or the side seams? Thank you .

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:29h, 19 February Reply

      Karen, I did not sew princess seams in this blouse so the ties were inserted into the side seams.

  • tw
    Posted at 15:32h, 19 February Reply

    Your work and the final garment are stunning. The fit is sweet and perfect. Love this!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:30h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, TW – it’s always a thrill when a garment turns out better than you expect it too 😊

  • Maryellensews
    Posted at 19:42h, 19 February Reply

    Another fabulous job Sarah ! You always know how to take a garment up several levels . A blouse has been on my list for awhile as well as Chanel Jacket, pants, coat…

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:52h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you, Mary Ellen! My list never stops………….. 😉

  • Barbara Kane
    Posted at 20:44h, 19 February Reply

    Lovely shirt Sarah. Would the ties work tied at the back also?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:53h, 19 February Reply

      Many thanks, Barbara! These ties are a little too long to tie in the back.

  • Theresa Moore
    Posted at 21:08h, 19 February Reply

    Beautiful and flattering blouse. I learn something new from each of your posts. Thank you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:53h, 19 February Reply

      Thank you so much, Theresa! I also learn something with each project I embrace 😉

  • Vanessa Thomas
    Posted at 11:06h, 20 February Reply

    Beautiful shirt!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:09h, 20 February Reply

      Thank you, Vanessa!

  • Denise Dooley
    Posted at 20:24h, 20 February Reply

    I saw a Calvin Klein shirtdress today very similar to your blouse, with the ties. What makes a great shirt can also make a great shirtdress..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:26h, 20 February Reply

      So true, Denise! Do you plan to make the shirtdress?

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 10:26h, 24 February Reply

    LOVE the top! You sew beautifully and are an inspiration to me. I hope you post about the next version you make too. P.S. Can’t wait for your next book! The Tunic Bible was a good quality book with great information, pressure to repeat. 😉

  • lauren Loughlin
    Posted at 09:26h, 25 February Reply

    Your blouse came out lovely. Such a nice outfit!

  • Ember Flack
    Posted at 20:48h, 25 February Reply


    Happy to see you doing so well. Did you cut your shirt on the bias?

  • dorothy scales
    Posted at 00:04h, 29 March Reply

    I LOVE your blouse and that fabric is absolutely amazing! I love your sense of style and your outfits are always so pretty!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:53h, 18 April Reply

      Thank you so much, Dorothy!

Post A Comment