Floral Explosion and Giveaway Winner

14 Feb Floral Explosion and Giveaway Winner

Happy Valentine's Day!!-001

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers! My hometown of Spartanburg, SC has gone all out putting hearts on the lampposts and red dye in the fountain 🙂

I finished my new shirt just in time for the big day.

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This lightweight cotton from Five Eighth Seams caught my eye with its floral explosion, and I was smitten after seeing the Monet quote printed along the selvage. 😉


As I’ve mentioned before, I thought button down shirts were not for me until I returned to sewing and became dedicated to fitting myself. Now I love them.


I cannot think of a single place where I can buy a long shirt that fits in the shoulders, back and arms. Last year I sewed three shirts in a row with three different patterns. Vogue 8689 was one of the three and I liked it enough to sew it again.

V8689     V8689-sketch

The first one I made is here.

While sewing shirts is not the easiest sew, I enjoy making them. This 13-piece princess pattern provides opportunity galore for a great fit with minimal fuss.


All bodice and shoulder seams are finished with flat fell seams which give the blouse additional structure and a beautifully finished appearance with the topstitched seams – which sadly you cannot see in this busy fabric…….!


One of the techniques I have sought to perfect over the years is the narrow hem used in this pattern. I learned this technique from Leisa Stanton and it is one that Susan Khalje uses for finishing single edge ruffles.

Stitch 3/8″ from edge.
Press, fold and stitch along line.
Trim close to stitching.


Turn and stitch close to edge.
The finished hem will be very narrow and free of bulk. Two rows of stitching will appear on the back (pictured below), and one on the front.

Back side.


I’m wearing the shirt with my Pink Jalie jeans sewn last year.


Congratulations to Amy Mayer winner of  A Sewist’s Swatch Book! Please email your address to goodbyevalentino@gmail.com by Friday, February 17 or a new winner will be selected.

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Many thanks to Beth Byrge for the giveaway and Best Wishes to all for a lovely Valentine’s Day!!



  • Susanne H. Keller
    Posted at 07:07h, 14 February Reply

    Great outfit! The proportions, the fit and length are perfect, and one can see the flat fell seams when the pic size is increased. And one can see it from the overall impression of finish. Very porfessionally done. Here you would pay around 180 $US for a blouse like this, that’s why I have taken up making them myself as well. Thanks for your ongoing inspiration! Susanne in Zürich

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:48h, 14 February Reply

      Hi Suzanne and Many thanks for your lovely comment! The cost definitely plays into making shirts, but even if I WANTED to pay $180 for a blouse I wouldn’t be able to find one that fits 😉

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 07:46h, 14 February Reply

    I love this vibrant shirt on you, Sarah. And the fit is perfect. I, too, use this three thread method for narrow hems and find that the three rows of thread add enough weight to keep the hem from flipping up.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:49h, 14 February Reply

      Thank you, Cissie! It’s amazing what a difference a little thread can make 😉

  • Sharon S. Kane
    Posted at 08:17h, 14 February Reply

    Spring is just around the corner and I do believe Michigan will bloom just as beautifully as your shirt. Love the fabric. I would have never known it had all the seams/topstitching (yoke, princess…) because they blend in so well with the fabric pattern. I also like how you paired your fabulous blouse with the Jalie jeans you made last year proving that sewing is not just a make it, wear it, and throw it away activity. Thanks for your inspiration and sewing tips too!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:51h, 14 February Reply

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Sharon! The topstitching is evident in the first shirt I made from this pattern sewn in a solid. ….. and I’ll NEVER throw away those Julie jeans 🙂

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 09:12h, 14 February Reply

    Your blouse is beautiful as always . I love learning new tips with my morning coffee-the hem looks so professional !

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:10h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you, Mary Ellen!

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 09:34h, 14 February Reply

    I agree with all the comments….a wonderful make, you really zipped it up with your fabric choice, pants and sunglasses! I know flowers are very much in season…..but at my age ( just a shade under 70) I think flowers make me look even older but the shirt is just the right thing! You made it fresh and modern…….always enjoy your posts….thanks!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:13h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Laura! I know what you’re saying regarding floral prints, but don’t you think how and where you wear them plays a role in how they look on someone?
      Those sunglasses….. I have these in pink and blue and they’re fun to wear! Have a good one 🙂

  • Mary Jean Cunningham
    Posted at 09:36h, 14 February Reply

    Looks fantastic!!! Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and thanks for the hemming tip, too – I have had some shirt tail hems that could have benefited greatly from that method, and now I know what to do…wonder if it would work for a thicker fabric like flannel – on a flannel shirt there is even more bulk with the combination of where the placket and the shirt tail hem meet as well as at the side seams.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:17h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you, Mary Jean! I’ve never tried the technique on flannel, so I would test with a muslin. This method works so well on shaped hems 😉

  • Joan
    Posted at 10:39h, 14 February Reply

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Sarah!
    Thanks very much for the pattern rec. and narrow hem primer — I love the help narrowing pattern choices and the technique tips!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:18h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Joan and glad to help 😉

  • Sandy
    Posted at 10:58h, 14 February Reply

    You are right about buying one that fits. I rarely buy those shirts for the very same reason. I need to get busy trying it for myself. IT look amazing on you. Love that floral.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:19h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Sandy! You will not believe the difference in the fitting once you start sewing these for yourself 😉

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 11:03h, 14 February Reply

    The garment looks wonderful So vibrant, Thanks for the tip on making narrow hems. I reread your post on the jeans and I think I will try them now because of the tip you provided about shortening the back of leg. Thank you for sharing you knowledge and the beautiful photos.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:21h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you so much for your nice comment Bernadette! The stretch of your fabric will also play a role in the bagging behind the knee, but I think you’ll like the pattern. Good luck 🙂

  • Manju
    Posted at 15:14h, 14 February Reply

    You look lovely Sarah. Perfect spring outfit (though spring is still a way off for us!)

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:22h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Manju! The warm weather is teasing us here. I’m sure Winter will return in full any day 😉

  • Mary Lynn
    Posted at 15:18h, 14 February Reply

    Love the blouse and pants! Is the hem stitch a coverstitch or a twin needle? I bought a used BL overstitch, but haven’t figured out how to use it. Looking forward to your 5/8ths class.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:34h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you, Mary Lynn. The hem is neither 🙂 Single needle! Look forward to seeing you in Charleston 🙂

  • Gayle
    Posted at 16:10h, 14 February Reply

    Your blouse is lovely! Not only do you sew everything well, you have a real talent for choosing fabrics that suit the pattern and you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:35h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you so much, Gayle! This blouse will be great for early Spring in the South 😉

  • Alice Elliot
    Posted at 18:48h, 14 February Reply

    Love that shirt and feeling inspired to try one again.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:35h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Alice! I find the hardest part topstitching the collar band so that it is uniform on both sides 😉

  • Maggie ecger
    Posted at 18:54h, 14 February Reply

    Such a happy shirt! The jeans are great! AMaggie

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:36h, 15 February Reply

      Thank you, Maggie!!

  • Irene
    Posted at 21:48h, 14 February Reply

    Such a lovely shirt! And a perfect pairing with those jeans.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:36h, 15 February Reply

      Many thanks, Irene. The outfit is a huge pop of color for sure 😉

  • AllisonC
    Posted at 01:13h, 15 February Reply

    I agree that shirts are difficult to sew well, but since it’s also hard to find one that fits me well, it is definitely worth making your own and I suspect the more you do it the easier it gets. Yours looks perfect and the print is great.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 09:37h, 15 February Reply

      I so agree with you Allison. I’m not sure I will ever buy another button down shirt. Ever. Many thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Sew Jean Margaret
    Posted at 05:24h, 16 February Reply

    Love love love this shirt. I am a huge fan of colour and I find this outfit very appealing. Gorgeous for Spring.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 18 February Reply

      Thank you so much, Jean! I’m loving this fabric as a shirt 😉

  • Marji
    Posted at 06:50h, 16 February Reply

    Great looking shirt. The print really works for you too.
    That pattern is in my queue to make when I return from my galivanting.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:45h, 18 February Reply

      Thank you, Marji! I sometimes think I could use a little more gallivanting in my life 😉 Have fun!

  • Lisa Lacy
    Posted at 12:08h, 16 February Reply

    Gorgeous….I need to open my mind to florals! Will be trying this narrow hem technique.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:47h, 18 February Reply

      Thank you, Lisa! You’ll enjoy this technique once you’re comfortable with trimming so closely to the stitching line 😉

  • Patricia M Ferrito
    Posted at 11:05h, 19 February Reply

    Would you share the name of the fabric or the manufacturer? The store’s website doesn’t show it online. I can see that fabric in a jacket, a large tote bag, etc. Thanks for any info you can supply.

  • Julie Culshaw
    Posted at 09:54h, 20 February Reply

    Love your shirt, the fabric is gorgeous. And thanks for the tip on the hem, I knew this technique from sewing sheer fabrics but never considered using it on a shirt hem. Good idea.

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