The New Camp Shirt

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The New Camp Shirt
The New Camp Shirt

A seamstress I’m not. A quilter, yes indeed! But I would love to make clothing! I’d also love someone to teach me, but I guess I’ll have to make do with what I can find online.

I have bolts and bolts of plain, Moda solids that are inexpensive fabrics for me to practice on. I recently ran across the New Camp Shirt pattern and thought it looked pretty cute!

I thought I’d try the short sleeve version, since there would be less fabric to waste, which was darn good thinking on my part, because I had to cut the back twice and one side twice, after making two left fronts!

Front of Shirt
One of two identical front pieces, oops!

It’s taken me a week to make this shirt, partly because I’ve been battling wicked headaches again, and partly because the collar confounded me.


It turned out well enough in the end, but I had to get some help from friends. I topstitched everything with Sulky 12wt cotton thread.


Tracing it took me a few hours, but I used this Swedish Tracing paper I got on Amazon and love it! I’ve used a few different brands in the past and much prefer this one.

I had a bit of fun with my embroidery machine, both with a design on the back. This is from the collection “Words of Wisdom“.

And with the buttonholes, also done in the embroidery hoop on my Bernina 700. The precise positioning feature made it a piece of cake! This buttonhole design is from the “Buttonholes 1” collection.

I sewed the buttons on by machine. While Bernina makes a buttonhole foot, I prefer using the number 20 presser foot, zigzag length set to zero, and the width whatever the hole spacing on the button is.

There’s a lot I like about this shirt. The princess seams add a nice touch and make it less boxy. But I’m not overly keen on the fullness of the sleeves. I lucked out on my first tracing and the size is a good fit for me, but I feel rather lost in the shirt. Perhaps a fabric with more drape? I was kind of pumped about using up some of my stash with this pattern!

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Chris Miller

    LOVE your topstitching! I’ve used her patterns before and like you, always feel there’s something a bit amiss with the arms. (And sadly, my arms are no longer small or taut. . .) I love the idea of using our machines’ embroidery capabilities to make the buttonholes–I have tons of them and have never tried even one. The usual way is very good, though! The only way to sew for oneself is to keep doing it, and be gentle on yourself as you go. And have fun! ♥

    1. tinksquared

      I’m glad it’s not just me, I really like the shirt other than the arms, but I don’t know enough about garment sewing to change them. My arms aren’t small anymore either. I agree, buttonholes are pretty easy, I’ve never minded doing them. But there are a lot of cool in the hoop ones!

  2. mo pinwil

    Back in the 1970’s I was taught to pattern cut using:
    “Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear” by Winifred Aldrich
    which was a bit difficult because I only worked in inches at the time but I was willing to overcome my math problem and get over the nuisance of converting in order to get a good fit on the patterns I was making. (In order to get the gist of the length of something I used to think to myself that four inches is approx ten centimetres). This book explains very clearly how to adapt patterns and gives very useful information on what you have to do if you wish to alter certain aspects of a pattern, such as altering a sleeve. I still have the book. If you are likely to make more patterns for yourself it might be a good idea to make a basic dressmaking toile, so that everything you make in future will fit you the way you like best, as long as your weight doesn’t fluctuate.
    I used Calico(a plain-woven textile made from unbleached and often not fully processed cotton. … The fabric is far less fine than muslin, but less coarse and thick than canvas or denim, but it is still very cheap owing to its unfinished and undyed appearance.) for mine. Back in the 1970’s I was a size British 36, and most stock patterns fitted me and all I normally had to do was lift the shoulders by one inch and I was fine to sew. Your jacket is lovely and your top-stitching is very neat. Personally, I don’t like to sew with quilting cotton, as it is a bit stiff. My fabric of choice would be Tana Lawn which is still cotton but thinner. There are so many variables to dress-making each fabric needs handling in its own way but fun to do. Like you I like a fabric that drapes such a Rayon.

    1. tinksquared

      I should make a muslin, but the problem is, it doesn’t mean anything to me… in other words, if an area doesn’t fit correctly, a) I have no idea how to correct that on the muslin, and b) I have no idea of how to apply the fix to the pattern. I do have several nice dressmaking books and I guess if I really want to learn, I need to apply myself to understanding these techniques. Quilting is much easer and I generally complain about my incompetence, do nothing about it, and go back to quilting. LOLOLOL

  3. mo pinwil

    I am sorry I forgot that Muslin and Calico description is transposed according to our respective countries :). Probably the best way to learn to fit a muslin is to make a muslin for someone else. You could then fit it to them, allowing for ease etc. You can tell if the fit is imperfect because there will be a pull of fabric and by holding the muslin in a certain way you get rid of the pull, crease or fold. No one person is the same, this way you can correct a high shoulder which will show a crease in the body somewhere. It is basically trial and error. I am a bit impatient and I can understand the go back to quilting bit. I am no expert so I think Melissa on Youtube would be worth taking a look at. ‘Learn to Fit with Melissa Watson: McCall’s M6989 Dress’ – I know this is all very fiddly but well worth it if you want a good fitting garment.

    1. tinksquared

      Oh I understand the purpose and how to recognize a poor fit, what I haven’t a clue about is how to go about adjusting those imperfections. 🙂

  4. Priscilla Nullet

    I understand your fitting problems completely. Somewhere in the last forty years, there has been a distribution of the wealth and patterns don’t fit me quite right. I’ve made one muslin so far and the fit is great in some parts, but need to adjust for others. I’m a little spatially-challenged, so I’ve got to think about the changes for a while before implementing them. I fell into quilting because garment making became so unsatisfying. Not in your quilting league though. You’re quilts are stunning. Thank you for sharing your
    sewing experiences.

    1. tinksquared

      Wealth distribution!!! Too funny! Thank you for the compliment. I love designing quilts. I can’t help but think I’d also love designing clothes if I just had a clue, the problem is, I think I may be too lazy to learn now.

  5. mo pinwil

    I purchased this piece of software some time ago but haven’t used it yet. I am intending to use it in order to try and help a friend because she has a body problem, too wide legs for trousers of her size. I think I will like this method of pattern-making because it will be less, tiresome and messy to correct all the time and I won’t have to use paper until the last few steps. There may be websites in the USA who have similar programs. . I can’t see what you find wrong with your garments really but there again I haven’s seen you wearing them.

    1. tinksquared

      I have PatternMaster Boutique but haven’t really played with it.

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