Sunday, February 14, 2016

Business Casual: Itch to Stitch Mila Shirt Pattern Review


Hello! I'm so happy to be sharing my experience with a new-to-me pattern : the Itch to Stitch Mila shirt. For some reason I'm constantly conflating Blank Slate and Itch to Stitch patterns. They have some similar looks, I guess. Anyway, the partial placket Mila shirt, which apparently is called a "popover" according to Grainline patterns, is a great little wardrobe basic and is just what I was looking for. I recently started a new job (totally love it!) and was informed that the dress code is business casual. I suppose that business casual is a broad term and depends on the industry. In my case, I'm working in a corporate environment and knew that my work wardrobe would be cardigan-dependent and that I definitely needed a few collared shirts. Sadly, no more leggings and tunics for me during weekdays.

I made two Mila popovers - one black and one white. Total wardrobe basics - maybe not the most exciting garments - but super handy when I'm blearily trying to find something appropriate to wear in the morning.

Maybe a boring basic but I think it'll get a lot of wear. #itchtostitch #milablouse #iloveswissdot #sewing #sewingclothes

The black one (in a swiss dot) is my favorite and gets worn every week. The white one is okay, but I wish I had been more discerning when I was shopping for white fabric. It looks and feels like sheet -- and not a resorty/super high thread count sheet either. I only have pictures wearing the white one, but they're both the same size and have zero modifications.



This is a very well thought out pattern, with incredibly detailed instructions. It would make a great first shirt pattern for a beginner.

Some additional notes:
  • Size 16 - with the DD bodice. Multiple cup size bodice - Yay!
  • PDF patterns aren't my favorite, but Itch to Stitch really highlights all the advantages of using a pdf. There is a layers feature that allows you to hide sizes you don't need, reducing visual clutter and cutting errors. They also list the pages for each bodice size, so you don't print out a bunch of unnecessary pages.
  • The very clearly written instructions are broken down into 71 steps and each step has an accompanying illustration. Wow! It's also nice to zoom in on illustrations if something is confusing. SO much better than trying to look at tiny little printed pictures. 
  • My only departure from the instructions was to sew the sleeves in flat instead of setting them. It turned out great. Anytime I can avoid setting sleeves I'm happy.
  • There is a separate pattern piece for the under collar, which is nicer than having to trim one down. 
  • I need to practice more with cuffs. I'm never satisfied with how they look.
  • The buttons are sewn through both sides of the placket. Yes, it's a little lazy, but it's not like I'm ever going to wear it unbuttoned. Also, I wear my bag cross-body style and that can sometimes cause unbuttoning, usually in the most embarrassing situation possible. I sewed the buttons on with my machine. Works great. Just remember to leave nice long tails so that you bring the thread to the back with a hand sewing needle and tie it off in a knot.

So now that I have some simple work wardrobe basics, I can get back to making frilly underpants.

Thanks so much for reading and have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Ooohhh. These are wonderful. The black swiss dot is so versatile and stylish.

    Hope your new job is going well!

  2. Thanks, Annie! Swiss dot is a woven that never lets me down.

  3. Ooh-thanks for sharing! I am admiring the Grainline Archer with the popover expansion pack, but disappointed that Grainline does not cover my size, so this pattern looks like a great alternative! Multiple cup size options-awesome!

  4. Glad it was helpful! I'd love to learn how to hack it into a full button-down.

  5. These look great! This pattern is definitely on my radar now. Especially with multiple cup sizing. And good idea to sew the buttons through the placket... Must remember that.

  6. I've been looking for a popover pattern, and this one looks like what I was looking for. Thanks for reviewing it. You look great in it--your superior modeling makes the pattern look even more desirable.

    1. Thanks, Gal Noir! And LOL on my modeling. :) Sometimes, my enthusiasm for a pattern wanes after a bit, but I think this one's a really good one.