A Not So Classic, Classic Shirt


My friend Nita-Jane from Pattern Fantastique has done it again with another uber cool, totally unique and very wearable pattern.  Say hello to the Phen Shirt.


I sewed my Phen during the testing/technical editing phase of pattern development (a paid gig with no obligation to post) and my version includes the tie neck with rounded cuffs.  There are actually three different neckline finishes and two different cuff options.

Phen Shirt - PDF Digital Pattern


The fabric I used was a 190gsm linen from work (The Cloth Shop) and it’s probably at the upper end of the perfect weight for a shirt.  Everything still sewed up beautifully and a little bit of hand basting ensured it was my best collar stand top stitching to date.  I’m a total hand basting convert… which I think it partly due to the slower pace of lockdown life.  As my friend says… a #covidpositive.



The pattern description says “The Phen shirt has a super breezy drop shoulder and batwing style sleeve balanced by a nipped-in high hip hemline and cuffs.”

I sewed the size 8 and came a little unstuck as I failed to realise that the most important measurement on this pattern is the high hip.  The high hip is where the pattern ‘nips in’ and there is approximately 4″ (10cm) of ease in this area.  My high hip measurement actually put me in the size 10… so I had to do some ‘on-the-fly’ side seam raising.  Yes, everyone uses seam rippers/quick unpicks… not just beginners.


I’m very partial to these shirt tails… which are are hemmed before the side seams are sewn.  I also like that the volume of the shirt is in the upper body so there isn’t excess fabric if you want to tuck in.


The shirt features a low back yoke, box pleat with top stitching detail (which you might be able to see in the photo below) and a rouleau loop.  I just love this loop which is purely decorative.


The oversized pockets with curved bases were fun to sew.  I used my glue-backed tape when securing the pockets to the shirt fronts before stitching… that’s right, no pins!  I was surprised to discover that the pockets cover the ends of the French darts, but it works perfectly.


Like most shirts, there are lots of construction steps, but they are accompanied by clear diagrams, and it’s just a matter of methodically completing each step.


I found Phen to be a most rewarding sew and I and super pleased with the resulting shirt.  It feels very me and I know it’s going to get heaps of wear this year and for many years to come.


Pattern:  Pattern Fantastique’s Phen Shirt
Size:  8
Fabric:  190gsm Japanese Heathcote Linen from The Cloth Shop
Alterations:  Raised the side seams to accommodate my size 10 high hip (I’ll sew the size 10 next time)
Outfit:  Jeans from Witchery (mending my me), shoes from Zomp (many moons ago), sea glass earrings by Susan Ewington & butterfly brooch by Trovelore
Photo Location:  Maranoa Gardens (Melbourne)


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  • Very beautiful!! I bought this pattern the instant I saw it and your version just makes me more excited to sew it up. What a gorgeous colour you chose and the details are shown off beautifully. Swoon!

  • That’s a lovely shirt. I have this pattern and have been wanting to make it; but I am intimidated by that hem – how curved and narrow it is. How did you manage it? You look really great in yours – very stylish and it look comfortable also.

    • The instructions have you sew a little line of stitching to use as a guide for the double fold. It’s actually not that tricky. A edgestitching foot helps too. Do you have one?

  • I just bought this pattern Anna, can’t wait to make it. Your version is gorgeous 😍
    Great tip about the measurements, thank-you