Get Threads magazine!

Give a Gift

The Classic White Shirt Designer Challenge Continues...

The Cloth Merchants posted a display of the women who participated in their challenge.
Adrah Slear entered the CWSD Challenge as a way to turn white fabric swatches into fabric. She chose this design because of its simplicity and straight lines; she wanted the fabric to do the talking. The pattern is Butterick 5034. The only change Adrah made was the addition of slits on the sides and sleeve ends.
Barbara Hartsell entered the CWSD Challenge because of Threads! She felt the articles were intriguing, and then Nancy, from The Cloth Merchants, proposed the challenge; Barbara says she never misses a dare. 
This patterns design is Barbaras definition of a classic shirt. The collar stand pushed her sewing skills and the length gave her the wearing versatility she wanted. She is having a love affair with linen fabric, and this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase this fabric as a true classic.  Her pattern is McCalls 5433.
Barbara Williams made this shirt using The Hudson Top pattern from The Sewing Workshop. She used a silk/linen-blend ribbed fabric that she purchased from The Cloth Merchants.
Carol Fisher was inspired by the designs in the Threads CWSD articles, and challenged by The Cloth Merchants to enter their Challenge. The pattern she used is A Subtle Twist by Louise Cutting with a modified collar. She used the collar suggestion found in Threads and altered the pattern to a slimmer fit. This is her year for stash reduction; she selected a white embroidered cotton that she already had on hand.
Debbie Mocnik, one of The Cloth Merchants co-owners, used The Liberty Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop. She loves the pattern because its flattering on any body. She also loves the fabric she used. Its a ribbed silk/linen blend that shes previously used to make other blouses in other colors. Having the fabrics ribs run horizontally on the back and vertically on the front went well with the patterns slimming design.
Judi Bradley entered the CWSD Challenge because she just loves to sew. She used The Sewing Workshops Now shirt pattern. Judis sewn it several times previously and loves to wear it. She wanted to sew something in bamboo corduroy, and decided this was the perfect time to give this interesting fabric a try.
Nancy Cain, one of The Cloth Merchants co-owners, entered the CWSD Challenge because she likes to sew, she needed a white shirt, and she liked the particular piece of fabric she ultimately used. She was also looking for a classic white shirt to add to her wardrobe.
In classic shirts from years ago Nancy remembered having a loop at the neck closure and decided to include that loop in her top. It was like sewing something old in a new way. The fabric is tencel pique which is a new fabric to Nancy, and the pattern (Burda 2561) could have been from the 50s. 
Rita Barnhart entered the CWSD Challenge because she loved the shirts shown in the Threads Challenge articles because they were full of interesting ideas. She wanted to try out a new pattern with fabrics she already had. Her shirt is made from all recycled garments! The top of the shirt is cotton jacquard attached to linen on the lower half, and the pattern is The Ebb Shirt from Cutting Line Designs.
Sharon Giles entered the CWSD Challenge becasue she enjoyed the unusual shirts shown in the Threads Challenge, and wanted to see what the Tulsa community of sewers might dream up, and also because she likes to sew. She first wore the Indian short kurta tunic with jeans in the 70s and started wearing it again in the early 90s, mostly purchased from import shops. It is the most comfortable and coolest summer top shes ever worn, despite the fact that its long sleeved. It is a classic in the international sense. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3377 and was chosen because it is a faithful replica of the Indian kurta top, including the underarm gusset which makes the tunic so comfortable. The fabric is a cotton paisley tone-on-tone print from The Cloth Merchants.  Its slightly heavier than the traditional gauzy summer weight kurtas, making it suitable for wear year-round.
The Cloth Merchants posted a display of the women who participated in their challenge.

The Cloth Merchants posted a display of the women who participated in their challenge.

Photo: Photos taken by Barbara Williams; photos edited by Sharon Giles.

After reading about the Classic White Shirt Designer Challenge in Threads issues No. 140 and No. 141, Nancy Cain and Debbie Mocnik, co-owners of The Cloth Merchants, a fine fabric and button shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, decided to sponsor their own challenge. They sent an email to their customer base referring to the articles, and invited those interested to visit The Cloth Merchants on a designated Saturday afternoon to "show off" their creations. Nine customers took up the challenge and decided to give it a try. I know you'll agree that the shirts they created are just as varied and interesting as those in the Threads articles, taking something as simple as a white shirt to new, innovative dimensions. Congratulations to this creative group of women!

If you've also sponsored or participated in your own CWSD Challenge, please write and tell us about it!


Comments (1)

bbrees bbrees writes: After reading the Threads articles and seeing the Cloth Merchants Challenge, the Wichita KS Chapter of the American Sewing Guild had a white shirt challenge for our Spring Tea in April. The only restrictions were it be in the white family (mostly) and be for the upper part of the body. The varity of garments modeled was a tribute to our members creativity.
Posted: 7:24 pm on May 28th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.