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Riffs on a Trusted Pattern: The Bowling Shirt

National Bowling Day (yes, there is one) is not until August 13 this year, but I decided I couldn’t wait for it and made my bowling shirt months ahead of time. It is the second installment of Riffs on a Trusted Pattern, my sewing challenge series. I am starting each month with my TNT (tried-and-true) Tabula Rasa Jacket from Fit for Art Patterns and seeing how many ways I can make it. This time, it turned into a bowling-shirt-esque garment.

Tabula Rasa Jacket Pattern and Bowling Shirt fabric

Bowling shirt fabric

Several years ago, I squirreled away some fabric—a rayon Jams World end cut. The fashion brand makes colorful Hawaiian-type shirts. I can’t remember if I had anything in mind at the time, but when I pulled it out, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a bowling shirt. To be clear, I do not bowl, but the fabric just screamed panels and contrasting bands.

One of the many things I like about the Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) pattern is the side/shoulder seams. They are the perfect foil for fun accent lines in a design. Those are just what this shirt needed.


Bowling Shirt Fabric Draped on a Dress Form

From jacket to bowling shirt

Once I had the fabric in mind, I began working on the changes needed to make to the pattern to get the shirt I was imagining. It would need short sleeves, buttons up the front with a square collar, and a lapel-type neckline.

Below, the brown paper pattern is the TRJ pattern, and the white pieces are the changes I made for this version.


Sleeve pattern alterations

Let’s talk about the sleeve pattern. The original pattern is full in the sleeve, so when I shortened it I also tapered it. I wanted to be able to roll the cuffs (maybe put my gum pack in the…

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  1. ceemerson | | #1

    Love it Becky! Thanks for the great tip for creating the short sleeve pattern. Carrie

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #2

      This old dog does have a few tricks up her 'sleeve!' Having fun with TRJ as usual!

  2. user-7614451 | | #3

    Fabulous! I love the tail feathers in the hem!

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #4

      Thanks! The print was a lot of fun to play with, there were a couple of pattern placements that were not ready for prime time ;)

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