Hey June Handmade Willamette Shirt

Every once in a while, I’ll find a pattern that I want to make over and over again. I’ll see any pretty fabric and think “Hey! that would make a great (insert favorite pattern here).” The last pattern that made me feel this way was the Grainline Studio Scout Tee. I’ve surpassed double digits with that pattern, but have been waiting to fall in love with another pattern the way I fell in love with the Scout. Enter the Willamette Shirt by Hey June Handmade. Although, I’ve since made a third version, today I’ll be talking about my first two versions.

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I’m about to say something that may sound blasphemous to some, but this was my very first Hey June pattern. I’ve had the Union St Tee bookmarked in my browser for literally years, but the my introduction to the Willamette is what finally pushed me over the edge. Last May, I invited a few of my sewing friends to join me for a sewing weekend. During that weekend I watched Sara of The Sara Project and Rachel of Little Fish Apparel each sew a Willamette. Admittedly, watching them make their versions gave me a bit of FOMO; so I immediately added the Willamette to my must-make list.

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For my first version I opted to sew view A in Rifle Paper Co. rayon. This first one took a total of 7-ish hours to sew up over the course of a few weeks. The instructions were clear, and I found the construction to be fun and just challenging enough to keep it interesting. Due to the shifty nature of the rayon, I spent at least two of those sewing hours attempting to get the placket nicely top-stitched. I must’ve redone it 3 or 4 times before deeming it “good enough.” Despite the placket’s imperfections, the busy floral does a great job hiding them.

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What I love about this version: The bold jewel toned floral makes a statement without looking childish. This rayon fabric has just enough drape to make the top feel breezy and balance out the boxy shape. I can see this top looking equally lovely paired with a skirt as it does with the jeans pictured here.

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Before I started my rayon version, I was undecided between View A and the cropped View C. I settled on View A but promised myself that a cropped version would be in my future. This cotton chambray was purchased from Fancy Tiger Crafts back in September and sat in my stash until inspiration struck. It was the end of a bolt and I only had a little over a yard and a half so I wanted to be sure that I was making the perfect selection. Once my decision was made I cut the project immediately and waited for sewing time.

IMG_2693This cropped version came together in one morning. I spent somewhere around 3-4 hours sewing this top including the time it took to feed my son breakfast and help him with his online preschool program. I’ll attribute the quick turnaround and ease of construction to a few things. First, this wasn’t my first rodeo and being familiar with the construction techniques was a real bonus as I didn’t have to spend so much time reading and rereading instructions. Second, the cotton chambray was stable and that placket top-stitching was “good-enough” on the first try. Winning! Third, the straight hem took at least 15 minutes less to press and stitch than the curved hem on View A. It’s not often that I complete a sewing project before noon so this one felt like a victory.

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What I love about this version: The stiffness of the chambray combined with the cropped length create a true boxy silhouette that I’m all about. The fabric is less busy than my first version and really lets the yoke, cuff, and collar details shine. I love the comfy, casual vibe of this top and can’t wait to experiment with styling over the summer.

IMG_2705IMG_2683Over the winter months, I didn’t get a significant amount of wear from these tops, but I have big plans to make them wardrobe staples over the summer. Now, please excuse me while I go plan another Willamette for every day of the week.

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A quick note on sizing: All versions are sewn in a size 4 with 1.5″ added to the length.

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