I’ve never seen a mandarin collar I didn’t like. I especially like variations that hug the body and have an open neckline so of course the Bonn shirt by Itch to Stitch caught my eye right away.

La Palmas - cool gate in our neighborhood.

La Palmas – cool gate in our neighborhood.

After evaluating the 30 items of clothing I travel with, I started wanting a button-up to have something different from all the knit tops I wear. I was thinking navy and found this very soft cotton with an interesting woven pattern at Marseille Textiles.

Las Palmas – fabric and collar closeup.

I don’t love vertical stripes on me since I’m already plenty long so I decided to cut the fabric on the cross grain. That led to some distortion and stretching and may mean the shirt doesn’t last as long but I’m happy with the effect and I’m glad I decided to bend the rules a bit.

Las Palmas - looking out at the sunset.

Las Palmas – looking out at the sunset.

The pattern has bust cup options and it was great not to have to do a small bust adjustment! My measurements at the time were bust 83cm, waist 68cm, hips 102cm putting me between sizes 0 and 2 at bust, size 0 at waist and size 8 at hips. I went with 0A at bust and waist graded out to 6 at hips. There is some pulling around the top button and my collar seems to sit higher than others’ so I might go up a size at top next time.

Las Palmas - casually straightening a painting in our apartment.

Las Palmas – casually straightening a painting in our apartment.

I’m very pear shaped and have a long torso so loose woven shirts have never been my best look. I tried hard to resist making the shirt more fitted than intended but I gave in and added darts at the back to avoid some pretty epic pooling. I’d like to make it again in a fabric with more drape and see whether the back might work for me as-is then.

I don’t think the collar is quite so wrinkled in real life? 😁 I stretched that neckline out pretty bad apparently. The collar has extreme angles so it’s a little fussy. My two points at the neckline opening weren’t quite even at first so I did some unpicking and it’s in that process that the stretching happened.

Las Palmas – I feel like I have to mention that my favorite color is red.

I don’t believe in sleeves so I scooped out the armholes for a sleeveless look. My default was to finish the armholes with bias binding but the instructor at L’Atelier du Loisir where I took some classes convinced me to go with facings. I have to say I do like the clean look.

I added 6cm to the length and an extra button. It’s super long but I think the overall proportions are nice and that it hits the hips at about the right level. I put the buttons in by machine for the first time and that was a very nice experience.

Las Palmas - enjoying the perfect weather.

Las Palmas – enjoying the perfect weather.

It’s the neckline that drew me to this pattern and I love it even more now that it’s in my closet. I’m not the most sophisticated drafting critic but the pattern appears very well considered with nothing confusing or incorrect. The cut-on front facing is pretty cool. I particularly like that the PDF is layered so I could print only the sizes I needed and that there’s a nice chart that easily let me select only the pattern pieces I needed. I can’t wait to make my next one!

Husband verdict: it’s definitely not something you could buy in a store. 🤔