Note: Elisa shirt with dots

The #9 issue of Fibre Mood magazine must be my favorite so far. So many fabulous patterns in one collection, just impressive. Blouses for spring and summer are wardrobe essentials for me, and I really love the classic Elisa shirt with its boxy shape and notched collar.

The Elisa shirt came in the same issue as the Norma blouse which everyone obsessed about (me, too) this spring. Elisa hasn’t gained quite the same momentum, but that’s a shame because she is even more versatile and will probably remain in people’s closets when more trend-driven styles are tossed out.

Elisa’s design relies heavily on the classic camp collar shirt, originally menswear. It features no collar stand, can be worn open or buttoned up and has a cropped, straight hem. This style is intertwined with Hawaiian fabrics and are also known as Hawaii shirts, bowling shirts or Cuban shirts. As menswear this style was particularly popular through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Just think of any great movie form that era and I’m sure there is one in it.

This style can be made in a number of fabrics, but to get the best result I recommend a fabric with some drape. This boxy style can be a bit demanding – it is menswear inspired after all, and doesn’t cater to the female body in particular. Anything stiff and boxy makes me feel like I’m a big square, a feeling I tend to avoid. A fluid fabric helps to give some waist definition to straight designs. There are quite a few versions of Elisa on Instagram, so please have a look if you are looking for inspiration.

My version is quite retro with the large polka dots, but in a more modern fabric the look will be very different. Think wide leg jeans and sneakers, maybe layering over a tee for a modern styling.

Since there is no collar stand the collar is sewn into a facing. I bound the edges with a lightweight bias tape that coincidentally matched the polka dots for a clean finish. I also sewed french seams throughout. Sometimes it is very rewarding to take the longer route. When a garment look like this inside I tend to like it more and keep it for longer.

The Elisa shirt probably looks best paired with highwaisted trousers, untucked, but I do like the look of it tucked into a skirt, too. I made my regular size in Fibre Mood patterns, a 40, and the fit is just right. No modifications required.

The Fabric is a mid-weight viscose with a hint of stretch. I love the handle and softness, but unfortunately the print doesn’t hold up that great and started to fade after a couple of washes. In addition this fabric is prone to pulled threads which leaves white ugly stripes. This is very unfortunate, but with gentle handling and care it will last a little longer.

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