Mandarin Shirt Sew-a-Long: Day 5

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Find the rest of the Sew-a-Long series here!

Finally – the end is in sight! Once you are finished, don’t forget to share a photo of your finished Mandarin Shirt in the Jailyn Apparel Flickr Group!

For this step you will need:

  • Mandarin pattern instructions
  • Your personal, adjusted Mandarin pattern
  • Final garment fabric, recommended is shirting with 2-3% Spandex. I discussed options and which fabric I chose in the intro post
  • Interfacing (1 1/4 yards)
  • OPTIONAL: Pellon ShirTailor Interfacing for the collar (1/4 yard should be enough). I used this and found it helped my collar stay nice and stiff!
  • Notions (matching thread, buttons, etc)
  • Iron + Ironing board

Since you have already assembled a preliminary version of your Mandarin top, this part should be quite easy! I found it went much more quickly than my muslin did and I felt more confident assembling it.

One thing I really loved were all of the instructions regarding finishing work. The Mandarin instructions include all of the small steps to do along the way in order to create a shirt that looks incredible inside AND out! I mean, just look at these seams!

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Truly no detail is overlooked. I usually cringe at the inside of me-made garments because they look SO homemade. But the Mandarin, apart from my slightly crooked seams, I think could pass as store-bought! It is the nicest-looking garment I have ever made (and I made my own wedding dress)!

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Are there mistakes? Definitely. My tailoring skills need work! I wouldn’t want to go up against Darlene in a shirt making competition, that’s for sure 🙂 But for my first try, I am QUITE pleased.

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Small fitting note: Remember the last, final adjustment I made to my fitting muslin? I took in the side of the top bodice and bicep of the sleeve just a bit. I opted not to make this adjustment on my final garment, as I thought it looked fine without it and I didn’t want it to be too tight across the bust. After seeing these photos though, I’ll probably go back and take it in. It would make the fit closer to that of the other Mandarins I’ve seen in the Flickr group, as well as alleviate some of the bagginess in the back! What do you think?

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I was surprised at how much I LOVE pairing this top with my denim vest! I love the vibe, and the contrasting collar shapes are super fun to show off. I am excited to find more ways to work this into my weekly wardrobe rotation! (On a completely unrelated note: am I the only person who struggles to know what to do with skinnies+booties? Cuff them? Tuck them in?? I can never decide and now that ankle flashing is making me doubt my decision. Haha!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of making this top. I already have plans to sew up a formal version for a fancy work event I’ll be attending with my husband this fall! And I think a gingham casual version would be so much fun. The Mandarin pattern from Jailyn Apparel is a quality piece. Jodi’s tutorial leaves nothing out – it is quite thorough and easy to understand. And as you can see, following the tutorial results in a beautifully tailored, exquisitely finished top that fits you like a glove. It is a pattern worth owning!