Cuba Libre shirt

dsc08397This is a new shirt from the wonderful Sally at Capital Chic Patterns called the Cuba Libre and I was extremely privileged to be asked to pattern test it.


I know that Sally names her patterns after cocktails and I’d never heard of Cuba Libre, so I looked it up. Guess what? it’s rum and coke! Oh well I’ve heard of that cocktail, and possibly even imbibed a few…

The shirt is loose fitting and is designed to be made from a silky material, so I used silk that I bought at a designer sale earlier this year. This is one of the garments that the designer made with this fabric. I like my shirt much better!


The fabric is described as being designed exclusively for the designer, but I should mention that I keep meeting other Perth sewists who also bought this fabric so I expect to come face-to-face with lots of different iterations!


The shirt has a centre back pleat falling from a yoke. When I do a pattern test I slavishly follow the directions and was quite impressed that Sally does her yoke with a one step burrito method, whereas I always take two steps. I shall have to remember this method for future shirts.


I made the pattern according to my size with no adjustments at all. During construction I became anxious that it was going to be miles too big as it has a lot of ease and it looked massive on me. However, once the collar was attached and the buttons sewn on, it miraculously fitted me!

The shirt can be dressed up or down very successfully. Here it is with a skirt, which coincidentally is the Champagne skirt also from Capital Chic Patterns!


This is a beautifully drafted pattern, with the pieces fitting together with absolute precision. The collar and collar stand have extra pattern pieces for the lining, which are slightly smaller. I really appreciated this little thoughtful touch as it makes getting a precise edge so much easier.


I thought the pockets would emphasise my bust, but they don’t at all, so I will definitely include them the next time I make this shirt. I have a chambray version planned next, which I thought might double as a light jacket. We’ll see.dsc08415

Shirt is Cuba Libra from Capital Chic Patterns 2016 Collection

Skirt is Champagne from Capital Chic Patterns 2014 Collection



42 thoughts on “Cuba Libre shirt

  1. Sue, this shirt is so elegant! The drape of the fabric works so well with the oversized silhouette. I’ve been madly making all kinds of different shirt patterns lately and this one might have to go on my list. Also: those shoes!

  2. I love this shirt and as I wrote on IG, I think the silk turns into a very feminine shirt. I have never heard of Capital Chic patterns and I am pleased to be introduced to them thanks to you.

  3. I have a few metres of this fabric too and had planned on making a shirt. I’ll be sure to say hello when we cross paths wearing matching shirts! Your’s is lovely!

    1. Yes, I think I’m going to bump into this fabric a bit in the autumn. I have worn this skirt so much and am thrilled to have a new shirt to wear with it.

  4. Thanks for showing another tailored design that nevertheless looks great in an interesting fabric.

    Thanks also for the little detail about the extra pattern pieces. That’s the sort of thoughtful design that makes it a pleasure to work with a pattern.

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