White shirt: Burda 10/2008 #113

Sunday, 29 November 2020

 woman wearing a white shirt, black pants and red lipstick

A white shirt may never go out of style, but it can certainly get grubby and stained beyond repair which is why I make a new one at least once a year. I wear a lot of sunscreen, and that tends to turn the cuffs and collars quite brown that even bleach can't remove. Usually I make a simple fitted button up shirt, but this time I decided to try something a little bit different with some cool details. This pattern is from Burda in 2008 when they were still Burda World of Fashion. I've made this shirt once before for my mum, and have been meaning to make myself one for at least the last decade.

This shirt pattern not only ticks all my boxes - three quarter sleeves with a button tab, raglan sleeves, vertical darts for fitting - but it also offers a little bit more with a looped tab down the front covering the button placket. It certainly adds quite a lot of interest to an otherwise simple shirt. The pattern is 10/2008 #113 which I can't see is available for download, but if you ever see this issue for sale I can highly recommend it, there are quite a few good patterns in it.

Burda sewing pattern

That looped strip was really quite simple to make - it's essentially just horizontal lines sewn to the shirt halfway between each buttonhole, and then press the fabric downwards towards the hem.

white shirt close up of buttons

close up of white shirt front

I did mess up the sewing order though - the strip should have been added before the collar, so that the top end of the extra strip would be enclosed within the shirt stand. I added mine after I had sewn the collar on, so I've done a dodgy fix of just topstitching it close to the collar stand seam line - it's clearly visible in the photo below but I doubt anyone else will get close enough to notice.

close up of a white collar shirt

The fabric I've used is a thick textured white cotton that is probably a bit too stiff for a shirt, but it helps give the looped front and sleeves a bit of structure. It means the back puffs out a bit, which I could fix by making the vertical darts a bit deeper, but I think I'll leave it because it's not too bad.

the back view of a woman wearing a white shirt

I also find the way the raglan sleeves meet together as a point on the shoulder very satisfying - it's those little details that people who don't sew will never see but it makes me happy.

close up of a shoulder seam in a white shirt

I found the sizing of this shirt to be quite generous - I made my usual size 34 at the shoulders and grading out to a size 40 at the hips. There is a lot of excess fabric around the arms - the armscye sits quite low and the sleeves are very wide. I think in a softer fabric with more drape this would be fine but it does feel a bit bunchy in this thicker fabric.

woman wearing a white shirt

I think this is a fantastic pattern, and I can't believe I waited so many years before I made it! I think the loop strip could be added to almost any shirt pattern, and ribbon could be used instead of the shirt fabric so possibly another one of these style shirts is in my near(ish) future.

woman posing in a white shirt and black pants


  1. What a lovely top! I admire your tenacity of sewing a white shirt every year. Sewing white is almost as bad as sewing black - the threads are so very hard to see!

  2. Thank you for the detailed photos - I got hooked on the looped button band and I'll try to add it to the next shirt I sew. I love all the details of your shirt - this is really a classic piece to have in one's wardrobe.

  3. I love it. I know you say it is perhaps too heavy for the pattern but I like it and can't really see any heaviness, from the not-having-sewn-it-myself viewer perspective!

    And totally get too, the brown stains from sunscreen. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who can't get them out. I've ended up tossing some cherished clothes coz I couldn't get the cumulative stain of constant sunscreen wear out.

    Anyway I totally love this shirt on you :-)

  4. I think that fabric is pique - I remember the texture, it was sold to make those tiny white collars for little girls' smocked dresses and embroidered blouses. I've probably still got a scrap in the stash!

  5. I admire you for sewing white. I'm so paranoid that I'll spend all kinds of time making something...and then one innocent hug from a grubby little boy and *poof* there goes my nice white shirt. Yours is lovely - that front looping really elevates the whole look.

  6. Nice shirt style. Nice fabric. Nice raglan sleeves. Just really nice!

  7. Yes the fabric looks like pique. I have a yard of white that I bought more than 50 years ago and intended to use for a shirt for my toddler son. He is 56 now! Needless to say it didn't get made.:)

    Nice blouse and I really like the looped panel over the buttons. Definitely an idea to borrow.