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A Year-Round Staple: The OCBD


Hello again friends!  I’m so excited to share this new shirt with you!  It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve sewn with cotton, but for all the silk tops I’ve made recently, a classic oxford cloth button-down is still one of the items that feels the most ‘me’.  Maybe because they’ve been a staple in my closet for so long.  They feel a bit like old friends.  I wear them year-round really.  Oxford cloth is so versatile, particularly when it’s a slightly finer weave like this one.  I pair it, in summer, with practically every skirt or pair of shorts I own; in the cooler months, it works equally well with jeans or chinos.  So, basically, I need one in every color, haha.  But, of course, being 5’10” with long arms, and a pear shape to boot, finding ones that fit properly has always been a serious challenge.  Thank goodness for the acceptability of rolled sleeves!  To be honest, I think an OCBD was the first thing I wanted to sew, once the sewing bug took hold and I realized I was going to sew my whole closet.  But, when I looked for fabric, there was little to none to be found.  I’m so pleased it seems to have gained popularity recently and I can start collecting all the colors.  I was rather excited to find this grey option on Cali, as it’s a color I’d never owned, but seeing how monochromatic my projects have been lately, I knew it would pair well with a lot of items in my closet and on my queue.

So, perfect fabric found; now I just needed a comfortable, yet tailored pattern, with the essential details.  Enter the Granville pattern from Sewaholic!  I love the balance of this pattern.  The yoke and princess seams in the back keep it from looking baggy (particularly if you’re one to tuck it in), but the lack of darts in the front means it keeps a bit of that classic look.  The pattern gets bonus points too, for having a yoke, a “tower” sleeve placket, and a separate collar and stand, rather than a cut-on collar.  In fact, detail-wise, my only future changes would be to round the cuff corners a bit and possibly shorten the yoke.

I still have a little way to go with the fit (this version was after two muslins), but it’s already so much better than any of the rtw ones in my closet. I can move freely for one! And my fellow tall-girl/guy sewists know just how exciting it is to have sleeves that cover your wrists and even-more so to have sleeves that cover your wrists when you bend your arm!  (By the way, my sleeve is effectively unaltered, so if don’t normally need to lengthen your sleeves, you might consider shortening this one.)  And a shirt-tail that will stay tucked in if you want it to. Buttons that don’t gape… The joy of sewing, right?!  I can see how shirt-making could get addictive!  Of course, I say that about near every garment type, because who can argue with the awesomeness that is picking color and details and pairing it with a custom fit?!

So, I know you share my love of sewing… how about my love of oxford cloth?  

Guys, my arm is bent! And you can’t see my wrist!

Happy sewing! x

Jennifer lives in Atlanta with her fiancé and adorable golden shepherd.  She’s a fabric addict and slow-fashion enthusiast, blogging at Jenny Homemaker.


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