Harvey Shirt – A Tester’s Version

A few months ago, I was asked by Betsy from SBCC Patterns  (patterns for petite ladies) to join her tester’s group for the recently launched Harvey shirt.


Harvey shirt is a classic button down shirt with a relaxed fit. The body and shoulders are intended to be slightly oversized but with slim long sleeves or a short cuffed sleeve, proportioned to the body and petite frame. It comes in 3 length variations (hip, tunic and knee) and 2 sleeve options.

For my tester version, I chose to make the classic hip-length version with short sleeves although I like the tunic /dress versions more because of the pockets below the waist.

To make my tester version, I used my body measurements compared to the finished garment measurement to decide what size to make, in part because my bust puts me in size 10 but my waist is in size 6 and hips in size 8. I knew making a size 10 would make the shirt to big for my frame as I also have a small back. Size 6 would have meant I would have to make a full bust adjustment (FBA) and grade out to size 8 for the hip area. On checking the finished garment measurements for size 8 I knew the shirt will fit me without the need for a FBA.

On the tester version, the bust dart was a bit too high. I did not measure the length on the pattern so on my finished shirt it sits a bit too high. In the finished pattern the dart was lowered. So, if you are making this pattern, check that the dart is in the correct position for your body.

The instructions are quite easy to follow. I love that Betsy included in the diagrams arrows to suggest the direction of sewing for those who need extra help or the written instruction is not enough. I am a visual learner when it comes to sewing (possibly because English is not my first language) so diagrams are my main point when making something. Which means good diagrams help me understand the step demonstrated. And this pattern has plenty.

The pattern does not include the button/buttonhole positions, so one needs to add them. That’s ok for me as I prefer to decide this myself regardless. The rule I use is to decide the position of the master buttonhole – which is the one that goes across the fullest part of my bust and then using my expanding sewing gauge position the rest of the buttonholes. For marking I use either water soluble/friction pens.

Another first for me with this project was that I finally figured out how to sew buttons on my machine. I mean, it actually has an option for sewing buttons on!

The only thing I did not like about this pattern are the chest pockets. A bit to boxy for my liking. To be fair, adding pocket over my bust in general is not something I like very much. I would need to keep them quite small and with a rounded shape at the bottom. As a result I opted to leave the pockets off.

As I mentioned before the bust sart is too high for me on this one. Which makes the shirt look weird. On my next make, I will need to lower it by about 2.5 cm.

I am definitely making another one. The main feature of this pattern that attracted me to it are the lower pockets. I fancy making the dress/tunic version of Harvey just for the pockets.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Harvey Shirt – go to classic button down shirt with a relaxed fit. The body and shoulders are intended to be slightly oversized but with slim long sleeves or a short cuffed sleeve, proportioned to the body and petite frame. The Harvey Shirt features 3 different lengths: Classic hip length, Tunic / shirt jacket and Knee length dress

Sizing: patterns are intended for petites of 1.55 m or 5ft1″ own sizing chart regualr 00 – 16 and plus sizes 2L to 28W

Fabric: plain back cotton lawn and 100% cotton digital print for accents

Notions: 7 buttons, interfacing for the cuffs, button placket, undercollar and collar

Modifications: I cut a size 8, based on finished garment measurements. I made no other changes

Fit: OK

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: Yes

Make Again?: Yes. want to make the tunic version.


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