I was given the Great British Sewing Bee book for my birthday and was keen to attempt to make something. Like many I really wanted to sew the button back blouse but its the one pattern not included, a little disappointed I went for the boyfriend shirt instead. After printing, taping and finally cutting out the pattern pieces I was ready.
The only fabric I had enough of was this green floral fabric - not my first choice for a shirt but I was happy to use it for a test. It didn't take long to pin and cut out the pieces ready for a day of sewing.
The first few steps were straight forward attaching a fake yoke and pocket then joining the front panels to the back at the shoulder seams. If I was going to do this again I would think about adding a contrast hem of fabric under my yokes and along the top of the pocket.
The sleeves do not have cuffs but have ties that button up. I misread the instruction and sewed the tie on the front rather than the reverse.
The collar was pretty straightforward - perhaps a little bigger than necessary but it looks fine. My first big learning curve was finally using the buttonhole setting on my machine. Having lost the instruction booklet I found a film on YouTube that gave a little insight into what I should be doing and after several practices I had it cracked and was confident enough to sew buttonholes along the bias binding edge. I tried it on before deciding where to place the buttonholes to make sure I had them in the right places.
My other big learning curve was sleeves. The instructions showed how to use easing stitches to draw the fabric in so it fits the armhole. With a little more practice I think they'll be perfect, luckily the pattern stops the imperfection from standing out.