Kate Underdown

Each spring I eagerly await to see which jacket is going to be the star of the season. I love wearing jackets. They are often central to my outfit and are worthy of a spot on the sewing list as they offer longevity. I spotted that this season’s buzzword is the ‘overshirt’. Essentially it is a jacket, shacket, shirt, or whatever you want to call it, that can be worn as a layering piece.

I see an overshirt as the perfect alternative to a cardigan that freshens your outfit combinations up a little. And when summer comes, it can be a lightweight layer that you can wear in place of a jacket. As always, the indie sewing pattern world has delivered. So I have rounded up ten rather lovely options that I think nail the trend and will provide plenty of sewing entertainment. Enjoy!

I can’t just talk about seeing overshirts all over the high street without sharing some examples, can I? There are the classic denim options, of course, these show off the pockets and stitching. Earthy tones feature heavily – all great for offsetting anything you might want to wear underneath. But my favourite of all is the checked / plaid flannel style. They will feel just as cosy as a cardigan to wear and they look great finished off with snap fasteners to close rather than a standard button.

If you’ve been looking at shirt or jacket patterns and have been put off by sewing a collar – this pattern skips that step! Matchy Matchy are great at designing fun and approachable sewing patterns that can use up scraps and remnants. The Makers Over Shirt pattern is designed with layering in mind (as you can see!) – you can even layer them on top of each other. The easy-to-sew design features a simple front button placket making it a good project if you’ve never attempted one before.

Sizing: XXS – 6XL (approx. UK 6 – 38)

Even though this is a menswear pattern you can see it will look great on anyone who wants to add a touch of lumberjack-chic to their wardrobe. The Overshirt has a convertible collar, several interchangeable pockets, and two-piece cuffed sleeves. The body has side slits and a generous back yoke. Go for something with a little more structure like corduroy or try a spring linen to carry you through warmer days.

Sizing: 2XS – 4XL

The Chalk and Notch Den Jacket is simply to die for! If you love to tinker with your patterns to customise them, this jacket/overshirt style will provide the said choices so you won’t need to figure out how to get your dream jacket. It’s all there on a platter. Seam lines in the sleeve and bodice that allow for topstitching or colour blocking. The sleeve facing acts as a fold-up cuff. The centre front closure can be buttons or snaps. Pocket lovers will enjoy the front patch pockets and large in-seam pockets.

Sizing: UK 8 – 30 with A/B and C/D bust cup options

A classic overshirt with workwear vibes, the Over Shirt provides the perfect extra layer. The dropped shoulder and square cut make the whole garment feel roomy and comfortable, and this casual feel is balanced out with classic shirt details. The Over Shirt is a great everyday piece for the modern wardrobe. It’s all in the detail, and I am smitten with the shirt’s back-hanging loop. I don’t know why, it’s just such a pleasing touch.

Sizing: UK 6 – 28

I absolutely ADORE this jacket pattern and can see it being the perfect extra layer and alternative to a cardigan for the cool kids. The Sylvan Jacket has so many details to desire; from the 12 mix-and-match pocket options to the face-framing shawl collar or the optional button tabs at the wrists and waist for a versatile fit. You get to play designer with this pattern, and, with so many ways to go, you might make more than one!

Sizing: US 0 – 34 (approx. UK 6/8 – 32/34)

The angular pockets on the Portmanteau Shacket were the first thing to catch my eye. With more details than I have time to explain, this project is worthy of a place on your sewing table. It will make a great overshirt in cosy checked/plaid fabric or a spring/summer layer in breezy linen fabric. You could class it as a ‘super versatile piece’ that promises to get plenty of wear. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Sizing: A – N (approx. UK 6/8 – 34)

To be honest, this pattern didn’t grab me at first sight. I’m not sure that the samples truly do the pattern justice, but if like me, you look a little deeper, the line drawing reveals an overshirt that is SPOT ON for this trend. The narrow chest pockets feel unique and interesting, the topstitched sleeves and centre-back seams elevate the design and the length options give you scope for cropped and hip-length styles. Choose denim, checked flannel, sturdy linen or whatever takes your fancy. Madou is a winner!

Sizing: XS – XXXL (approx. UK 6 – 28/30)

I spotted lots of wool overshirts when I was browsing the web looking for more inspiration. I saw plenty with drool-worthy statement pockets and I think I found the perfect match for that inspiration. The Bara Studio Thea Shacket features statement chest pockets, casual dropped shoulders and a neat pleat in the back yoke. The pattern comes with a video tutorial (in German with English subtitles), it’s a great choice for any visual learners.

Sizing: XS – XL (approx. UK 6 – 18/20)

If you prefer your overshirt to feel a little more polished, I have the one for you! The Jameela Jacket has all the trademarks of an overshirt or jacket but leans to feminine details over the more utilitarian or workwear styles you typically see. Pocket lovers will fall for the big welt pockets at the front and my favourite detail is the box pleat at the back. You have a couple of length options – each with their own sleeve finish and this pattern looks great in many different woven fabrics. Need I say more?

Sizing: A – J (approx. UK 8 – 28)

If you’re a bit of an experimental sewer or are interested in reducing your waste, I have a great suggestion for your overshirt project. How about a zero-waste design? This unisex pattern is drawn directly onto your fabric by following the step-by-step instructions. You reduce paper waste this way and the lay plan makes use of your fabric, with minimal to no waste. The gathered sleeve hems and shoulder dart shaping add nice details to the jacket and the side splits keep it from being too boxy.

Sizing: Size One and Size Two (approx. UK 6 – 16 and UK 16 – 36)

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