It’s long been a goal of mine to make a shirt that 1) is made out of cotton/non-stretch fabric and 2) does not require zippers, buttons, or other fasteners.
I have been generally disappointed by the selection of stretch/apparel fabrics at my local fabric shops, but they do have plenty of cottons of all styles. Plus, cotton (or non-stretch) fabric is generally cheaper, and is findable at thrift stores, in the form of old sheets. My avoidance of fasteners is primarily because those tend to require a special trip to the store to get a matching color, the right size, etc. So my goal has been to make a shirt that meets those two criteria and hopefully looks good!
My latest attempt is this dolman sleeve shirt with 3/4 length sleeves.
I’ve noticed a trend lately of these dolman-sleeve shirts. As far as I can tell from looking at them, they basically don’t have an armhole seam and instead use just two main pieces of fabric, one for the front+front sleeves, and another for the back+back sleeves, with an arced seam to distinguish the arms from the bodice.
This seemed pretty easy to figure out how to make myself, since it’s basically two giant rectangles of fabric sewn along the arm and side. I made a couple of muslins first to figure out where to sew the seam and how “baggy” to make the armhole (verdict: not baggy). One of those versions had front darts, which I think I may try in my next iteration of this.
This particular shirt is sewn from just one main piece of fabric, so the only seams are along the sides. The neck is bound with handmade bias tape cut from the leftover fabric. As you can see, I am super excited that this experiment turned out so wearable.