Tencel Love


Since completing this pair of gray Jalie Jeans, I’ve been in a frenzy, sewing fun summer-y tops to go with them, hence – – this shirt!  I can tell it’s going to be a favorite because it’s made from Tencel, better known as lyocell, a fabric I grew to love when I bought a Tencel shirt at Anthropologie a few years ago. Not only is Tencel comfortable, it’s a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It feels similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. I think I love this fabric because it has weight, yet it feels comfortable, even when it’s hot and humid. That’s because Tencel boasts the ability to absorb perspiration and quickly release it into the atmosphere, so it’s resistant to developing odors.

It sounds like the perfect ‘travel’ fabric to me! That’s why I chose it for my latest make; a button up shirt that will travel with me to Spain and Portugal this summer. It will be hot there, so I know this top will be in my suitcase!


My pattern for this shirt is McCalls’ 7387, a pattern I had to have because of the cool back pleat.


It’s those sort of little details that take a make from ho-hum to fabulous. This pleat is so cool. It’s a double pleat In other words you make one pleat then, fold another one over the top of it, creating this criss-cross look.

McCall’s 7387 took me about four hours to make from cut-out to hem. It probably would have taken less time if I’d resisted the urge to binge watch, “How to Get Away with Murder. “(I confess… I had to concentrate to follow the plot. The bonus for perservering though is the eye candy of Viola Davis’ wardrobe… she looks ‘chic’ but invincible. ) If you aren’t binge-watching, you could probably make this shirt in three hours.IMG_5804

Pattern Modifications: I left the flap off the front fly that covers the buttons because I wanted them to show. I visualized white buttons down the front of this shirt when I decided on this fabric, so I had to drop the flap. I added buttons to the pocket flaps too.

I also changed out the collar and replaced it with a collar band. I did this because I plan to wear this in warm weather and sometimes collars make me feel hot. To do this, I drafted a collar band by copying one from a tried and true button up shirt pattern.


I’m smiling because I’m wearing blue Tencel!  This fabric was in the category of ‘special’, so I was a nervous when I decided to try a new pattern. I was so lucky that the pattern fit without modifications….phew!

My sewing energy is focussed on travel clothes right now. I’m trying to use the skills I gained from the Pattern Review Sudoku challenge to help me coordinate my travel wardrobe so that I can pack efficiently. Nevertheless, my efforts are a bit scattered. What will my neutral colors be? Do I pack skirts, shorts and tops, or do I just take a couple of dresses and call it good? What I do know for certain is that this shirt is going with me!

I’ve never traveled with Tencel, and one questions looms in my mind. Will it wrinkle? Have you sewn with Tencel? Thumbs up or down?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

20 thoughts on “Tencel Love

  1. Nice work. Love the colour (of course) and think this is going to be so versatile. Bet you reach for this over and over…

  2. This is a great top! And wow, I totally passed over that pattern, but I love that back pleat! Thanks, now you’ve added something new to my sewing list. : )

    I love Tencel – love the drape and the weight and the texture. I’ve got two lengths of tencel twill just waiting for me, albeit somewhat impatiently. I like the way it presses, too. Win-win!

    1. Thanks! Always glad to add to someone’s sewing to do list 🙂 Nice to meet a fellow lover of Tencel..,thanks for reminding me of how well it responds to the iron! I look forward to seeing what you do with your lovely Tencel stash!

    1. Thanks, Eli! This is my first Tencel project too and it sews like a dream. I’ll be on the lookout for more lovely pieces, that’s for sure.

  3. This is a great idea for a cool top! I’m always looking for an alternative to tees. This will be a good travel top. I think tencel will let any wrinkles smooth out with hanging. So happy you mentioned Viola. She went to high school one city over from me in RI. Her sister still lives there and Viola is often giving back to the community. It’s a tough, tough place and she is a wonderful inspiration to the kids there. I couldn’t help but cry when she won the Oscar.

    1. If this Tencel behaves as you suggest I will be such a happy traveler:) I am such a fan of Viola! How cool that she stays connected to that community…she so deserved that Oscar.

    1. Thanks! The drape is so nice…I can imagine your dress is a dream to wear!! I suppose of it wrinkles I can always hang it in the shower and hope they steam away. I’m on the lookout for more Tencel now, would love to find denim like yours!

  4. Dear Linda. I follow your blog all the way from sunny South Africa. I LOVE all the clothes you make! This blue shirt is beautiful, as usual. I wish I can sew as fast as you. Every week I eagerly await your post on the latest item you have made. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

    1. Thanks so much for following me! It’s so great to meet a kindred spirit that’s so far away…how nice that distance is invisible in our connected world! I think my sewing speed is enhanced when I find a project I love, like this, like this blue shirt. I get obsessed and can’t stop until it’s done:).

  5. Such a fab top, I love the back pleat, I gives a great shape! I’ve not seen any Tencel in the uk so far but would love to give it a go when I do find it

    1. Thank-you! Interesting that Tencel seems to be elusive… I went to a couple of fabric stores here yesterday and didn’t find any more, which is puzzling since it’s so nice to wear and sew!

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