AmeliaTopPR230 Pattern
Amelia Shirt PDF Pattern from Frog Legs and Ponytails

Catherine from Happy in the in Between is learning to sew and had a lot of fun making her own version of the Amelia Shirt from Frog Legs and Ponytails. The Amelia Shirt and our other Frog Legs and Ponytails selections are all PDF sewing patterns; you can purchase and then get to work sewing right away! Visit Catherine at Happy in the in Between, take a look at her introduction and enjoy her review today.

Catherine writes: When I tell you that I am beginner at this whole sewing thing, you should know that I am still really early in the beginnings stages, like the starting gun just went off and I’m not even winded yet. Because of that, I’m not even familiar with the “lingo” of sewing yet and having to look up simple terms like “in the fold” (to confirm what I think it means) tends to discourage me. So when Sew,Mama,Sew! sent out a call for beginning sewers who would be interested in reviewing a pattern, I jumped at the chance. Anything that would hold me to a sewing project that I worried was above my means sounded like a good thing, accountability and all.

Once I got the Amelia pattern, my worry only increased. There are two fabrics! I have to make my own bias tape… and use it correctly! (See, I told you I’m a newbie.) But the Sew,Mama,Sew! folks had assured me that it was a great pattern for beginners, and I chose to believe them.

With fabric in hand (and pre-washed), I read through the pattern. I admit, I found it daunting. But after orienting myself with the instructions, I chugged ahead…

For more detail shots of Catherine’s sewing process with the Amelia pattern, visit this set in Catherine’s photos.

Description & Materials
This is a straight shirt with a drawstring neck. Style-wise, it’s a version of the popular children’s pillowcase dresses all grown-up as an adult shirt.

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Aside from the regular scissors, thread, and all that jazz, you need:

  • 1 1/8 – 1 ½ yard main fabric
  • 3/8 – ½ yard coordinating trim fabric
  • & a tube turning tool (though I had trouble finding one, so let’s call this optional)
Fabric Recommendations
The pattern calls for quilting-weight cottons, light-weight decorator cottons, linen, or muslin. I would avoid fabrics that are too light, as you do want a bit of weight so that the shirt will hang correctly.

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Hem detail.

Overall Design 5 stars
This pattern was extremely easy to understand and follow along with, even for a newbie like me whose only foray into clothing sewing was two pillowcase dresses. Even with my limited experience, I had very few (and only minor) hang-ups and the shirt looks exactly like it’s supposed to (huge victory for me!). I couldn’t be more pleased with it.


Written Instructions 5 stars
Very easy to follow. If you’re a beginner, be sure to read through them a couple of times before you get going because the pattern does tend to lump multiple steps together. My brain needed me to process each action in a more step-by-step fashion, but yours will probably work faster.

Diagrams / Images 5 stars
There are very few diagrams in this pattern, but the images were extremely helpful. But more than anything, I appreciated the pictures. In fact, when making the trim band I incorrectly assumed that folding it length-wise meant to fold it with the length of the trim band rather than the length of the shirt. But, because the picture showed me that I should be able to see two right sides, I was able to figure out what it was that I was expected to do with no problem.

Pattern Pieces 5 stars
There was only one, which was for the armhole, but because this is a stage I struggled with on my two previous sewing attempts, I was quite grateful for the pattern piece. It guaranteed I cut the right shape and made more confident. And, of course, it worked perfectly.

Overall Level of Difficulty Easy Peasy
Seriously, if I could do this without messing anything up, anyone can. I was a little worried about certain parts, like making my own trim band, but the instructions were so clear that I didn’t have any problems with it. Aside from some relatively crooked stitching, I think my shirt looks perfect.

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Tie detail

Tips + Modifications
I was unable to find a tube turner, but the pattern didn’t offer alternate suggestions on how to create the tie. I ended up simply finagling the pattern through with my fingers by pushing up the fabric on the inside and then pulling it out the open side. I’m sure there’s a better/faster/less-frustrating way, but I didn’t know it and this worked for me.
This really was the perfect pattern for someone just starting to sew. The stitching wasn’t complicated and each step was easy, but they helped me sharpen skills that I will need as I continue other, more difficult patterns. It took me about 4-5 hours (spaced out over the course of a day), but a lot of that time had to do with my double and triple checking I was doing things right. If you have any sewing skill at all, this could easily take just an hour or two. I couldn’t be more proud of this, the first shirt I ever made for myself.