June 15, 2020
The Middy Shirt has been a fashion classic for over a hundred years, although it has been a part of naval tradition since the days of sailing ships. Its popularity peaked in the 1920s when newly-liberated women wore Middies for active sports and with skirts for more dressy occasions.
Our View A is a very simple garment worn by British seamen in tropical climes. Traditionally made of a white cotton twill with blue binding around a square neck, the Shirt featured short sleeves and a self-patch in the back. The neck binding can be made from the same fabric or a contrasting fabric (perfect for nice scraps of fabric).
In the 1920s, View B was worn for school, office and sports, paired with a pleated skirt. Comfortable and practical, it has been popular fishing and camping wear for decades. A square Middy collar, short set-in sleeves, band cuffs, and a side buttoned hip band, detail this popular shirt. A tab below the V-neck opening catches the contrasting scarf or tie often worn with this Middy. Instructions for neck tie are included. Heavy to lighter-weight fabrics are great for this view. And try a contrasting fabric for the sleeve cuffs and/or collar.
Suggested fabrics: Views A & B: Medium- to heavy-weight cotton, denim, cotton twill, and blends; rayon; heavy-weight silk; wool challis; knits. View B, also: Wool flannel; pinwale corduroy. But, lightweight fabrics can work also - they just make a lighter, breezier shirt.
Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores. Please note, these suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point. If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.
Molly is just made a new Middy top (View B) using a floral lawn, and it is lovely. I love the prints that Liberty of London offers and the lovely feel of their fabrics. Bolt Fabrics always has a nice selection of Liberty of London lawns.
This peach striped seersucker fabric would be lovely for either view of the Middy Top. The light weight breath ability will be a great choice for summer weather. Hart's Fabrics has this available for you!
Oak Fabrics has some beautiful corduroy, and this one by Merchant and Mills would be beautiful (we have a tan version in our store for a more neutral/sporty version).
We just received a shipment of new fabrics here at Folkwear. I love the feel of this 8 oz. denim and can't resist listing it seeing as how the pattern calls for denim in the fabric suggestions. It really is quite lovely and would be perfect for a denim version of either of these shirts!
We also have some lovely linens and a chambray available in the Folkwear fabric shop - all of which would be great as either version of this pattern.