When the Genra Shirt was released last year, it was clear that it was instantly a cult classic in the sewing community. Since I've been on the hunt for the perfect summer buttons, this seemed like the perfect pattern to add to my collection! Overall, I really enjoyed making this pattern and the resulting top. The Gilbert is more beginner-friendly, but if you have experience sewing buttons, the Genra is great.
Choose fabric + size
I purchased this beautiful linen from Mood last year and have been waiting for the right project to use it on. It's super light and transparent, but still has some structure. I love its “graph paper” look. I think linen pairs well with Genra, but I could also see something more drapey that would look really pretty.
For size, I opted for an XS. From what I could see on Instagram, the shirt is intentionally oversized. I was between an XS and an S in terms of measurements, so it made sense to go a size smaller.
Making the Genra shirt
The writing of the Genra was pretty solid in my experience and I had few problems building everything. The construction is very similar to other buttons I've made, like the Gilbert or the Archer. I made the short sleeve version, so I can't speak to the cuffs or sleeve tabs. The only complaint I have about this model is that the written instructions are not very detailed. There seems to be an assumption that the reader already knows how to do things. This wasn't a problem for me since I did a few buttons, but I could definitely see it tripping up a beginner.
Overall, I really liked the Genra pattern. I wasn't sure if the style suited me, but I'm happy with the result and will definitely wear it often. This may not be the best buttoning pattern for a beginner, but with the help of online tutorials, anyone could probably make it work.