refashion

Second Life Button Up

I’ve owned very few button up shirts that fit correctly, and they seem pretty elusive to shop for.  But even the few ill-fitting RTW button up shirts I’ve owned over the years have had a hold on me.  There’s something about the collar and buttons that I love.  Comfortable, yet a little more professional looking than a t-shirt.

I’ve wanted to make my own for some time now, but my journey didn’t start with much success.  I tried the Violet shirt pattern last October, but it was too boxy, and despite all the extra room, I still couldn’t move my arms comfortably.  So I tried it again last week, going down one size and doing a full bust adjustment.  From the bust down I had plenty of room, but the shoulders and arms were much too tight, and I didn’t quite know what to do next…  A bigger size wasn’t gonna solve any problems.

I finally decided to shelve the Violet pattern and go with a TNT pattern that was already a comfortable fit.  Why go through multiple muslins and frustrations?  So, my TNT pattern is my Sew for Victory dress pattern: Du Barry 5947.  I got rid of the vestee and just lengthened the bodice pattern.  Adapting this pattern to a shirt pattern was a cinch!

I made up a muslin and used a sleeve placket pattern piece to make a wider and longer pattern for a shirt front button placket.  It worked!

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The button placket is hard to see with this floral print, but it’s there, minus any buttons.

It provides enough of an opening to easily get the shirt on and off, and with one button, it would be held closed, without any gaping or pulling.

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I did pinch out a little bit of fabric at the neckline so that the collar would lay flatter, and I added a little more length to the bottom, but otherwise this pattern was ready to roll.

I had a worn out shirt of my husbands that I wanted to refashion into a shirt for me; the sleeves were a wreck, but the rest of the shirt seemed fine.

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I traced the shirt pattern onto my hubby’s shirt, using the buttons as my center front.  I cut new sleeves from the old sleeves (I had lots of fabric to work with–my hubby is the big and tall type), and I cut the collar pieces out of the back yoke.

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It was pretty smooth sailing from here, and I’m thrilled with the results!  It doesn’t hurt to have the button holes and buttons already finished.

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Jay and Lucy love to hang out on the balcony, so they were all up in my business while I was taking photos.
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I did not adjust the pocket placement at all, so the outer corner is practically in my armpit, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t find chest pockets to be all that practical for ladies, but I don’t mind a decorative pocket.
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Although the fit is loose, I don’t feel lost in this shirt.  I love the gathered shoulder details, and it is comfortable to move my arms in–win!!

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I can’t wait to make more shirts with this pattern.

Do you like button ups?  Have you found the perfect shirt pattern?