Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Buttondown Shirts for the Hubby

A few weeks ago I wrote about my hope to make some buttondown shirts for my husband. Well about two weeks, one semi-failed buttondown shirt and 5 yards of fabric later...I have two handsome buttondown shirts! I have a third shirt that is a size too large and needs work to make it right, but I learned a lot from it!

I've made buttondown shirts before, but it had been almost 10 years since I last tried. I was worried I wouldn't remember how to be precise! I used McCall #6044 and three different cotton shirtings I bought from Fabric Mart a few years ago. They have a nice selection of wrinkle-free shirtings.

The first shirt I cut out in size large because that's "what the pattern told me I should do." I knew that when I make clothing for myself I never make my ready-to-wear size, so I was expecting the same thing here. When my husband tried the shirt on, I ended up having to take it in a whole size! So I stopped working on that shirt and cut out the next shirt in size medium.

There were just a few changes I made to the pattern. I cut the collar out in size large, because he has a larger neck circumference. On ready-to-wear shirts, he has to leave the button at the top open (when wearing a tie.) I also had to make the sleeves 1 1/4" shorter and the hem 2" shorter.

The pattern was quite simple as far as details go. I added a yoke to the back of the shirt to help make it more like a ready-to-wear shirt. I also added top-stitching to the shoulder seams, and armhole. I had a hard time finding a thread that matched the background color, so I selected a deep navy thread. It matches some of the pinstriping in the fabric.

I used Pellon Shir-Tailor Fusible Interfacing for the collar and cuffs. I used a lighter weight interfacing on the button yoke because the Shir-Tailor made it too stiff. 

Overall, I really enjoyed making these shirts! They were fairly easy and I whipped up two in one weekend. I don't think we're going to be buying buttondown shirts anymore. I will be shopping for fabric instead!

(I will post a picture of the other two buttondown shirts once we have a better day to do picture taking!)


  1. Looks great! and really nice fabric.

  2. Very nice looking shirt! I have this pattern too and it's my hubby's favorite! Now you too will be your hubby's "Personal Tailor"! Great job!

  3. Sharp looking shirts!! I wish I could sew that good! Looks straight from a department store!

  4. looks good! it is kind of nice sewing for the men in our lives!

  5. thanks for all your comments! Now its time to make something for myself!