Saturday, February 9, 2013

Simplicity 2447 - Plaid Buttondown Tunic

After making three buttondown shirts for my husband, I'm really in this "technical" sewing mode. I've been wanting to make Simplicity #2447, a buttondown tunic shirt, for a few years now. I even had the fabric picked out for that long---I just never got around to it. I bought the fabric at Fabric Mart back in 2009. We sold the entire roll to a wholesale customer, but I snatched up a few yards before it was measured for them! It is a tie-dye plaid linen crepe from Ralph Lauren, which I have pre-washed.


I feel like I'm finally figuring out what parts of the "mainstream" patterns fit me and what I need to alter. I cut out a 16 in this pattern. I had been cutting 18's in the past-- based off of my measurements, but ended up taking them in all the time. My hips are the tricky part, so I use a bit smaller seam allowance there, but I think I've FINALLY got this!

The pattern was really easy, especially after having the experience of three other buttondown shirts under my belt. The front yoke and back yoke are both set on the bias. I love the look, although the pattern does not call for it to be stabilized. The linen really distorts, so I should have stabilized it with a stiff, yet lightweight fabric.


I added top-stitching to the shoulder seams --the pattern did not call for it, but I love adding RTW details. I used buttons from my stash. I ended up picking vintage pearl buttons. Shined them up a bit and they look really great! They add a touch of shine to this outfit. 

I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone -- beginner or advanced. It's a perfect addition to my spring wardrobe. I can't wait to wear it with leggings and a belt!


  1. Almost everything you ever wanted to know about shirt making... lol.

    Hi Beth.

    Darn! I wrote a ton of stuff - took me a lot of time and now it says there's a character limit. I have no idea how many characters there are. hmmm. it's terribly late so I guess I'll try to figure it out another time. I had SO much to share. it's maybe 4 pages. darn, darn, darn. You still want to learn about shirt-making?

  2. Hi! I finally made it back again. Life gets busy!

    In reading your blog, I wanted to respond to a couple things. You said, “I feel like I'm finally figuring out what parts of the "mainstream" patterns fit me and what I need to alter”.

    Since I don’t know how much sewing you’ve done, I thought I’d point out a few things about patterns so you don’t have any expensive accidents. I took what you said as an expectation that you thought you can make a well fitting Simplicity blouse or shirt and do the same the same alterations to any other Simplicity and get similar results. NO, you can’t. It could happen, but the patterns are not really designed that way.

    Back in the 70’s this idea held true for the most part. Shape, cut, size etc. seemed more standard. Most often, if a style was similar you could adjust, cut and sew and get similar results. Measuring and comparing everything didn’t seem necessary. IMPO, if it happens now, I’d consider it a fluke.

    Today’s styles are all over the map - tight, skinny, big, loose and flowing. Style, fit and ease can vary a lot between patterns, even ones perhaps defined by same term such as “slim”. Slim today can be different than “slim” 7 years ago. Companies sometimes keep the same patterns in print for long periods - usually the basics.

    Perhaps ‘all over the map’ is why companies are making lines such as Amazing Fit - btw, the one I bought has 4 fronts: A, B, C and D cups… to easily create a well fitting muslin/sloper.

    I recently purchased Simplicity 2339 Amazing Fit shirt and 2447 tunic like yours. My usual size is 14. 2339 has far less ease than I expected. Granted, 2339 says it’s fitted but the tunic doesn’t say it’s overly large. The 2339 looked small I started comparing it to my other clothes.

    When I opened 2447, I immediately noticed the difference in the sleeve cap shape and heights when I opened. With the princess seams, comparing fit is harder. I expected I’d need to do a large bust adjustment. I pinned it together and slipped it on. It was loose. I measured it and found about 5” of difference in the finished bust measurements between the two patterns. The finished measurements aren’t handy at the moment, but it works out to 10% or more. A fit that’s 10% other than you expected could mean heartache, especially on an expensive piece of fabric.

    Record your measurements and the measurements of clothes that fit you well; bust, waist, hip, back waist and hem length, shoulder and back widths, sleeve, size of cuffs and collar stands when buttoned, etc. Figure how much wearing ease is a good fit for you. Keep these handy when planning and altering patterns. Once you have a couple well fitting shirts etc. you’ll be sailing. All the mucking about now will be paid off in the end results

    Because my patterns may be used a lot, I’ve preserved both by applying iron-on interfacing to the back of the pattern pieces as shown in fashionsewingblogtv at youtube “Preserving Your Patterns”.
    Happy sewing, Canary

  3. Love it! Just had a go at this pattern myself and found it great fun to construct! Nice work xox