The Last Shirt of Summer


Hi, Friends!  I hope you are doing well on this rainy fall day.  I have several unblogged projects to share with you in the coming weeks as well as, hopefully, a favorite children’s book of mine, but today is all about finishing up my last summery make.

One of my sewing goals this year is to learn to make button-up/button-down shirts (which one is it?).  In the “big batch of sewing” that I took on this summer, there was a short-sleeved button-up shirt on the list:  Simplicity 2255.

Simplicity 2255

Simplicity 2255

I have some lovely pink voile from Pintuck & Purl set aside for this (unless I change my mind, of course–don’t hold me to that!), but first up was a wearable muslin so I could see if the pattern needed any tweaking.  Luckily, my friend’s mother gave me some fabric when she cleaned out her stash, and one piece was an orange fabric similar in weight to the pink voile.  Perfect!

The only alteration I did initially was to grade from a 16 in the bust to an 18 for the waist and hips.  Since I trace my patterns onto tracing paper, this is pretty easy to do.  It’s also pretty standard in that I normally wear a smaller size up top than I do on the bottom in both sewing patterns and ready-to-wear clothing.  I made View D which has short sleeves and a single pocket with a banded collar.  That seems like a good first step in making button-down shirts.  (I have drafted my own button down shirt before, but then I changed sizes, so it ended up not being quite as wearable, and I really wanted to learn to follow sewing directions in a pattern for button-downs.)

Simplicity 2255

Simplicity 2255

I had a few ups and downs with this shirt, but overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I was also really happy that I finished in time for the last warm day in a strange warm week we had in November, so I even got to wear it despite the fact that it’s fall and I live in New England.  The shirt does have a few mistakes, but luckily they are the kind that only I will see (If anyone else is looking closely enough to see them, I think we have other issues.).

So, the parts that tripped me up were using binding on the seams that join the sleeves to the body.  I am most familiar with double fold bias binding, but this was single fold.  I think I sort of treated it like double fold and, in the end, I fudged it because I didn’t feel like redoing it.  That resulted in a few stitches that you can see from the outside on the sleeve, but whatever!!!  Better done than perfect and unfinished.  I also had a little trouble putting in my first buttonhole, but I’m ignoring that, too.  🙂  I was unsure if I had the orientation correct when I attached the collar, but it looks good, so I must have gotten it right.  I think I may have forgotten to draw one of my notches on my traced pattern.  Otherwise, mission accomplished with quality sewing.  I wrote myself some notes about where I made mistakes so I would remember for next time.  Now I’ll just have to see how much I wear this next summer.  I really loved it for the one day I wore it this fall, though, and I’m excited to wear it again when the weather is warmer.

Simplicity 2255

As far as the style goes, I’m a bit unsure about if I like the sleeves or not (my husband called them “awnings”), but I think they may be growing on me.  I also think that I may need to teach myself how to do swayback adjustments at some point since I tend to get a little bit of pooling fabric on my lower back pretty frequently when I make shirts.

Simplicity 2255

The buttons and other notions like thread and bias binding are from Joann’s.  I was hoping to take some close-up pictures of everything for you, but it is super dark here today and now the sun sets before 4:30 in the afternoon.  Isn’t that crazy?

From here on out, I venture into colder weather sewing.  I only have one thing left on my “big batch of sewing” list (a long-sleeved button-up shirt), and then it’s whatever strikes my fancy + Christmas presents (shhh!!!)!


I wanted to give you a few pictures of the inside of the shirt, and finally got some on a sunnier day.  I tried to finish all my seams, but you can see my trouble spot on the sleeve.  Still, I got through it and I hope to do even better on my next shirt.  Onward and upward!

Simplicity 2255

Inner front

Simplicity 2255

Inner back

Simplicity 2255

Inner sleeve detail


9 responses »

  1. I really like this top, awnings and all! I love this light orange color on you too. Button-down shirts are so fun to sew with all the precise details. Looking forward to seeing the pink version. 🙂


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