An Oversized Simplicity 1538 in Cotton and Steel Raindrop Print

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An Oversized Simplicity 1538 in Cotton and Steel Raindrop Print

If I haven’t declared it before, I’m doing it now:  Simplicity 1538 is my Tried ‘N’ True (TNT) button up shirt.

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

I have made this so many times, and I love it.  I’m sure it’s not substantially different from many other button up shirts, but I know how to modify it to fit ME, and that’s what makes it special.  I’ve discovered that although they take awhile, I really like making button up shirts.  They are a great canvas for a number of different fabric substrates and fun prints, or you can make them very subdued.  I also really like all of the options for details that you can put into each shirt.  I definitely get into finding just the right topstitching thread, locating the perfect buttons, and deciding what fabric I want to use for yokes, collar stands, and cuffs.

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in Cotton and Steel raindrop print

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

Now when I see someone wearing a button up shirt, I look at it to see if there are any details I might want to incorporate into a future shirt.

All this shirt love, however, has given me a closet with several great shirts, and as I’m not really one for dressing in a “uniform” (meaning the same type of clothing every day), I wanted a button up shirt that was at least slightly different.  So, for this shirt, I sized up and lengthened the shirt by a total of four inches.  The shirts I already have made from this pattern fit fine, but my measurements have changed slightly, so according to the size chart, I should be making a size larger.  I decided to try that out for this version.  I have also wanted a shirt or two that covers my butt and, while I have lengthened this pattern by two inches previously, it wasn’t quite as long as I wanted.  I worried that these changes might not work, but I decided to go for them anyway.  What I got was a wonderful, oversized shirt.

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

As far as classic markers for fit go, this shirt doesn’t fit well.  The shoulder seam extends beyond the end of my shoulder, and when I put my hands on my hips, I get drag lines.  I think the darts are also somewhat low.  However, when combined with the longer length, it gives an overall relaxed vibe that I really like.  I was worried that this shirt would just turn into a sea of raindrops with the added length and be way too much, but the length is perfect and the print is great.  Because this fits the way I want it to, the fit is perfect!  I have worn this both with jeans (as pictured) and with nicer pants (these gray pants), and it’s easy to dress up and down.  I’m also excited that it will be a great slouchy fit should I decide to make another flannel sometime in the future.  AND I’m happy to have a chance to use this fun fabric in colors that I love.

Speaking of this fabric, which is a Cotton + Steel quilting cotton called “Drops Yellow” that I got at Pintuck & Purl…I have to point something out that I really love.  Normally the selvage of a quilting cotton is fine.  It has the name of the designer(s) and the collection and fabric company.  It might have a little picture or two, maybe.  When Cotton + Steel does selvages, though, they sometimes put cute little sayings on them, and I love using them as tags.  The first time I did this was on this apple print skirt.  And the next time?  Yep!  On this very shirt!  Check it out.

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

Some of my favorite art is the kind that makes you look at things in new (positive) ways, and this definitely qualifies.  They turned a ho-hum part of the fabric yardage into a focal point that creates even more opportunity for creative expression.  Brilliant.

Before I wrap this up, here are a few other little details I incorporated into this shirt.  Extra buttons just in case I lose one or two:

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

And some sweet French seams.  The armhole seam allowances are wider than the side seam allowances because I forgot that you usually sew your wider seam allowance on the first pass and trim down before sewing your narrower seam allowance, but oh well!  I’m here to get things done, not necessarily to make them perfect!

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

Also, look how much thread I have left of each color!  It was so close!  I can’t believe I finished before running out!

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

So, all in all, this one is a win.  And while I definitely recommend this pattern because of my own personal love for it, I really think the best button up pattern is the one that you like that you have customized to fit you.

Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

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Simplicity 1538:  my TNT shirt pattern in raindrop Cotton and Steel fabric

The many iterations of Simplicity 1538

In case you are interested, here are the various versions of this pattern that I’ve made:

  • Version one:  a wearable muslin made in a cute vintage sheet.  This version helped me realize that I needed a major broad back adjustment.  I also didn’t realize that shirts are only “button down” shirts if they have buttons on the collar that help you button the collar down.  What I was making was a button up.
  • Version two: one of my favorite versions in a tiger print by Cotton + Steel.  I still wear this shirt often.  This post shows how to do a major broad back adjustment on a shirt with a set-in sleeve like this.  I also began making a box pleat in the back on this version, rather than the gathers the pattern calls for.
  • Version three:  my best plaid matching ever and still my favorite flannel shirt that I have made.  This is the first time I tried lengthening this pattern.  I added two inches to this version.
  • Version four:  in a non-plaid flannel with pearl snaps!  If you need help installing pearl snaps, I have a tutorial for that here.
  • Version five: in red and white gingham in which I discover the beauty of good quality fabric.  I love this version for summer.
  • Version six:  this one!

Wow!  I think this wins my “most sewn pattern” award!

And now that I have finished this shirt, I have one more dress to finish up, and then it’s on to summer sewing!!!!  Yay!  I can’t wait.  Do you have any patterns you’re really excited to sew for summer?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments.  Send me some sewing inspiration!

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3 responses »

  1. Wow, this is great. I love the contrasting colour inside your shirt – I may have to try that some day! And the fit you’ve achieves is perfect. It looks great, and comfortable which is really all you can ask for! I love your quote ” I really think the best button up pattern is the one that you like that you have customized to fit you” is spot on and is true for so many things in life.

    And that selvedge tag is the best – I need some of those in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

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