The “Not-Quite-Right” Shirt

The Facts

⁃ Fabric: green dotted cotton, on sale $3/yd from Joann’s

⁃ Pattern: Simplicity 2255 (got it for 99c on sale, huzzah)

⁃ Year: contemporary

⁃ Notions: five white buttons from my stash, white thread, white bias binding

⁃ Time to complete: ugh, hours

⁃ First worn: for the pictures

⁃ Wear again? only with some modifications to the sleeves and maybe the collar

⁃ Total price: $7.50

It may have seemed like the cape killed me. But actually, the culprit was work. I am so in awe of all you wonderful ladies who make such amazing things on top of having jobs, kiddos, and more!

I thought I’d try something simple but something I can’t get RTW – a button-down shirt. I am blessed with a lovely hourglass figure, but it means that every button-down shirt gapes as it tries to make it over the girls. I had this cute pattern, this non-offensive fabric, buttons in my stash… what could go wrong?

I felt this way for much of the construction. (Muslin? Nah… who needs one? Um, I do.) Shirt pieces looked good. Back darts looked good. Front darts looked good. Pocket looked awesome. But then… the collar. I sewed the facing in the wrong way and had already trimmed down the seam allowance so had to just add another piece on top of it. So now with about a million layers of fabric in it, the collar twists in a weird way.

Then, the “sleeves.” On their first iteration, they made me look like a football player, or a soldier of some kind (like those triangle-shaped guards in The Emperor’s New Groove, you know? Anyone?) So I took a small break (a week, I think) and then came back and made new ones, smaller ones. I also added more bust darts because I had somehow neglected to do a FBA, even though I am clearly the body type for whom FBAs are made. Ah, ignorance, how much time you steal from me…

So now I have a shirt, and it’s done, and I really don’t love it. (It was very cold taking the pictures – hence this lovely pose.)







My lovely partner/photographer suggested taking out the wings and having just a plain sleeveless vest-type shirt. It’s worth a shot, but for the time being, I feel sort of like this about it:



Crysta Swarts is a teacher in Tacoma, WA whose primary focus on knitting has left little room for sewing. She believes 2012 is the year to change all that.


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  1. The expression on your face in the last photo is what I see in the mirror 95% of the time when trying on something I’ve just made. Eh – call this your wearable muslin and I’ll take your good advice and do a FBA when I have a go at this pattern as I have it in my stash.

  2. I forgot to add, I like the colour and that particular sleeve.

  3. Well I’m glad my work has made someone else’s work simpler! And thanks, I like the color too. :)