Friday, November 4, 2016

My almost perfected button down shirt: Simplicity 3684

I am happy to report that I got my shirt done in time for the Chicago ASG chapter annual meeting and fashion show! I was sewing my buttons on at 10pm the night before!

Me at home taking completed outfit pics! please excuse the ponytail and no makeup!!

You can read about my muslin and pattern changes to get this shirt done in this previous blog post-

The criteria for this shirt was that it needed to be a button down front closure, have a collar and cuffs and one sort of embellishment. Embellishment was considered decorative topsticthing, use of multiple fabrics, beading, etc.. I choose the use of multiple fabrics.
Completed blouse on the dressform.

The fabric is from Emmaonesock. 'Sit, Stay' poly crepe woven, still available here and the black contrasting rayon was from my fabric collection. The dog fabric was a slippery sucker to work with and like to fray with a lot of handling. However, it was also the nicest polyester fabric that I have ever used! It cut quite nicely in a double layer and it even pressed well. I am very happy with how the shirt turned out. I purchased the fabric mainly out of curiosity because the description said it was a new technology polyester and because I liked the print. Would I purchase this type of fabric again? maybe, if there was a print that I really loved, I may. I do really prefer natural fabrics and currently have a quite a collection to work through!

I used the black rayon on the front button bands which I sewed to right side of the garment. As well as on the collar and collar stand. The under collar and collar stand were done in the dog print. The black rayon was also used on the both sides of the cuffs and for the simple cuff placket.
The buttons are vintage half round plastic buttons from my button collection.
Detail pictures of the neckline, parallel bust darts that blend right in on this print, seam finishing and collar.
Construction methods: 
To mark the darts I used a combination of tailors tacks and  Pilot Frixion pen. 
All non-enclosed seams were sewn on the regular sewing machine and then serge finished.
All top stitching was done in black thread at a stitch length of 2.0
The collar stand and the cuffs were inserted using the Islander burrito method. 
The hem was finished with a double turned and topstitched hem.
The sleeve hem has 3 small pleats going into the cuff, which are very hard to see on this print! I like the softness of using 3 small pleats versus one or two bigger pleats.

Cuff details: button and placket, three small pleats circled in red. can you see them??? and the inside of the cuff placket.
In the title I have 'my almost perfected' shirt. This means that there are some changes that I want to make to the pattern. For the next version i have added one inch overall to the length of the shirt. I feel it is just a tad short. I have reduced the circumference of the cuff by 3/8 of an inch and made corresponding changes to the sleeve. I also have changed the neckline to an open soft V. This was a neckline that was developed in a Sarah Veblen day long workshop on developing necklines that I took in July. The collar will also be changed to a simpler and softer rolled collar that I will design once the body of the shirt is completed.
Neckline that I have based the new shirt neckline after.

The Skirt is my own drafted design. I used the same base pattern pieces as I did for the floral skirt I wore for Princess V's birthday and baptism, blogged about here. Only this time I choose to cut it as a double layer with the top layer being 2 inches shorter than the under layer. I also finished the hem on the serger using a rolled hem. this gave a very nice, simple and floaty hem that this skirt calls for. Since it is a double layer I did not use a lining. I inserted the lapped zipper to the upper layer and then hand sewed the under layer inside to the zipper tape. All seams were done on the sewing machine and finished on the serger. I attached the waistband using the burrito method which mostly worked out quite well. At the very top of the lapped zipper and into the waistband I could have been over an 1/8 of an inch or less and it would have been straighter. I decided not to unpick it because I just didn't have the energy too! Sometimes you have just accept imperfection! 
Skirt details: lapped zipper with slightly wonky waistband finish, inside of lapped zipper with under layer slipped stitched to the zipper tape, seam finishes and finally, the rolled hems.

Walking the runway in this outfit was so much fun! From a distance you cant see that the print is dogs, it just looks like some random geometric print. I love a print like that! Something to surprise people with when you get up close. It is always interesting to see how much people actually pay attention to what they are seeing. I was in one small group setting where someone commented on how cool the dogs were and the other person remarked that she hadn't even noticed that they were there! Just goes to show that sometimes we have so much going on in our heads that we don't even see what is right in front of us. Makes me wonder how many things in life that I haven't seen!

Runway pictures, courtesy of my daughter, Melissa!
Please enjoy these silly outtakes! I couldn't help but to include them. I was trying to show movement and boy did I get some funny shots! I'm not sure about everyone else that uses a remote for taking self pictures. I always have to take a second set and remind myself to smile! and for some reason I have I always have several where I am looking at the remote. Chin up! and smile!!


  1. Super shirt, I love the fabric and it looks great on.

  2. Thank you for sharing the details. I love the way the shirt looks on you and your experience might make me a bit less of a fiber snob. Maybe. Plus, I'm definitely stealing you layered skirt design!


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