Pattern: McCalls 6167
Fabric: Stretch shirting (fabric.com, Winter 2010)
Notions: 12 1/2 inch buttons
Ok, so… it turns out that I forgot how much I don’t enjoy the process of making a button-down shirt. Between the collar, the continuous lap placket, and the buttons, I did not particularly enjoy the process… but I love my shirt! I bought this fabric last year. It’s from the same lot of fabric that I used to make my plaid Vogue 8028. I love the color, and meant to make this shirt last year. I ran out of time so I made it for this winter instead! This took me about 5 evenings to sew, a bit at a time. I like to set arbitrary dates to finish something, to ensure that I actually do it. It this case I thought “I want to wear this on Thursday,” which spurred me on to finish it last night!
I pretty much followed the pattern, cutting a size 8. I added one inch to the lower front and back pieces at the top, because I am long waisted. I wanted to wear this as a tunic with leggings, but I wanted to avoid the “where are her pants?” feeling that I get from a shirt that is too short. I also sewed the button band shut – after all, I’m not wearing it open, and I didn’t feel like making all those buttonholes. My buttons are decorative. I did make the buttonholes on the sleeves as well as for the tabs (although I’m not sure I will ever use the tabs, as my arms are always cold!) I removed all the ease from the sleevecaps with no ill effects. The sleeves, incidentally, are the perfect length for me. My arms are long, so I would measure! They are slightly roomy, but not in a bad way.
An inch shorter would have been too short for me. Having said that, I do have a long torso (so long that I can wear petite length pants, even though I am 5’8″ tall.)
About the instructions… well, I can’t say they were bad. I followed them to the letter, and I ended up with a great shirt. Having said that, they will not produce a shirt that is very much like RTW shirt. The main issue is all the hand sewing. The pattern calls for slip stitching the cuffs, placket, and collar down on the inside. That’s a lot of hand sewing! It’s not that I mind (I took the chance to catch up on my bad reality tv watching… I am ashamed, but I love The Biggest Loser!) The problem for me is that my hand sewing is not as secure as machine stitching, and that I do know you can complete these pieces without hand sewing, as I’ve done it before.
The only place where I had to consult other sources from the instructions was the continous lap placket. I’ve done one before, but the diagram made no sense to me. I would have liked a line that said “stretch the sleeve end out straight at the slash, and sew the lap piece in a straight line.” The diagram shows this, but it didn’t look right to me (but I am diagram challenged!)
I love the empire waist. Without the drawstring the shirt is a bit large, but with the waist it looks great! I wore this outfit today for teaching, rehearsal, and dinner with friends, and it was great (and comfy) for all three events. I highly recommend this pattern!