Completed: The Striped Button-Down

14 Apr

A couple of weeks ago, Landon and I went to the mall – specifically, Gap – to find him a new pair of jeans. While we were browsing around (well, he was browsing – I just kind of lurking and judging the shit out of everything SORRY), I came across this stripey button-down goodness. I was mostly enamored with the horizontal stripes – loose fitting shirts aren’t so much my bag, and besides, those long sleeves would get worn for about two weeks in this climate – so I thought I’d make my own with a few modifications.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

And make it I did! Woohoo!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

This was definitely a waffling sort of project – I waffled on what style of shirt to cut, I waffled on stripe direction, I waffled on sleeve length, and I waffled on buttons. Fortunately, everything came together quite well and I’m super pleased with the end result!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

I started out with my base pattern, Butterick 5526, since I knew this little dude already fit me pretty well. I knew I’d be using this pattern from the start, but what I waffled on was which view to cut – straight lines or princess seams? Obviously the straight, less fitted view would be more true to the original inspiration – not to mention easier to cut and match up those stripes. However, I don’t really like weight loose-fitting clothing – and when I do, it either better be something super drapey (which this shirting fabric is not) or, like, the dead of winter. Princess seams were the next option, which seemed like a good idea until I realized that the stripes would start staggering over the bust and not match up properly as a result. I considered cutting the stripes vertically, until I realized THAT would even be a hotter mess – plus, the horizontal stripes are what drew me to the shirt in the first place.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

I took a sewing break to watch some infomericals, and thus realized the answer to my problem:

Butterick 5526 - stripes!


Hell yeah Imma slap a pocket right over those broken stripes and NO ONE WILL BE THE WISER.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

So. Let’s talk about horizontal stripes across princess seams. As you can see here – it *can* be done. Obviously the stripes won’t match all the way to the top of the seam, but you can cover the worst parts with a pocket, or just pretend they’re not there. I cut all my fabric on the single layer and I’m pretty happy with how my stripe-matching turned out – if you stand back and squint, you can’t even tell that there are seams down the front of my shirt! Yeah!!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

I used this Marc Jacobs red striped cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics to make my stripey shirt. You’ll probably notice that the stripes in the picture are vertical – I had to cut the pattern on the cross grain to get those horizontal stripes. Doing so sacrificed the tiny (like, super super miniscule at best) amount of stretch on the grain, but I think the shirt fits fine as it is. Fair warning if you are working with a more fitted pattern – take the lack of stretch into account if you’re cutting on the crossgrain.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

To match up the stripes, I just sewed reeeeally really carefully (after accurate cutting, I should add!). I really love sewing plaids and stripes – I find the challenge refreshing, and the end result is SO freaking gratifying!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

If you’re at all familiar with this Butterick pattern, you’ll know that it doesn’t come with an option for short sleeves – just long, and 3/4 length (or, rather, on me – almost-but-not-quite-full-length, wtf). Also, the sleeves in this pattern kiiiinda suck – they’re really huge and wide, and the sleeve cap has waaay too much ease, at least for the princess seamed version (the plain version has a lower armsyce, since it’s more loose-fitting. My guess is that Butterick didn’t feel it was necessary to redraft the sleeves to fit the princess version, which is lame and shitty and boo on you, Butterick).

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

Reducing the sleeve cap ease was easy – I just followed Casey’s method. Figuring out how to get my beloved fitted, short sleeve started another bout of waffling. I waffled on sleeve length, I waffled on fit, I waffled on whether or not to add a cuff. In the end, I took about 1/2″ off each side of the sleeve seam, and put the sleeve on and marked where I wanted it to hit. I finished it with a 5/8″ narrow hem. It’s pretty simple, but sometimes simple is the best option, yeah?

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

The only thing I would change for the next round is to lower the pockets – I went with the markings on the pattern, but I think they are a little too high and should be about 1″ lower.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

The pockets were REALLY fun to sew, by the way! Lots of ironing little creases, and turning sharp points, and precise topstitching (my favorite!). I just love how they look, especially with the little pleat in the middle.

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

As with my previous shirt, the seams are finished with a simple serge (I generally prefer flat-felled seams on this style of shirt, but flat-felling princess seams is NOT something I want to try to attempt right now!) and topstitched with a slightly longer stitch length. Besides the trauma of cutting and matching all those pieces, the actual construction of this shirt came together pretty quickly.

Also, I should note that I totally boringed-out on the buttons for this guy, and went with plain off-white shirt buttons. I like the way they look, though! šŸ™‚

Butterick 5526 - stripes!

And I just love how it turned out! Simple, summery, and a little nautical – without looking costume-y. A win in my book!

As a side note – I mentioned this on Twitter and Instagram last week, but in case you haven’t heard – I’m teaching Introduction to Fashion Sewing this summer at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film! The 9 week class runs all the way through June and July, and I’m so excited about it! Nashvillians, if you’re interested – you can see the summer course catalog here (I’m aaaall the way toward the end, on page 13). Yeeeah summer crafty time! šŸ˜€


42 Responses to “Completed: The Striped Button-Down”

  1. B & the Moon April 14, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    Love me some stripes, and this is a particularly pleasing stripe ratio! I too class this as a win…a hearty round of applause for you…

  2. Jane April 14, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Aw I love this SO MUCH Lauren! x

  3. Jill || Made with Moxie April 14, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    All that waffling and it still looks freakin awesome!

  4. ksgentry April 14, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    What a clever way to cover up those not so matching strips, I love the pockets, especially the pleats. I always struggle to get strips or plaids to match up with princess seams, I should know by now just to use a solid fabric, but I don’t .. I will definitely use the pocket method next time. Great blouse!

  5. Kelly April 14, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    Looks great! I really like the pockets, and it’s a bonus that they cover up the seam!

  6. justineabbitt April 14, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    I love the details and pockets and the fit is so perfect!

  7. Katrina April 14, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    1. this is amazing!
    2. I totally agree, stripe- and plaid-matching is the most gratifying thing to sew. Although I must admit, I’ve been totally spoiled by sewing my own plaids, because now I can’t even look at other people’s plaid shirts without cringing at the side seams. The worst is when they don’t cut the yoke on the bias, and it isn’t matched up with the rest of the shirt or even centered. *shudder*

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

      I’m the same way! Mismatched stripes and plaids make me irrationally angry, ha! šŸ™‚

  8. Mary Danielson Perry April 14, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Love this! Wow, you did some wicked stripe matching on those princess seams and putting pockets over the curves was brilliant. This is such a great nautical look, without being way too “I’m on a boat.” So cute.

  9. Ines April 14, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Love, love it! And it fits you great!

  10. Danica April 14, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Good job with the stripes and pockets. Very cute shirt.

  11. Blue Sunday April 14, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Love this. The stripes are great. And your version is better than The Gap!

  12. Elle April 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    You are an ULTRABABE. Love it! I really like a good short-sleeved button-down but they can so easily look really dorky. I think the key is to keep it fitted and sleek, like you did here. I’m also really pleased with myself that I was able to correctly identify the pattern in the cutting stages on insta šŸ™‚ Small victories! Let’s make this the summer of the Basic Bitch Blouse, yes?

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      Fuck yeah, I am totally down with this being the summer of the Basic Bitch Blouse! So much, I’m gonna make that a tag on my blog now HAHA

  13. poldapop April 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Congrats on the teaching gig (and the lovey shirt – I’m sure it’s MUCH better than the inspiration)! I’ll be curious to hear how it goes!!

  14. Kim April 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Very cute! Smart move using the pockets in this way! And congrats on teaching such a cool class!

  15. Lori April 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    I love this top, stripes are always so fabulous. That Butterick pattern is one of my favorites.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      It’s definitely a favorite for me now as well šŸ™‚ Love it!

  16. Marie April 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Love this to the moon and back Lauren! The pockets are such a sweet touch!

  17. tworandomwords April 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Awesome idea with the pockets – but they are crazy high! Maybe they’re that high so you can have a pocket cup?

    I’ve just started to get the pattern matching bug – never really worried about it before but have been too scared to even sew with plaids/stripes because I’d get pissed off it they didn’t match. I have some plaid in the mail to me for a shirt, so it’ll give me some more practice.

  18. delightfullypeculiar April 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    wow the stripe matching is amazing. it looks so comfy and fits you perfectly, goes well with your hair too šŸ˜‰ I want some stripes too now!

  19. Rochelle New April 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    It looks awesome!!! I love that shirting fabric and the way you used the pockets to help match the stripes. Pretty genius.

  20. aimes555 April 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    SUCH a cute fit! And those stripes are fabulous!

  21. Laura Mae April 14, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    So I am not the only one who judges and mocks the ready-to-wear on the rare occasion when I visit a mall! I knew it . . .

    Fabulous stripe matching, by the way, on an adorable shirt!

  22. Dreaming of Avonlea April 15, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    That stripe matching is UH-MAYZING!

  23. BeckyThompson April 15, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    I’m not sure you could just drop the pockets an inch – they’d have to drop a full stripe. Then the pleat would pop open cuz uh…you know, “Hi Girls!” Well, VERY cute top and great job on the stripes. I’ll have to pick up that pattern. I’m the opposite and require loose fitting clothing but I still want shape. After having all my plumbing removed a couple of years ago, fitted clothes in this South Texas heat causes spontaneous combustion…and sweat marks…and a nosedive in my attitude.

    • LinB April 15, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Yes’m, I agree with Miz Becky. Dropping the pockets would put them in the category of “titty bags.” I love your solution for disguising the otherwise-insoluble problem of pattern matching along a princess seam! I just live with the un-match on my own body, reasoning that I can’t see it from where my eyes live.

  24. Rachelle April 15, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    Love the pleated pockets and congrats on teaching the sewing course! You will rock it for sure.

  25. McCall Pattern Company April 15, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Really cute top, Lauren! And great job on the pockets. –Meg

  26. sewdooley April 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Congrats on the job at Watkins, I worked with one of their recruiters at a Portfolio Day in Detroit. Nashville is such a great city I hope we see that little school grow.

  27. IngeMaakt April 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    I love this shirt. It’s awesome. You must be the queen of stripe- and plaid matching!

  28. Pootle and Make April 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Congratulations on your teaching gig. You’ll be an amazing tutor. Awesome shirt, it’s very crisp and the stripe matching is ace.

  29. Laura April 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    I like the pockets where they are! It wouldn’t be very flattering if they were lower to me, at least not with the pleat. But I LOVE this shirt and great job!!

  30. weefrills April 16, 2014 at 10:19 am #


  31. Naomi April 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    I can’t get over how those stripes match up! Awesome job!

  32. Laura April 19, 2014 at 2:41 am #

    This is brilliant! Excellent use of pockets! If I owned this shirt, I’d probably wear it every day…

  33. rachael April 19, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    This shirt is really lovely! I realised recently that I don’t make enough tops so got myself a few patterns and after reading this post I cannot wait to start!

  34. Maggie April 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    I totally want to take your class even though I’m up in PA. That would be awesome! šŸ™‚ Good for you!

  35. seo May 13, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?

    My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe
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