Completed: Polka Dot Chambray Butterick 5526

21 Oct

HAHAHAHAHA I bet you guys are sooo sick of seeing me in renditions of this pattern, huh? πŸ™‚

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

SUP Butterick 5526. My heart, my soul, my official tried’n’true button down pattern. I don’t know how many times it has to be before it’s considered “the charm,” but I’m pretty sure this is legit the nicest button down I have ever made. I am so pleased with myself right now!

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Since I’ve made this pattern, um, a lot (see: 1 2 3)(ok that’s not a lot, but it sure feels like a lot!), I’m pretty well-versed in the fitting and construction of this dude. It’s practically an autopilot pattern for me – apart from selecting the fabric & buttons, I don’t really have to think much while I’m putting this together. It’s like my hands have repeated the process so much, they don’t need any instruction from my brain at this point.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

So, I’m sorry if you’re bored with looking at this pattern. Deal with it.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Seriously, though, I did have to figure out those damn sleeves, because all my previous versions have some awkward lengthage going on. My last attempt at making them full-length ended up with them being some weird purgatory of not-quite-long-but-not-quite-short – like the highwaters of shirt sleeves (do we still make fun of highwaters, or is that the cool thing to wear now? I just looked down and realized the jeans I am wearing are cuffed to the length of highwaters, SHIT!!). Since I actually want to wear this top underneath sweaters – and hence why I made a second chambray button down when the first one is actually quite wonderful (spoiler: dem sleeves, tho) – I needed to figure that shit out once and for all. And, look ma! They’re the right length! Finally!

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Although, now I can’t decide if they are… too long? They look bunched up when my arms are hanging. However, when I reach my arms out – they are exactly the right length (as in, any shorter, and they would ride up to be too short and expose too much wrist). Thoughts? This is why I always roll up my sleeves (and jeans, for that matter) – I can’t find a happy hem length! Anyway, what is the point of making all your clothes if you can’t even hem them correctly?

Also, I think the sleeves might be a bit loose? Or do they look ok? Thoughts on that?

Dammit, this totally isn’t a TNT pattern, is it? πŸ˜›

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Anyway, whatever, let’s talk about the victories! Check out that sexy sexy sleeve placket. I used the placket for the Negroni (which, honestly, that pattern piece + instructions are alone worth the price of the pattern) instead of what was included with 5526. Lurrrrve it.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

I also sucked it up big time and flat-felled every single seam on this shirt – the princess seams, the side seams, the arm holes (thanks to Negroni for those sweet instructions – see? Negroni, you rule!) – everything! What you see here is a beautiful and clean-finished top that doesn’t have ANY serging on the inside. Just miles and miles of flat-felled seams and gorgeous topstitching. Ugh, so good.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Don’t you love the fabric? I picked this up at one of our local fabric stores, Textile Fabrics. They were having a 40% off sale, so I treated myself to this and some soft fleecy knit. I was originally going to use this to make the Bruyere, until I realized I didn’t want to look exactly like the pattern cover (which is beautiful, don’t get me wrong!). I’m more of a plaid flannel kinda gal, for which I’m still stubbornly holding out for the perfect one to reveal itself to me. Textile Fabrics, unfortunately, couldn’t deliver on that front – but they did have polka dot chambray, so that’s ok enough in my book. Speaking of which, I think this is Robert Kaufman fabric. Don’t quote me on that, though!

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Anyway, it’s a very lovely fabric – and it was soo nice to work with! Very soft and smooth, easy to cut and sew, SUPER easy to press (which is important with this style of shirt). The topstitching just sinks right in.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Again – placket! Sorry the cuff looks uneven. I promise it’s not. Buttons are these dress shirt buttons from Fashion Sewing Supply – part of my neverending stash.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

I’m just including this because it looks so damn good – topstitched intersecting flat-felled seams (arm hole & princess seam). Also, if you were wondering – flat-felling princess seams really is not any more difficult than flat-felling straight seams. I don’t know why I put it off like it’s impossible to do. It’s not. It’s definitely more time consuming than just serging your raw edges, but the end result looks SO nice.

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

Finally – can we talk about how good this hem looks? Y’all, shirt hems have always been the bane of my sewing existence. I could never figure out how to get them to be straight and even with that giant curve. They ALWAYS look like shit. Not anymore, though! This time, I was inspired by Rochelle and tried using bias facing at the hem. I made self-bias strips with my fabric, and then applied it the same way I bias face sleeves & necklines (I did this before attaching the placket, as per the instructions). Since I used self-fabric for the bias, the end result looks like a simply turned up and stitched – except I didn’t, and this was SO MUCH EASIER. Plus, it give a nice bit of weight to the hem, which I like. Consider me a convert! Bias facing FTW!

Polka Dot Chambray Button down

So yay! I’ll consider this shirt a success – even if the sleeves are a little iffy. At any rate, I’m serious when I say it’s the best-made shirt I’ve ever constructed (if you see me in the wild and compliment it, there’s a good chance I’ll rip it off my body so I can show off the insides. TRUTH.). Little things like this make me happy! I think that’s the best part about sewing with a pattern you know and love – instead of focusing on new instructions and fit, you can zero all your attention on improving your technique.

Oh, and if you were wondering – that’s my Tie-less Miette I’m wearing in the photos. The shoes (because everyone always asks) are from the clearance rack at Nine West and no, I did not buy them to match this outfit. Ha! πŸ˜›

Two more things!

1. My lovely sponsor (and OG to the LLADYBIRD Sponsor Game), Sweet Little Chickadee, is closing up shop for the time being 😦 We will miss her (I will miss her! Where do I buy my patterns from now?! I got candy with those orders hahaha), but on the flip side – this means closeout saaaaale! πŸ˜€ From now till whenever the shop runs out, use the code SHOPCLOSING to get 25% off your entire purchase. Apparently there are also some sweet flat-rate shipping options at checkout, so you may save there, too! Please keep in mind that you are buying from a one-woman shop who is running a sweet freaking sale, so please be patient if your order takes a couple days to ship out. Not a bad payoff for 25% off, though, yeah? Now go forth and help Juli clear out that inventory!

2. Affiliate links. I wrote this blurb out in my last post, but realized after the fact that not everyone reads sewalong posts (I’m guilty of this too – those posts can be boring if you’re not following along). I definitely want y’all to be aware of my use of affiliate links, because I think it’s important, so I’m copying this verbatim into this post. Sorry if you’re reading this twiceΒ  πŸ™‚
Side note/disclaimer: Ok, so I decided to start occasionally using affiliate links on this blog. Sorry if you hate me! πŸ™‚ I am currently only affiliated with Amazon, and I promise I will only be linking things that I personally use and recommend – such as those scissors & that clapper. Y’all will never ever ever see me link something just for the sake of linking it – that’s just crappy. However, please keep in mind that any purchases you make through these links will net a small kickback to me, which I will likely spend immediately on yarn & fabric (and thus pour back into this blog, in the form of content for y’all to read!). Also, no sneaky linkies – I will always describe the item I’m linking so you don’t have to click to see them, if affiliate links squick you out πŸ™‚ I won’t be posting this disclaimer at the end of all my posts, as it seems a little redundant, but you can always view it in my About Me page. That’s all! Thanks for supporting my blog, dudes! β™₯

Ok, that’s it! Have a lovely Tuesday, guys!


73 Responses to “Completed: Polka Dot Chambray Butterick 5526”

  1. Miriana October 21, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Lovely shirt. I think that the sleeves might be a smidgen long, but nothing that makes my eye twitch (my recent attempt at bracelet length ended bang on at my elbow – yuk). I’m extremely tall, so too long sleeves are the thing of dreams!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Ugh, you’re so really. I really should shorten them, huh? I’m just paranoid I’ll take off too much and make them short (or not take off enough and have to do it again!)

      • LinB October 22, 2014 at 11:18 am #

        No! If, when you stretch out your arms as if to take flight, the sleeves are the right length — then they are the right length. Properly fitted sleeves should have a little blousing over the cuff. Reason? Shirts are a basic, basic human covering; and when humans wear shirts to do heavy labor, humans do not want the sleeves to rip out of the armscye because the sleeves are too short.

        Flat felling princess seams for a DD cup is not as easy as flat felling princess seams for a B cup. I speak from experience. Not my DDs, mind, but I tried this for a friend one time.

  2. onejolie October 21, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Okay, so stupid questions here: What exactly do you mean by flat felled seams? And how did you do it? Do you have a good link to instructions you like? ?? ?? ??

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Flat felled seamed are similar to french seams, in that all raw edges are enclosed πŸ™‚ one big difference is that they are topstitched. Look at the seams on a men’s button down, or the inseam of your jeans- that’s a flat felled seam πŸ™‚ as far as tutorials, I actually use the one included in the Colette Negroni pattern , so it’s not available online. However, the first tutorial you linked is pretty similar. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  3. Laura October 21, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Hey, that SHOPCLOSING promocode didn’t work for me – did you give us the right one?

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      Well, that’s no good! It should work! 😦 That’s the code juli gave me. You may want to email her if it’s not working. I can email her too as well.

      • Laura October 21, 2014 at 8:09 am #

        Yea, I emailed her – thanks! Just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a typo.

        • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 9:24 am #

          I think it’s been fixed now, btw! Just talked to Juli πŸ™‚

  4. oonaballoona October 21, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    you and your cute friggin shirts. can i poof, turn into you for a day, so i can get like 7 shirts? (i am assuming at your rate it would only take 24 hours).

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 9:25 am #

      As long as you do the cutting, we could probably make that happen πŸ™‚ haha!

  5. Nilla October 21, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    That is one ridiculously well-made shirt! I’ve never sewn a flat felled seam, but now that you’ve put that thought in my head I might just have to incorporate them into a future project . And thanks for the tip about the bias binding for the hem!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      You’re so welcome! And you should def try those flat felled seams- they are sooo satisfying to sew (and even more satisfying to look at when you’re wearing said garment!)

  6. Jane October 21, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Snap! I just made a bow blouse with exactly the same fabric! Your shirt’s beautiful Lauren, the finish on it is fab. It looks great with your red Miette too … and your shoes! x

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      Omg, I need to see this! I bet it’s just gorgeous!

  7. Laura Poehlman October 21, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Those princess seams are so gorgeous, they actually make me almost want to sew a princess seam. (I avoid, because I hate many pieces on a pattern, darts serve me well and I am a lazy cutter-outer). (Which is dumb because I am pretty sure princess seams allow for a more economical cutting layout, which I love. End longest aside ever.)

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      I think I’m a princess seam convert πŸ™‚ I love me some darts, but I really REALLYYYY love me some smooth princess seams πŸ™‚

  8. McCallPatternCompany (@McCallPatternCo) October 21, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Wow, nice work! Thanks for the closeup views so we can see what a fine job you did, Lauren. Go Butterick tnt top patterns!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      Thanks, Meg! Love me my tnt patterns πŸ™‚

  9. Michelle October 21, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Ah, this is so beautiful! You’ve inspired me to get this pattern and try my hand at making a button down shirt. Thanks for sharing all the details.

  10. jennifer miller October 21, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    As an “old-timer” I so appreciate your attention to detail. I haven’t sewn in ages, but retuning now…..remember making a silk-blend dress with scalloped hem and sleeves – with that beautiful flat-felled seaming. Wow! Hoping my skills will come back with a vengeance and please don’t close up shop. Your site is a gold-mine of information! Thank you. Jen in NY

  11. Marg October 21, 2014 at 10:18 am #


  12. Marg October 21, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Good timing, I just ordered Kaufmann chambray yesterday!!

  13. Tatiana October 21, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    I agree with you about the sleeves being a little too long. But you did such a great job with the seams, so, maybe, you can just roll them up?

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      Haha I was considering doing that! Don’t tempt me πŸ™‚

  14. Kelly October 21, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I’m not sick of this pattern, in fact, this post made me put it on my list of patterns to consider buying. Keep them coming!

  15. thenerdyseamstress October 21, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Lovely shirt! I’ve been eyeing that fabric and I love all the makes ice seen using that fabric. I love flat felled seams. I do it as often as I can. Hehe I don’t have a serger, that’s why.

    Sad, sad news about Juli. I was looking for her blog and couldn’t find it. 😦 that’s where I got most of my patterns too! I thought it was sweet that she gave candy and those little chick foot prints and packaging were adorable.

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      I know! Her packages always made my mailbox so much happier, and I definitely looked forward to that candy.

  16. Inclement October 21, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    “I bet you guys are sooo sick of seeing me in renditions of this pattern, huh?” NOPE :D. You manage to find interesting things to say regardless (and look at all the comments!).”

    The sleeves do look a bit long and loose. Hmm…it might be normal and okay for them to ride up a little bit when you stretch your arm out. But I have a blouse or two where it rides up to the point of /sticking there/, and then I have to manually unstick it. /That/ is no good..

    I have no idea how shirts go together or how to alter them, so am just wildly speculating (please forgive me), but would it be possible to take this shirt apart at the shoulder, and then baste it a bit shorter? You could test out moving your arm around with different sleeve lengths, while basically wearing the entire rest of the shirt finished / tucked in / not tucked / with & without sweater / etc. Seems like having the rest of the shirt attached might affect how the sleeve behaves? As Miriana said, it might help to wear a bracelet while fitting to test that out, too?

    Another question might be which do you change first, the length of the sleeve or the circumference – donΒ΄t know if they affect each other?

    Am also having /this/ problem with a couple would-be outfits: the sleeves are a bit big around, and then they wonΒ΄t fit nicely under a sweater, when said sweater fits very well with a short-sleeved blouse. Everything ends up very awkwardly misaligned, and itΒ΄s really hard to straighten it all out while wearing. UGH. If youΒ΄re not having that problem with your sweaters, then maybe the circumference is just fine.

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      The size of the sleeves actually work quite well underneath a sweater – I tried on a couple of sweaters just to see. I’m afraid if I make them any more fitted, then they will be *too* fitted and thus uncomfortable under the sweater. The more I look at them, though, the more I think I need to suck it up and shorten them. They are just long enough where they look a little sloppy. I think I’ll shorten them before trying to take them in (if I do at all), because the reduction in length might make them look less baggy. I think it would be more trouble than it’s worth to take the shirt apart at the shoulder, though, to shorten – what I will do is take the cuff off, remove some length (and tighten, if necessary), then-reattach the cuff.

  17. Lynn October 21, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Sleeve length. . .the bane of short women. I have found two ways of making them ideal. I know that my underarm length is 16″ (yes, I know that seems really short, but it is accurate). On garments with stretch I add 1/2″ for bending ease. On non-stretch 1″. Always looks right. Or, you can measure the length of the sleeve with your arm bent and use that measurent. I find it works about the same.

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      These are great tips! Thank you!

  18. Carolyn October 21, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    I’m with you on sleeve length. I like the sleeves to still hit my wrists when I move my arms forward (e.g., when I’m sitting at my desk in my freezing office!), and if this means that they bunch up a little when my arms are hanging straight down, then so be it. I’d rather have bunched up sleeves than cold wrists!

    Love your shirt and all the gorgeous flat-felled seams. I recently made an Archer out of this fabric in burgundy and LOVE it, and I made another Archer in which all the seams were fully enclosed (Frenched). It’s such a satisfying accomplishment – congrats! πŸ™‚

  19. Reginasaurusrex October 21, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Ooo.. I love it. I do think the sleeves are a teeny bit long but I don’t think it looks bad. I’m not really a button down kind of girl but now I want to try this pattern!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

      I think I am going to end up shortening them. The more I look at them, the worse they look!

  20. hannah October 21, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    I think this is the best one so far as well. The fabric is adorable. Personally, I like a long sleeve, and being tall it’s a hard thing to come by. So I’d keep it that length.

    Also, I’ve got my first ever Etsy discount code on the go, have a gander!

  21. Sylvie October 21, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Um. Lauren. This shirt is AMAZIIIIING and all those gorgeous details – OMG! This is the kind of stuff I get so proud of and never have anyone to share with who appreciates it the same way another sewist does! Amazing job!!! Also, great listening to you on the Sewing Affair podcast!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked it πŸ˜€

  22. Melissa October 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    What a fabulous shirt! If I ever see you in it, I just might take you up on making you show me those gorgeous insides! Haha! The sleeves look like a good length from the front and side view. The back view is what betrays you. However, I’m not sure if its just the wrinkles from the type of fabric you’re using. Since RTW never fits me right in the arms and inseam, I am so unsure about how things are supposed to fit sometimes!!

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

      Yep, the back view is what made me second-guess it as well. General consensus says I should shorten them, so that is what I probably will end up doing!

  23. Aunty Maimu October 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Even thou its for mens shirts it also aplyis for womens shirts too πŸ™‚

  24. Margo October 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Not sick of this shirt at all! But I may have to add this pattern to my list! Your finishes are perfection… It’s true that a TNT is the place to perfect technique. Great shirt….again… πŸ˜‰

  25. Kelly October 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    Ahhh, this is gorgeous! Those flat felled princess seams – now they are a thing of glory! I am in love with them! I love this fabric as well. I have some of it in the burgundy colourway, but only like 1.2m since that was all that was left, and I want mooooooore! I’m hoping I can get a short sleeved blouse out of it. Totally jealous of the 40% off because that stuff was pricey (for me anyway!) Hmmm, sleeves maybe do look a smidgen long, but how comfortable they are when you are wearing it is much more important than how they look – I take it you don’t spend your non-blog life standing round posing while people critique your sleeves πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Haha whatever, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I DO IN MY OFF-BLOG TIME (the answer is: not that! lol!)

  26. Lori October 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    Beautiful shirt, Lauren, a classic style for sure.

  27. Rachel October 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    This is ace! I like long sleeves so these look spot on to me. The whole outfit is just perfect. Rachel ☺

  28. helen October 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m liking the bias hem idea – looks really neat.

  29. mirza October 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    very cute shirt indeed! I’m sewing an archer in a pretty soft flannel right now, nice and crisp seems impossible to obtain, so your perfect collar makes me very jealous πŸ™‚
    I’d say your sleeves are a tad long to my taste, but I like them to hang perfectly when my arms are down, and do not care too much of where they hit when my arm is folded. When my husband gets some shirts done by a tailor (yes, I do tag along when he goes there, that place is like HEAVEN), the rule is that the shirt sleeves have to hit just above the hand and right bellow the wrist when the arms are hanging.

    • LLADYBIRD October 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Good point on the sleeve length rule πŸ™‚ I think this means they are too long- so they will get shortened! Now to muster up the energy to actually do just that- ha! πŸ™‚

  30. nx44 October 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    I know everyone is saying they’re long but I think that maybe they might be a bit wide too? Last time I made a shirt I took out the pleat at the cuff and narrowed the sleeve and I think it looks much better. But that’s just my preference πŸ™‚ It’s looks cool nonetheless and I am definitely going to use binding at the hem next time. Honestly, why do pattern companies even tell you to turn the hem up? It looks so wonky that way.

    • LLADYBIRD October 22, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Yeah, they are definitely a bit wide. When I shorten them, I may also tighten them a tiny bit and see how that works. Damn alterations haha. Also, I have no idea why they make you turn up! The bias binding looks soooo much better!

  31. Basya October 21, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Lauren, beautiful shirt! And thank you for sharing how you finished the hem. I’m still learning how to work my rolled hem foot.

    About the Negroni…how did you go about choosing a size? High bust or full bust? I’m thinking of taking a class on making next month at Grey’s.

    • LLADYBIRD October 22, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      I actually didn’t make the Negroni for myself, I made it for my boyfriend πŸ™‚ We started with the Medium (based on neck size) and adjusted the width of the body and sleeve (based on ease preference). So I can’t help you with making it for a lady, but I would assume you’d choose the size based on high bust (and add an FBA if needed) so you get a good fit in the neck and shoulders πŸ™‚

  32. zilredloh October 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    You had me at flat felled seams! Those are some seriously gorgeous seams, Lauren!

    I have the same issue with sleeve lengths. They HAVE to cover my wrists when my arms are straight out (like in driving or typing), they just feel icky if they don’t. So yeah… they do look a bit long when you have your arms straight down, but I wouldn’t change them if I were you. πŸ™‚ Happy sewing.

  33. Marta October 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I love this shirt. This is the pattern of my dreams. I love the bias hem tip too. Thanks.
    But on the instructions, after the first front facing fold, it says “invisible stitching” and there is a drawing of a single thread mid facing. What on earth is invisible stitching????
    thanks for everything.

  34. JamieLMac October 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    I love this pattern too! I’m on my third version of it and I see no end in sight. I hate the placket that came with the pattern. I love the look of your plackets because they look clean and so professional. I don’t really worry about mine all that much because I tend to roll my sleeves all the time.

  35. fionaparker17 October 23, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    That is one hell of a well made shirt there! Seriously, that topstitching has got me drooling and the fabric looks lush. I really need to try out the bias faced hem as my curved shirt hems always end up a total mess and it’s really frustrating!

  36. Kayse October 23, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    This shirt is so perfect. I can’t believe you made it yourself. Just lovely!!!

  37. Whitney DeLong October 23, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    I love this, Lauren! You’re so cute and fun. πŸ™‚ You’re such a talented seamstress.

  38. shesewsswell October 23, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    Chambray shirts remind me of when my youngest came home from college and told me in her absence I had become more of a “fashion 911” and that we needed to go shopping. We bought a chambray shirt that I love with leggings and boots. I think now, I might need this shirt. And princess seams. And I’ll make my arms too long, just like yours because historically, my shirt sleeves have always been too short. Thanks for raising the bar… again… on my stitchery πŸ™‚

  39. Deirdre October 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Hey Lauren, this shirt is beautifully made. Do you have any tips on how to get straight top-stitching?

    • LLADYBIRD October 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      Use an edgestitching foot, go slowly, and make sure the needle is lowered every time you stop πŸ™‚


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