Step one had to be drafting the pattern. I've never made a button down shirt before. I don't wear them often, mostly because I can never find any that don't pull open across the bust. So, while I had originally hoped to copy out the pieces of a shirt that mostly fit me and then adjust, that didn't go well. The short version is that the only button down I still have is a solid two inches from closing across the bust and looser at the waist than I wanted, and trying to adjust my boyfriend's into something even vaguely attractive on my was far more effort than it was worth. So, that plan was ditched in favour of drafting from scratch.
Now, like I said before, I've never sew a button down before. In fact, I think this might be the first thing I sew with actual sleeves. Most of what I sew is formal or semi-formal dresses, and I'm partial to sleeveless or strapless designs, so hopefully this won't be too eventful. I found this lovely tutorial online after a bit of searching. I'm pretty confident in my ability to draft patterns, most of what I sew is self-drafted, but I thought a guide would be helpful since I'm branching out.
When taking measurements, I moved the hip measurement to about level with my belly button since that's where I want to bodice to end and the skirt to start. I started out following the tutorial pretty closely, right down to Step 2: Establishing Center Front. The pattern says to add two inches to make the one inch button placket. But since the buttons on my dress will be purely decorative (cue the side zipper -- another first), I've cut that down to an inch and a half to make the one inch placket. I'll be able to just turn under once and hid the edge, where if it were going to be functional, you'd have to turn over twice.
|My bust line is in red, and theirs is the blue one|
And you can see my neckline as well.
I also changed the neckline. Since my buttons are going to be purely decorative I wanted the neckline a little more open. Usually when you wear a blouse the top button or two is left open, but since that wouldn't work here (with the fake buttons), I've dropped the neckline. I'm hoping it will look more like the neckline on the inspiration dress (from the Wardrobe Wish List) than the ones on a real button down shirt. And, being super smart, I also forgot to add my seam allowance to the pattern front. So, that was an extra step as well...
I've changed the line of the collar, making it curve back instead of pointing out like a normal shirt collar. I'm a little more partial to the soft lines than the harsher point of the traditional collar. I've also made the sleeves short and added some gathers to the top to give them a bit of a puff.
|Adding sleeve gathers -- do you see the little pie slice?|
I don't have a skirt pattern because I plan on just using a wide rectangle and gathering down to match the waist. Drafting a rectangle seemed a little bit unnecessary, but if it all goes horribly wrong, someone can say 'I told you so'.
|All the pieces, even though some (I'm looking at you, cuff) are hard to see.|