DIY Short-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt: Sewing Pattern Details


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Short-sleeved stylish shirts are one of my tried and true wardrobe staples! Get the details on this cute DIY version made out of an adorable windowpane fabric. Read on for fabric, sewing pattern, construction and sizing details.

sewing pattern button up shirt

There once was a time when I was much more creative in my sewing. I liked trying new patterns, new fabrics and new styles. While I haven’t given up entirely on my creativity, I have learned that it takes a lot more time and patience and failures when I approach sewing in this way. These aren’t always bad things but there comes a time when you just need to crank out a tried and true garment.

This short-sleeve button down top is just such a wardrobe staple, and I’ve been wearing the heck out of it! Let me count the ways I love it:

The Style

I wear short sleeve shirts more than long sleeves (being a desert dweller), and I LOVE this button down style. It adds an element of dressiness to an otherwise casual shirt, without any of the fuss; so much nicer than a plain T-shirt but not any more difficult to wear. I also really like a blousy, dolman silhouette, especially while nursing a baby and this one has some other style details I really love: a back yoke, front pockets, and back pleats.

The Fabric

I went with a stiffer, quilting cotton fabric this time and at first I wasn’t sure I liked it. But after washing it a number of times, I have to say that it’s been great! Definitely not as flowy as rayons or cotton blends I’ve used for this style in the past but it’s working just fine. Bonus: it will hold up much better to the repeated washings that white tops need when worn by a mom! (I don’t have a link to this exact fabric but it’s just 100% quilting cotton). I really love this print too and I used the right sides as usual (yes, you might be surprised to learn how many times I’ve used the wrong side of a fabric as the right side! I’m a rebel like that.) You will need some fusible interfacing for this project as well.

checked button down blouse how to sew

3. The pattern: I used the Willamette Shirt pattern from Hey June but just added a full button placket because I like the look of it better. If you want to do the same, you’ll just have to extend the placket all the way down to the hem and add more buttons and buttonholes!

It’s not a free sewing pattern but in my experience, it’s so much nicer using paid patterns because they tend to be much better designed and the pattern pieces are more efficiently put together. Whether in a PDF file or a paper pattern, I love supporting indie pattern designers with some of my money!

(And if you haven’t used Hey June’s PDF patterns yet, you are missing out. They have so many details and great instructions that are really professionally written. She has come amazing styles and I think her shirt patterns are my favorites.)

DIY short-sleeve button down shirt

I made a straight size 14 with no modifications. I’m generally a M-L in ready-to-wear tops these days: my bust is about 40″ (34DDD) and waist is 33″. This style is super forgiving for larger busts and post-baby muffin top! I’m especially obsessed with the sleeves (dolman with a cuff!) and the curved hem shape is perfect.

I can’t wait to make another DIY short-sleeved shirt!

Check out some other favorite handmade shirts like this gingham wrap top, this dress shirt refashion and this maternity friendly one!

sew short sleeve button down shirt
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