So let me tell you something about this here pattern. First and foremost, it is the very first pattern I ever owned. My older sister Nelly bought me a class on how to alter blouse patterns on Craftsy (now named Blueprint) and the class came with McCall’s M6649 button down shirt pattern. I was so excited and nervous all at the same time because I was new to sewing and hadn’t worked with store bought patterns. I opened up the pattern to join in on the class and immediately felt overwhelmed and stopped. At the time I had no idea about measurements and fitting and seam allowance and all that good stuff.
Now fast forward to my first make using a store bought pattern which was my first ever button down shirt made for my husband (here). Surely it made me more comfortable with using patterns but for whatever reason I avoided picking my M6649 pattern back up. Several months ago in 2018, I finally decided to give it a second go using this silky white and yellow striped fabric. I got through most of the bodice but hated how the seams were puckering and struggled with how delicate the fabric was so that got tossed.
Then in December of 2018 I told myself to give it one more go and this time I was using a cotton navy blue and white striped fabric from Walmart. I wanted a fabric that would be stable and give me one less thing to worry about when constructing this. I loved the fabric and wanted to manipulate the direction of the stripes. I had all the stripes going vertical except the yoke pieces, front bands, the cuffs, collar, and collar band.
For the pockets, I drafted a pocket band that was about 3.25″ in length (this has the 5/8 seam allowance included) and the same width as the pocket pattern piece. I adjusted the pocket piece to be about 1″ shorter from the top and added a 5/8″ seam allowance to connect it to the pocket band (basically taking 3/8″ off the top of the pocket piece). I cut the pocket band so that the stripes were horizontal and cut the main pocket piece to have the stripes going vertically to match up with the stripes on the front pieces of the shirt. When attaching the pocket band to the pocket piece, I sewed the top of the pocket piece to the pocket band at a 5/8″ seam allowance with right sides together. I folded in the top of the pocket band at 5/8″ (wrong sides together) and folded the pocket band in half in the same direction and pressed in place. I pinned the pocket in place and stitched down the edges of the pockets as directed in the pattern instructions.
This quick pattern adjustment really helped to make this shirt stand out. I also found the most perfect gold flower buttons also from Walmart to bless this shirt. Don’t sleep on Walmart, ya’ll! They have some gems for your sewing projects.
To finally complete this pattern after three tries feels like a weight has lifted. The pattern is straight forward and I would certainly use this pattern again. It has a nice loose fit but not too loose and came together quickly. It was always weird working on new patterns and never actually completing the first one I ever owned. This also happens to be the first button down shirt I ever made for myself and it heightened my love for making button down shirts. I practiced flat felt seams and bias binding on the armholes. I need work on both areas in addition to my neatness with cuffs but I am glad I tried it out.
I got to rock this shirt on Christmas day and my family loved it. The top felt so good on and everyone was shocked at where I bought my fabric and buttons. More stripes and button downs will be in my very near future and possibly with this pattern again. What pattern have you finally conquered after multiple tries? Is there one you have been avoiding but want to make? Comment below. Until next time, loves!