A Classic Shirt Pattern to Dress Up or Down

Simplicity 1538 Flannel Button Front Shirt

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Does it get more classic than the button front shirt? For a while, making one of these bad boys intimidated me—I actually tried this pattern about a year ago with a very loosely woven shirting material that simply was not cooperating with me or my machine and scrapped the project completely, something I rarely do because I’m a glutton for punishment. That, and I’ll guilt myself until the end of time if I don’t stick with something.

Anyway, I’m pleased to report far greater success this time around, and I’ve got myself a brand-spankin’-new (and oh-so-cozy) shirt that’s perfect for layering or wearing on its own. Plus, I think I did a pretty nice job with the pattern matching on this moody plaid—something I’m not terribly experienced with.

Simplicity 1538 Flannel Button Front Shirt

The pattern I used is Simplicity 1538, a great little staple to add to your stash if you’re also working toward a me-made wardrobe. There are four different variations including a sleeve option with a gathered cuff, a western-type yoke with studded trim, and a few different pocket treatments. I went with a pretty standard view B and a single pocket, which I found great satisfaction in lining up beautifully in a perpendicular placement to the shirt front’s plaid alignment.

The only major change I made to the pattern was to construct a box pleat on the shirt back as opposed to the recommended gathered edge to be attached to the yoke. My goal here was to keep the piece as crisp as possible while still creating a casual look, and I think I achieved it. Little details like topstitching on the cuff and button placket really polish up the finished product.

I was thrilled to find this sturdy-but-comfortable flannel at my favorite art supply thrift store over the summer, and this pattern was the perfect use for it. Next, to sew about 10 more in every cotton imaginable for summer.


What are your favorite patterns for classic, all-season garments? Any must-have wardrobe pieces a maker should add to their handmade collection, STAT? Let me know in the comments!

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