crafts · finished objects · Sewing

McCalls 6167

Pattern: McCalls 6167

Fabric: Stretch shirting (, Winter 2010)

Notions: 12 1/2 inch buttons


Ok, so… it turns out that I forgot how much I don’t enjoy the process of making a button-down shirt.  Between the collar, the continuous lap placket, and the buttons, I did not particularly enjoy the process… but I love my shirt!  I bought this fabric last year.  It’s from the same lot of fabric that I used to make my plaid Vogue 8028.  I love the color, and meant to make this shirt last year.  I ran out of time so I made it for this winter instead!  This took me about 5 evenings to sew, a bit at a time.  I like to set arbitrary dates to finish something, to ensure that I actually do it.  It this case I thought “I want to wear this on Thursday,” which spurred me on to finish it last night!

I pretty much followed the pattern, cutting a size 8.  I added one inch to the lower front and back pieces at the top, because I am long waisted.  I wanted to wear this as a tunic with leggings, but I wanted to avoid the “where are her pants?” feeling that I get from a shirt that is too short.  I also sewed the button band shut – after all, I’m not wearing it open, and I didn’t feel like making all those buttonholes.  My buttons are decorative.  I did make the buttonholes on the sleeves as well as for the tabs (although I’m not sure I will ever use the tabs, as my arms are always cold!)  I removed all the ease from the sleevecaps with no ill effects.  The sleeves, incidentally, are the perfect length for me.  My arms are long, so I would measure!  They are slightly roomy, but not in a bad way.

An inch shorter would have been too short for me. Having said that, I do have a long torso (so long that I can wear petite length pants, even though I am 5’8″ tall.)

About the instructions… well, I can’t say they were bad.  I followed them to the letter, and I ended up with a great shirt.  Having said that, they will not produce a shirt that is very much like  RTW shirt. The main issue is all the hand sewing.  The pattern calls for slip stitching the cuffs, placket, and collar down on the inside.  That’s a lot of hand sewing!  It’s not that I mind (I took the chance to catch up on my bad reality tv watching… I am ashamed, but I love The Biggest Loser!)  The problem for me is that my hand sewing is not as secure as machine stitching, and that I do know you can complete these pieces without hand sewing, as I’ve done it before.

The only place where I had to consult other sources from the instructions was the continous lap placket.  I’ve done one before, but the diagram made no sense to me.  I would have liked a line that said “stretch the sleeve end out straight at the slash, and sew the lap piece in a straight line.”  The diagram shows this, but it didn’t look right to me (but I am diagram challenged!)

I love the empire waist.  Without the drawstring the shirt is a bit large, but with the waist it looks great!  I wore this outfit today for teaching, rehearsal, and dinner with friends, and it was great (and comfy) for all three events.  I highly recommend this pattern!


26 thoughts on “McCalls 6167

  1. I’m so with you on this, I made a very very similar shirt tunic for my 9 year old the other day and I’ve discovered a few things I don’t like, collars (what a nightmare, got there in the end but sat there turning the instructions around and upside down trying to work it out, in the end got the Sewing Encyclopaedia out to get my head round it), plackets (Sewed it on the wrong way round first and then had to retro-engineer it the right way round!). I already knew I wasn’t very good at buttonholes so I didn’t bother, all of my buttons are purely decorative! She loves it and thats what matters but I must pay more attention to the patterns before I buy it and commit myself.

  2. It looks great! I love the fabric and the length is perfect for you. It’s especially nice paired with those boots. It’s definitely not a style I’d wear myself, but it suits you.

  3. Such a lovely colour on you, looks like it’ll be a favourite for you to wear! I’ve made a shirt dress and did all the button holes…wow it was time consuming but I love it! Now I’m thinking, ‘can I get away without doing the button holes next time I make it?’ hehe! Thanks for such good pattern reviews.

  4. I agree, sewing a shirt is hard work. Your’s looks fab, though! I think your fabric choice is inspired. Simple, but somehow perfect for the pattern. You look great.

  5. Great job – I love this dress and it looks wonderful on you. I so agree with how much work sewing the shirt details are – it takes a lot of effort!

  6. Your shirt looks wonderful! To make sewing shirts a more pleasurable experience, could I suggest that you check out the tutorials at Pamela has so many tricks to make the going easier.

  7. This looks great! I’m a relatively new sewer and haven’t yet attempted a button down shirt but would like to – this is very much my style, so I appreciate reviews like this. Thanks for sharing your insights! I did do a continuous lap the other day and got thoroughly confused! But I guess the more I practice, the better it will get. The sooner the better, before I forget what I did 🙂

  8. Oh that’s funny. I’m 5’8″ also, and I often wear petites in dresses, because I have such a short torso. So, if we took my legs and your torso and vice versa, we’d have one proportional short person, and one proportional tall one.

    Love the shirt. For whatever reason I’m afraid of buttonholes, so I never do them. Anything else is fine, even did my wedding dress. But buttonholes terrify me.

  9. This is amazing! I absolutely love it. I really need to try to sew myself something good; your posts are so inspiring!

  10. It took me years to get the hang of doing collars and with the help of my mother – it is however very worth the time and effort to do this because there are lots of lovely patterns available and so worth the effort in the end as your great shirt testifies to.

  11. Love your top too, Jessica! I’m inspired to make one as well.

    Question – Can you do a tutorial soon on how you do the following? You said, “I removed all the ease from the sleevecaps with no ill effects.” I personally have no clue how to do this, but would appreciate knowing how.

    Tip – My sewing machine & I have bonded over buttons & buttonholes by just doing them. I even have the machine sew on the buttons! I just follow the owner’s manual directions. It’s such a huge time saver, & the buttons are professional looking!

  12. This fabric reminds me of the buffalo plaids at Joanns (way back when I did sew). I love plaids it feels so much like wearing pajamas. That said, it does look comfortable and easy to move around in. I’m still not brave enough to wear leggings with anything yet. Good job!

  13. Not a comment about your shirt (though it is a lovely shirt, and I have The Fear of making shirts) but just to say I’ve spent the last couple of days reading your blog, after clicking on a couple of pattern reviews, and it’s definitely inspired me to make more stuff, even though I’m a rank beginner and can’t sew for toffee 😀
    I’m not sure whether the fact you have made a lot of the patterns I like is a good omen as we have completely different shapes but nonetheless, I’m enjoying the read and the pics

  14. Gorgeous! The colour is wonderful on you and it’s just the right length. I wonder what the sleeve caps would have been like, crikey!
    I love the versatility of this shirt: I can imagine it with skinny black jeans (with those kinds of boots or even cowboy boots) just as well as a pair of really elegant black trousers, something really nice; sort of luxurious like a cashmere mix or something like that!

    I am pleased to say that I finally started to sew. Your blog is such an inspiration, I keep looking at it and dreaming that I could maybe make just the one garment. I am in the middle of one now and I’m cautiously optimistic that I can complete my five panel skirt (no instructions, we don’t seem to get on. I failed on the last five projects. With instructions. Maybe I can graduate to the projects *with* instructions).

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful photos and your explanations. It is all very motivating. Thank you.

  15. This is seriously a great garment and looks fantastic on you. I just get a “it’s cold outside and I want to be cozy, yet ridiculously cute” vibe from it.

    I laughed when I read that you don’t enjoy making button downs. I’m finally biting the bullet and getting ready to begin my first. 🙂

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