Chambray Button Up

Let’s talk shirts, shall we?

I have never in my life had a button down (or button up?) shirt that fits me properly. They are usually either tight across the chest and in the shoulders or loose and baggy around my waist and hips. And the sleeves are almost always too short. I feel like making a collared button-up shirt is a sewing rite-of-passage, and I figured that it was time for me to give it a try.

chambray Granville shirt

This is the Sewaholic Granville shirt – a classic button up with princess seams, tower placket sleeves and a separate collar and stand. Technically this is not the first button up and collared shirt I’ve made. A while back I made an Itch-to-Stitch Mila Shirt (which has a half placket), but never got around to blogging it.

black Mila shirt

I love my Mila shirt (see more pictures on my Flickr page), but it’s not quite the full-on classic button up.

I wanted to make a classic button up for Fall this year, and debated between the Granville and the Grainline Archer (yeah, I know it’s no longer Fall, but in my defense, I actually finished this shirt almost two months ago). I decided that I wanted to make the more feminine Granville this time (though I can still see an Archer in my future – perhaps a more casual plaid flannel one). I found this lovely eggplant-colored chambray and it seemed like the perfect fabric.

This is where I lament about fitting…

I dutifully made a muslin and ended up taking quite a bit out of the side seams and princess seams in the back from the waist down to the hips, basically grading down from an 18 to a 12 (!). I also lengthened the body by 3/4 inch. I think it turned out pretty well, though I probably could have taken a bit more out of the princess seams in the back.

chambray Granville shirt back

The armscye doesn’t fit perfectly either. I’ve had this same issue with other Sewaholic patterns – the under arm ends up just a little bit too low on me and I have some fabric bunching up in my armpit.

chambray Granville shirt armscye fit

I think this problem must be related to the fact that Sewaholic patterns are drafted for a pear shape, which I decidedly am not. I’m more of an hourglass shape slowly turning into a rectangle as I get older 🙂 When I choose my size based on my bust measurement, I end up with something that is a bit too big everywhere except for the bust and shoulders. And frankly, I suck at making fit adjustments. I mean grading between sizes from the bust to the hips is one thing, but doing a FBA or broad shoulder adjustment or making changes to an armscye…well that’s a whole other story. I would love to improve my fitting skills, but I’m not sure that I’m up to ‘online’ learning by reading tutorials and such…I’d much rather be taught by a real-life in-person person. So I’m on the hunt for an appropriate class. If anyone knows of a good fitting class in or around San Francisco, please let me know! In the meantime, I am going to try (reluctantly) to steer clear of patterns designed for a completely different body shape.

I’m putting this one in the success column

Fitting gripes aside, this shirt still turned out really great. It’s got a nice sharp collar and crisp pockets. I did get into a bit of a fight with the collar stand, but we worked it out in the end.

chambray Granville shirt closeup

I love the color! The color and feminine cut really softens this shirt so that it doesn’t feel too masculine or business-like for me. So far I’ve worn it with jeans (which I absolutely live in), but I think it could also look nice tucked into a skirt or with real pants for those couple times a year when I need to look professional.

So, button-up collared shirt with a tower sleeve placket? Yeah, I’ve made one of those.

chambray Granville shirt full length


Pattern: Sewaholic Granville, view A
Size: 18, graded to 12 at hips
Adjustments: body lengthened 3/4 inch, sleeves shortened 1 inch
Fabric: Andover chambray in Eggplant from Stonemountain Fabrics

2 thoughts on “Chambray Button Up

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