button down for my boy

generally my trips to joann fabrics are to restock my machine needles, buy thread, or hit the latest pattern sale. lately i’ve learned to scout out the clearance table on the hunt for a passed over gem, which is where i found this plaid shirting fabric and snatched up the 2 yards left on the bolt for $5/yd or so. i decided to make a new button up shirt for my 4 year old son, oliver. in case you haven’t noticed i’ve been on a shirtmaking kick lately, and who doesn’t love a little boy looking dapper in a mini man shirt?


i’ve been hunting for a pattern for weeks and everything i found with a regulation collar and stand was either in baby sizes or bigger boy sizes. i finally settled on burda 04/2013 #141 and drafted my own collar. it’s a mandarin collared shirt, so at least half the work was done for me. i took some measurements,  eyeballed it and called it a day. even though this is a kid shirt, i was able to pull out the collar tricks i’ve learned from david coffin’s “shirtmaking” book. i should get royalties for hawking that book title so much, but it’s a must-have!


i swapped out the welt front pocket (why a welt front pocket, burda?) for a regular front pocket. there was no back yoke, so i slashed the back piece and made my own, then added 1″ to the center back to allow for pleats. then, lastly, i nixed the long sleeves in favor of short.


i decided to add buttons to the collar points because, why not? once upon a time the thought of adding buttonholes and slashing into the collar left me quaking in my stilettos. not so much any more, i guess i’ve grown comfortable with the shirtmaking process and fear it so much less than i did a few short months ago. [pats self on back]


i made a EUR 110 (US 5) and it’s still pretty big, but this is fine by me. he’s small for his age, and generally i’ve found the sizing on burda’s patterns to be pretty reliable; at least he should be able to get a solid year of wear out of it. next time i think i’ll make the collar a little wider, but overall i’m pleased that i have a good pattern for when he needs another mini man shirt.

—lisa g.

9 thoughts on “button down for my boy

  1. poppykettle says:

    Awww what a cute little man-child!!! I’m with you, they always look so sweet in button up plaid shirts. I feel very American saying plaid (it’s not a word that exists in the Land of Oz) – did I get it right? That book is on my amazon wishlist. Sadly, my car needs new tyres and a major service this month so no new sewing books for me 😦
    Love the button match with the fabric on this one, and kudos to fabulous pattern matching on the pocket. Dapper indeed!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! and yes, you got the plaid right! what do you guys call it? i hear ya on car maintenance woes, we just plunked down a fat chunk of change on my car for the second time in as many months. sad face, indeed!

      • poppykettle says:

        That’s the wierdest thing… the closest thing we have to plaid is tartan. I remember reading the Babysitter’s club books as a pre-teen and wondering what the heck plaid was, and why it was even mention-worthy as a descriptor in the first place. Obviously we have the word, seeing as it’s part of the English language, it just doesn’t get used in everyday vernacular!
        Boo to car maintenance. A necessary evil!

  2. Susan says:

    That shirt, and especially its model, is absolutely adorable! (And I go into Joann for exactly the same 3 things you do, ha! And maybe the occasional zipper if my stash isn’t serving up what I need…)

    • lisa g says:

      haha yes! and zippers! and thanks, he’s wearing his new shirt for the second day in a row because he “just loves it so much!” awwww 🙂

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