In an effort to try new patterns whilst taking notes as to how long each garment takes I decided to start with the Aria button-down shirt by Love Notions. There are several views and I made view 2 – the shirt but with the full collar.
The shirt is described thus: The Aria brings you three button down options in one pattern. Choose from the standard shirt length, tunic or above the knee dress. Three sleeve lengths are included as well: sleeveless, short with cuff and long sleeve. The long sleeve option features a beautiful placket with cuff. You will look and feel so accomplished with this sew. I made view 2 – the shirt but with the full collar.
For this ‘wearable muslin’ I chose some bold floral print cotton that I bought from Fabricland in February 2022. After checking the size chart I made a straight 2X full bust version. I made only 1 alteration – as the pattern is drafted for a taller person and I am only 5’4”, I reduced the length of the bodice (and button placket) by 1 inch.
The fabric was pre-washed and ironed – so setting the timer, off I went. I prepared the sewing machine with a new needle, wound a bobbin and threaded up with a Dark Turquoise/Jade thread. Along with the cutting out and applying interfacing to the collar and button plackets this took about 30 minutes.
I checked the stitch length, tension and seam allowance (1 cm) before starting by staystitching the neck edge of the bodice fronts and yokes. Although I followed the instructions, I did change the order of construction as I like to insert collars before sewing the side seams. I also completed the construction of the sleeves just before sewing the side seams of the bodice and stitching the hem. This meant that once the sleeves were inserted, all that remained was to make buttonholes and apply the buttons. I used French seams for the side seams and the underarm sleeve seam to prolong the age of the garment and provide a lovely neat finish inside.
Although I have hundreds of buttons, I could not find quite the right colour match in the size that I wanted to use. Instead I opted for these lovely mother of pearl buttons that I bought in bulk from eBay. I made a horizontal buttonhole in the collar and vertical buttonholes in the placket. There are 8 buttons but as I did not open the top 3 buttonholes, only the lower 5 are functional.
Aria Button Down Shirt by Love Notions
Conclusion: Overall I am pleased with the end result but there are a few changes to be made for the next iteration. I think that the shoulders need to be reduced in width by about ½ inch. I need to lengthen the centre front of the bodice (and button plackets) by at least 1 inch and grade to 0 at the side seams. I do not love the deep pleat in back so will reduce the width of the back bodice and convert the fullness into gathers.
Total time to make the blouse came to 3½ hours which is exactly what I had calculated it would be. I don’t think that I will ever make up this pattern as a dress, I need much more shaping in my dresses but I can foresee that there will be another button down shirt – probably with the ‘Grandad’ collar and maybe the breast pocket.
Project #28 completed 23rd May 2022.