Butterick 5526 and Simplicity 1167:DIY Princess Seamed Fitted Button Down Shirt and Chino Style Trousers

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

Hi There,

It’s no secret I love my Grainline Archer Shirts (I think I am upto 6 so far….you can search for them using the search facility on the right hand side of my blog), but I fancied trying a new, more fitted shape, and bought Butterick 5526 in the recent 50% off sale. Before I talk about the shirt, let me mention the trousers. These are my second pair of Simplicity 1167 (first pair can be seen here). I really like the first pair I made, and having spent some amount of time fitting them I decided I wanted to make a second pair from some olive stretch cotton sateen but in a longer length.

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

Verdict: love them. On Instagram I mentioned I had a bit of a nightmare making these trousers (you can also see a shot of the guts inside the trousers from the Instagram link – I bound the waistband seam on these). They were, after all, supposed to be a simple sew with no modifications from the first pair. But I messed  up my zipper shield and my welt pockets are not perfect (again), although I have now figured out what I am doing wrong. Nonetheless, I do really, really like these trousers. Or maybe it’s just the novelty of wearing trousers that fit me after a very long time? I think you might see another pair of these trousers at some point.

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt worn with Simplicity 1167 chino style trousers

On to the shirt. BTW, in case you weren’t aware, this month is shirt making month over on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog. I didn’t plan for my shirt to coincide with their shirt making series, but it is full of useful resources on shirt making techniques, as well as lots of shirt patterns to consider.

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt
Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt
Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Check out my full review below but there are a couple of things I wanted to mention. First of all, the sleeves. I found there was a lot of ease in the sleeve caps. Which has resulted in a puffy effect and I think is causing the vertical drag lines that you can see in the middle picture above (sleeve fitting experts please chime in). I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches – 4 inches! of ease. In this tutorial, Sallie says that the sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole. So I have gone ahead and removed 2 inches from the sleeve cap on my pattern ready for next time.

Secondly, I think I messed up on my button placement. It doesn’t look that apparent from these photographs, but the button at the bust point and the one below kept popping open. So I have gone back and added in two press studs. I don’t think it is a size issue. For my next version I will alter the button hole placement (on this version I went with the pattern placement).

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Some inside shots. I went ahead and added a yoke to the back piece because it makes finishing the shoulder seams much easier and neater IMO (I like to use the burrito method to finish). I also flat fell seamed all the other seams, including the princess seams and the sleeve shoulder seams. With the afore mentioned amount of ease in the sleeves this wasn’t easy but hopefully on the next version it will be smoother.

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside front of shirt. All flat felled seamed throughout.
Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside side front of shirt showing flat felled princess and sleeve shoulder seams
Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt – inside back of shirt showing modified yoke

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Fitted shirts A, B, C, D, E have collar band, shaped hemline, three-quarter or long sleeves with pleats, button-down placket, button cuffs, front-button closing, topstitch trim and narrow hem. A: Button trim on pleated pockets, long, rolled sleeves (wrong side shows) and button tabs. C: Tunic-length. A, B, C: Mock-front bands. A, B, C, D: Collar. D, E: Front bands and princess seams. E: Ruffles and stand-up collar

I made view D with full length sleeeves.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22

I cut a straight size 18.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really use them, prefering to rely on my own shirt making methods.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the princess seams for a more fitted look. I am happy with the fit through the back of the shirt. I dislike the amount of ease in the sleeves.  I measured the armhole on this pattern (for reference my shirt is a straight size 18), and it measured as 19.25 inches. I then measured the sleeve cap and it measured as 23.25 inches: that’s 4 inches of ease. I read that a sleeve cap should be 1.25 – 1.75 inches larger than the bodice armhole so I have removed 2 inches of ease from the pattern for next time.
Fabric Used:
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Lowered bust point by 0.5 inches.
  • 1 inch full bust adjustment.
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hems.
  • Added 0.5  inch to side back seams at high hip.
  • Added 5/8ths inch to length at hem.
  • Modified back piece to include yoke. I cut two yokes and attached them using the burrito method to conceal the shoulder seams.
  • Removed 3.5 inches from length of sleeves.
  • I found the sleeve measurements to be quite generous and there was no need to do a full arm adjustment, although this could also be because I have lost some  width from my arms.
  • Only interfaced half of the cuff and button band.
  • Flat felled all seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It’s nice to have an alternative shirt pattern with a more fitted look. If I can sort the sleeve issue (and I also want to adjust the button placement for next time), I could see this becoming a TNT shirt pattern. I do recommend, but with the warning that to make any garment which is close fitting to the body expect to do some fitting alterations.

I really want one in a check plaid. How would you tackle checks and those princess seams?

Have a great week ahead. Back soon!

Butterick 5526 Princess seamed button down shirt

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

35 thoughts on “Butterick 5526 and Simplicity 1167:DIY Princess Seamed Fitted Button Down Shirt and Chino Style Trousers

  1. That shirt is lovely! Great fit- the princess seams are fabulous! When I do button downs I rarely use the buttonhole markings- I place the first at the bust apex and then assign the rest of the buttonholes their spots relative to that.

  2. Hey, Manju, we missed you at the meet up yesterday! Maybe next time?Anyway love your shirt/trouser combo, especially the fit on both. I’m with Meg on button placement, one at the apex, then space the rest but it looks like you did that, so I’m not sure what went on there. I keep meaning to make trousers but pretty dresses keep getting in the way.

  3. Hi, what great basics. The shirt and trousers are really flattering and show off your curves. I know you said you had a little bit of grief sewing these but the end results are fabulous. i think the trick with tackling checks is to buy more fabric than you need and perhaps cut larger seam allowances. This allows you to jiggle the fabric slightly to line up checks. Good luck, not that you need it! Ps I think these trousers would look great in a floral denim.

  4. Hi Manju, You don’t know me as I’ve been MIA from social media and sewing blogs for about 6 years. So feel free to moderate or delete this comment if you’d like. Or just keep it private for your own.
    First, I think your sewing skills are great. The coat you made for your daughter is fabulous. And the construction on this blouse and pant look fabulous.
    But there are some fit issues that would probably make a diff on your next version. And it’s likely going to take a few muslin fittings to work out that sleeve.
    1. It’s really hard to tell from your photos but I’m thinking that your shoulder is too wide. The set in sleeve seam should sit right on top of your shoulder bone and it’s a bit extended, i think, from the photos – again, a bit hard to tell.
    2. 4″ of sleeve ease is crazy! Absolutely nuts! Kathleen Fassanella of The Fashion Incubator wrote a great article on sleeve ease and consumer pattern companies a number of years ago – I’ll see if I can find the link to it. Excellent article, and Kathleen knows what she’s talking about. She would have you take all that ease out.
    3. After you take all that ease out of the sleeve cap I think you’ll still have the drag line – to get rid of that I think you’re going to need to rotate the sleeve in the armscye. Experiment a bit with it, moving no more than 1/4″ at a time. pin baste, try on, if it looks good hand baste, then try on again….once you’ve got it you may need to redraw the sleeve cap a bit, so leave yourself some seam allowance to do that.
    4. Consider adding another 1/4″ to the FBA you did. Just a thought.

    All this said – the fit on your shirt is still a bazillion times better than anything you’ll get it RTW. And it’s good, but not perfect. And if you’re going to make more using this pattern those are my suggestions.
    Found the link – http://fashion-incubator.com/sleeve_cap_ease_is_bogus/

    1. Marji: thank you so much for the advice – not just for me but other readers. I will try your suggestions out and see what happens! Will report back. Thanks

  5. These are both wonderful additions to your wardrobe. The pants are so well fitted. I can see why you are so happy with them. As for a plaid blouse with princess seams, you could cut the front side pieces on the bias. That way you wouldn’t have to try to match plaids.

  6. That’s a beautiful shirt, and the fit looks pretty good too. I’m inspired, really! I have a hard time with RTW button down shirts, and never thought of using princess seams. Your shirt really looks professional and the inside looks terrific. I’ll have learn how to use my flat-felling foot, I guess! (Love the dot fabric too, very pretty!)

  7. Hi, Manju! Both pieces are looking really grand from this side the pond… You might try a sideways view, and see if your shoulders are rolling slightly forward or back… so many of us now spend so much time at a keyboard it can affect posture.
    Fantastic coat for your daughter, who looks adorable in it!

  8. Wow! The pants and shirt both look wonderful. Despite the issues you had with the pants, the final outcome is great.

  9. Both your shirt and pants look as though they fit very well. I am yet to make a pair of pants that aren’t jeans that I am happy with but I live in hope.

  10. For a checked fabric and princess seams, I would either A. cut the side pieces on the bias, so that there is no pattern matching needed (could also do the button bands and yoke on the bias, maybe also cuffs); or B. Lay a bias strip of the checked fabric over the princess seams, to disguise any offset from pattern mismatch.

  11. I love your shirt, both pattern and fabric. Nice work on the details, i.e. flat-felled seams, nicely turned collar, very good fit.

  12. Both your shirt and the pants look fantastic on you! I will definitely try both patterns as I am a very similar body shape to you. I do have a question about the pants pattern though. I looked up the pattern and the pants look extremely fitted on the picture on the front of the envelope. Is that an accurate illustration? I suppose what I am asking is did you add a bit extra to the thigh area for your version? My thighs are the heavest part of my legs and I want a pant that is fitted but not skin tight. Love both versions of your pants 🙂

    1. Hi Julie, search for the review on my blog for these pants and have a read because I said there that the pattern photograph is slightly misleading IMO. The pants as sewn up are no where near as tight as the envelope photograph. Hope that helps.

      1. Oh sorry, now I see. Thanks!
        Another question. The size chart puts me between size 14 and 16, but I’ve heard you should size down for big 4 patterns. Would you recommend me to buy size 6-12 or 14-22?

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