At the Hop Blouse

I have been thinking of my summer wardrobe lately - thinking about what I want to add to my summer staples.  And I knew I wanted a new button down short-sleeved shirt for everyday wear.  One I could wear with jeans, shorts, and simple skirts.  When we decided to feature 256 At the Hop, I remembered that I have admired the shirt in this pattern, and I saw a customer make one several years ago and rave about how great it was.  While the skirt can be a canvas for lots of fun art and statement, the shirt can be a workhorse of daily fashion.  I found 1.5 yards of a beautiful hand block printed cotton from Ghana in my stash.  And decided to make it.

Woman standing by a river wearing a teal block printed button down shirt.

This is probably the simplest button down shirt I've ever made - or maybe the quickest one I've made.  There is a fold-over front placket, rounded collar, bust darts, and front and back tucks.  It came together very simply and easily.  I loved the little darts and tucks that give it a bit of shape.  You could add a front side pocket to it if you want to, but you'll need to draft it because there is not one is the pattern (probably also contributing to how quick this was to make).

I did make a few adjustments to the pattern I want to share.  First, I added a little over an inch to the front and back.  My torso is a bit longer than our typical Folkwear block.  This was perfect for me.  I also added interfacing to the front button plackets - just about an inch wide - to provide some stability to the buttonholes and button area.  You could also add interfacing to the collar/facing if you feel your fabric warrants it.  The pattern is not very clear in one step, but I folded the front button plackets to the inside by about 1/2" (13mm) to enclose the raw edge of fabric then I top stitched close to the edge - topstitching both at the edge of the shirt and at the edge of the turned-under edge - creating parallel lines one inch (2.5cm) apart on the placket.  If you actually cut the front pieces on the selvage, you don't need to fold under that edge.

Woman standing by a river wearing a teal block printed button down shirt.
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Woman standing by a river wearing a teal block printed button down shirt.

The one drawback of this pattern is that it is graded in a fairly small size range.  When Taunton Press owned Folkwear (in the 1980s), they put out several patterns all in a narrow, and small, size range.  Over the years since, Folkwear has adopted a slightly different grade rule, but we still have a patterns in the old Taunton grade rule.  When we have the chance (i.e. a pattern is coming up for print) and the ability (i.e. pattern pieces are small enough, not super expensive, etc.), we try to grade it up.   But, we have a LOT of this pattern in stock.  While the pattern is on the smaller side of sizing, it makes a great shirt, cute skirt, and lovely sweater.  And, we should have a tutorial on sizing the skirt up soon too. But, I would definitely encourage you to make this shirt if you can!  It's a great one to add to your summer wardrobe!

Woman standing by a river wearing a teal block printed button down shirt.