Butterick 5526- One pattern, three versions

There’s nothing like a sewing contest to inspire you to explore the long forgotten bins in your fabric stash! That’s where I found these cottons. They were perfect for my entry into Pattern Review’s ‘One Pattern, Many Ways’ contest. As I result, my stash is considerably smaller, and let me tell you, it feels great!

For my entry, I chose to make three versions of Butterick 5526, a button down shirt with variations. It’s a tried and true pattern for me (see it here).

In the past, making three frocks with button closures in four weeks would have driven me to drink. Why? Because I hate to sew buttons on by hand. Please, just shoot me instead.

Then, during a unplanned visit to Modern Domestic (Bernina and Fabric heaven, here in Portland), I discovered the Bernina button attachment (#18), a nifty gaget that does it for you in about five seconds (I am not exaggerating here). I begged Santa for it, and he delivered. Seriously, that attachment was a game changer. Bring on those buttons!

My shirt dress version was inspired by a Burberry shirt dress with a big bold plaid.


No, I could not find that fabric anywhere, so I settled for this (Mill End Store).

img_0001To make my shirt into a dress, I just added seven inches to the length. Because the dress is very unstructured, I will wear it with a belt made from leftover pleather. I also added sleeve tabs so that I can roll up the sleeves when the weather is warm.


Version two is a lacy top that I wanted to look a bit ‘boho’.

img_9921To make the top look less tailored and more relaxed, I eliminated the collar and cuffs, and added lace sleeves and trim. To add the lace to the bottom of the shirt, I cropped it at the waist, then added a swath of left over lace to the bottom, hemmed with a machine stitch.


The fabric is embroidered linen (such a rare find around here), and it is so soft and comfortable to wear. I’ll likely pair this shirt this winter with a long cardi-vest. The linen was very fussy, and I was glad I had a serger to finish the frayed edges of this fabric. My only complaint about this version of the shirt is the pocket placement. It’s a bit high for me?


My ‘kite’ version is just a straight version of view C. Nothing too challenging here, except for the linear pattern of the kites. They made the fabric layout surprisingly difficult, but they are worth it. Of course,  I LOVE this fabric. So many shades of  BLUE, and it was a joy to work with. There’s nothing like a crisp, cool cotton to make your sewing machine sing.


So, that’s my quota of button down shirts for the next year. Because I’ve been a good girl and sewn three projects from my fabric stash, don’t you think I deserve to go fabric shopping? So far, I’m satisfied with my new stash elimination policy – – I must sew two projects from my stash for every new fabric purchase. I’m determined to make a dent in it!

I hope you’ll pop on over to Pattern Review to see all of the great makes in the contest. It’s so fun to see how you can take one pattern and make it something new. Do you have a favorite sewing pattern that you use over and over again?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!




21 thoughts on “Butterick 5526- One pattern, three versions

  1. These are beautiful and creative makes. Well done. I think I going through a plaid phase because I am loving that plaid shirt dress!

  2. I love your makes this month! I’m jealous because I’ve been learning how to pattern draft this month, which is fun, but leaves no time for actual sewing. I’m ready to throw in the towel and just pull out Simplicity already and get to sewing. BTW, I also hate sewing on buttons. Buy a snap thingamajig. You should do a video tutorial of how your automatic button applicator works, though. I’m curious. I love all three versions but my favorite is the plaid dress. My tried and true pattern is that McCall’s pleated midi skirt.

    1. Thanks! I’m quite envious of your pattern drafting efforts. I want to take a class but just havent found the right one. I’m sure it will be worth the sacrifices though. Just think! You’ll be able to sew anything!!Yes, I should do a tutorial On my button gadget…such a life changer!

  3. I totally felt the same about this contest. It was good to use up some of my sweater knits that I had no other plan for! They’re all such great versions of this pattern! The embroidered linen is my favorite. It’ll be perfect when warm weather hits. I don’t think the pockets are too high, but I wonder if moving them out from CF a little would change the look. Pocket placement is always so tricky.

    1. Great idea on those pockets! I’ll give it a try! I saw your makes on the contest page, and they are all great! You have such a talent at mixing things up a bit…and they are all so wearable too! That’s the win for me on this contest. We burned through our stash.

  4. I will not comment about the three beautiful makes from this pattern but just have to ask you how do you do? how do you make so many garments,, you are a sewing ninja to me!

    1. A Sewing Ninja! Such a high compliment!! Thanks.. I managed to finish these three makes in record time by planning them all at the same time so that I could cut them out in the same cutting session (saved me hours and hours). Also, (and this is huge) I used my buttonhole attachment which is a ninja too, and the ‘sew-on’ button attachment, my new best friend! Otherwise, these projects would not have happened as I have an aversion to buttons and button holes!

    1. Thanks! Yes designin’ December is on my mind…plans a percolating…I cut all projects out together which made a Huge difference in timing, plus, you know, I’ve made this pattern before, and practice helps!

Leave a Reply