As I’ve been on my journey of expanding the handmade section of my wardrobe, I always had a goal of making a more traditional button-up that would be a staple garment for me. I enjoy the versatility of a button up, and the ability to dress it up or down depending on my day and the way I’m feeling. The Fairfield Button-up fits these requirements so well, and I’m so excited about how these shirts are already fitting into my wardrobe.
Pattern: Fairfield Button Up by Thread Theory Designs
Fabric: Version 1 - Double Check Yarn Dye in Navy by Carolyn Friedlander
Version 2 - Elizabeth Suzanne poplin in Stone with a floral remnant for contrast cuffs, collar stand and inner yoke
The Fairfield Pattern by Thread Theory is a fairly straight-forward button-up shirt pattern. The instructions are clearly written, the sizes are accurate and cover a broad range of sizes (including two separate fits for more average figures and larger figures), and the construction is pretty logical and well explained. While initially overwhelmed at the range of sizes in the two different fits, once I looked at the sizing chart, things made a lot of sense. For me, the ratio of chest to waist measurement meant I was in the average figure range, but I needed to go up to a 2XL to account for my chest measurement. While I never really intend to wear a tie with my Fairfield (mainly because I don’t wear ties except once a year or so), there are some tutorials to help with making sure the neckband is appropriate for closing as many people have neck sizes that are different than average - a consideration I didn’t really bother with since I rarely button that top button!
After making a muslin to insure I was on the right track (which I was with surprisingly no additional modifications needed!) I was able to jump into playing with fabric choices and changing up some of the details. For the first shirt, I chose a smaller sized plaid in a color I could see myself wearing often. I kept the roll up tabs on the sleeves, as I saw this fabric as being a bit more casual and could see myself using the button tabs often to keep my sleeves rolled up. The shirt came together fairly quickly with no issues since I had figured out a few things to watch, like the seam allowance on the collar stand and the flat-felled sleeve seams, when I was making my muslin.
For the second shirt, I chose to use a bit of a lighter weight and finer poplin with the goal of making the shirt just a bit more dressy. Not one to ever go simple, I decided to add in some pops of a floral remnant fabric I had that was a similar weight and gave the shirt a bit more interest. I switched out the Stone poplin for the floral on the inner cuffs, the inner collar stand, as well as the inner yoke piece. These fabrics worked really well together, and I am thrilled with how it is still on the dressier side, but fun and playful. I left off the sleeve tabs off since, while I like the function of them on a more casual shirt, I didn’t want the stitching to show on the sleeve on a more dressy shirt. One thing I would change if I did this second shirt again would be to use a slightly lighter weight interfacing on the lighter fabric. It ended up puckering just a little on the collar and cuffs, although it could be from not fusing it quite enough - still always learning!
Overall I’m thrilled with these two different variations on the same pattern. They are both going to be regulars in my rotation, and it was fun to see how fabric choice can really change the feel of a garment and how it reads. And I can’t wait to make a few more for this coming fall!