Let’s Start Things Off with Some Polka Dots

Front view of DIY light blue polka dot button-down shirt

I love polka dots and button-down shirts…so it seemed only fitting that my first post should be both.

I am thrilled to finally publish my first blog post, and this shirt is hands down one of my favorite recent projects.

Front view of DIY light blue polka dot button-down shirt

I had been eyeing this Cape May Cotton Shirting fabric at JoAnn for a while and finally decided to pick up a few yards. My initial thought, as with most fabric I buy, was to make a dress. But I really like the slightly sheer quality of the fabric and knew a dress would need to be fully lined.

After a quick perusal of my pattern collection, I decided on Simplicity 8340. I’m not usually a fan of oversized styles, but this pattern caught my eye as a nice contrast to the more structured button-downs I currently have in my closet. I figured why not mix it up a bit. I opted for View B, with the cuffs from View C. The pattern fit with no alterations, and the only change I made from the original pattern was swapping out buttons for pearl snaps. So I guess this shirt is technically a snap-down! I think the pearl snaps echo the white polka dots quite nicely.

Since the fabric is so lightweight, it wrinkles incredibly easily (despite extensive ironing) and didn’t take well to the structure required for the collar. It took two tries to get the collar and collar stand to a place where I was happy with the result, although the collar still doesn’t like to stand up on its own. Looking back, I think some thicker interfacing or spray starch may have helped the collar keep its structure during sewing/wearing.

As you can see, the shirt has a nice loose/casual fit. Combined with the lightweight cotton, it is perfect for summer, but I can definitely see myself pairing it with a cardigan or blazer for cooler temps.  And let’s not forget the best part about this pattern – it has pockets!!! I don’t know about you, but I always love a good pocket.


I really enjoyed sewing up this shirt, despite the collar re-do, and will definitely make this pattern again. I’m thinking next time I may tailor the sleeves so they have a bit of a slimmer fit and use a more structured shirting fabric – maybe a great stripe. I actually think I have a fabric in mind that would be perfect!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Happy Sewing!



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