A shirt for my awesome Dad

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - cover photo

My first man-shirt!  And in yellow and black flannel, it has “Dad” written all over it.  See how lumberjack-like my Dad looks in it?  : )  This was my first attempt at a collared button-down shirt *and* my first attempt at men’s clothing.  The pattern is Simplicity 5366, and the only modification I made was to add 2 inches of length to the shirt, at my Dad’s request, to ensure it would stay tucked in while he’s at work.  I made the large (size 42-44), but it came out WAY too big – WTF??  Despite the size issues, however, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I think my Dad is happy too.  : )

This project came about while I was home at my parents’ house for the holidays.  I was talking about how I had recently bought a sewing machine and was learning to make clothes, and also that I wanted to stop at the fabric store while I was visiting.  My Dad humbly requested that I make him something (to which I enthusiastically said yes!), and he came with me to the store to help pick out the pattern and fabric.  I like how he was involved and excited about this project from the beginning.  The whole experience was great fun!

Some details:


Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - simple pose

You can see from the photo above that the shirt itself is too long (clearly I didn’t need to add the extra 2 inches!) and the sleeves are bunching up above the cuffs.  The shirt is also really wide; I could easily fit two of myself in this thing.  As you can see, my Dad’s height and weight are fairly average (although he is definitely an above-average Dad!), so the large should have fit him perfectly.  I don’t know what went wrong here, other than that the pattern is just designed way too big.  Blargh!

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - collar

I’m really happy with how the collar came out, especially considering this was my first experience with collars.  I’ll admit that I was terrified going into it, but it really wasn’t bad at all!  I’m not sure how collars are typically inserted, but the directions in this pattern were very straightforward and intuitive.

I would highly recommend the pattern for a first shirt… provided you can get the sizing right.  The pattern has all the essential components of a button-down shirt without too many fancy details.  If I were to make this again for my Dad, however, I’d probably go down 2 sizes or so.

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - cuff detail

Here’s a close-up of the sleeve cuff, featuring the slit above the cuff and some nice pleating.  I used bright yellow buttons on the sleeves and pockets at the recommendation of my 7-year-old nephew (who also came with us to the fabric store that day).  When I asked my Dad how he felt about yellow buttons, he said, “Well, it’ll make the shirt unique.”  Agreed.  : )

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - pocket detail

And speaking of pockets, here’s an extremely blurry/grainy photo of one of them.  (Sorry about the photo quality, but I snapped these at night right before I mailed this off to my Dad.)  You can also see the button band (featuring regular black buttons) and the level of plaid-matching that I achieved… pretty much by accident.  Not great, but not bad either.  I did wind up putting the buttons on the “ladies” side of the shirt because the plaid matched better on that side.  Sorry Dad, but sometimes you have to sacrifice for fashion!  I promise no one will notice.  : )

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - on hangarNot too shabby… it actually looks like a real men’s shirt!  Not to be too smug or anything, but I’m giving myself a gold star for this project.  : )  Yeah, it’s too big, but the seaming and details came out really well.  I even used French seams for the shoulder, side, and arm seams — how fancy, and my first time doing French seams!!  I didn’t use them for the armholes though, since the seams are curved… anyone know how to neatly finish armhole seams?

Dad shirt - Simplicity 5366 - bicep pose

Go Dad go!!!  My Dad is hilarious, so I can only imagine the poses that he didn’t send me, haha.

I feel like I am conquering sewing leaps and bounds these days – yeah!!  I have so much more to learn, but the whole process is so fun and exciting.   Dad, wear your new shirt in good health!  : )

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4 comments
  1. Sophia Niarchos said:

    There’s nothing better than a daughter and her dad spending time together. My most memorable visit with my father was the one when he, mom and sister came to New York and dad and I went to Ellis Island after it had been renovated and reopened. Priceless memory for me. The trip that didn’t turn out so well was the one when our whole “birth” family went to Greece for the summer of 1977, visited my dad’s birthplace in Evia, and he told me how beautiful it was to climb a mountain — or rather a very high hill — before the sun came up and watch the sunrise from the summit. I was hooked, begged him to take me, and then, having danced until 1 a.m. at an open-air discotheque the night before, overslept and missed my chance. Felt terrible, like I’d cheated him out of quality time together.

  2. Sophia Niarchos said:

    Good job on the shirt!

  3. I had never heard of a French seam before, but after looking it up I will definitely be using that technique! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Carolyn said:

      Oh great, glad to have helped! : ) French seams provide such a clean and durable finish, especially on an unlined garment like this shirt. Good luck and hope you like them!

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