Sewing Vloggers

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Butterick 6841 Work shirt, Big shirt, wha?


No belt

With belt, whose loop un looped!

The camera tells all. This top is too long. It is the same length as my original work shirt but with eyes adjusted by today's fashion it is 2-3 inches too long and I will definitely cut the hem by that much as soon as I am done here. Amazing the information cameras can feed back to you! Wearing my original shirt to do work in at this point, the hem length never bothered me. This shirt will get a bit more formal wear before being relegated to the garden and digging so I want the hem to be correct. 

Now that it is done, I like it. There was a bit of love/hate going on for silly reasons but in the end I have a wearable top that I know will give me lots of use. Here are the deets. 


This is Butterick 6841, a reprint of McCall's 6613, a classic unisex work shirt. It is drop shouldered, has no darts, a classic collar with band, and cuffs with bound plackets. A yoke in the back and a pleat beneath it are the remainder of the details. I laid this new version of the pattern on top of the original and they are the exact same pattern, no differences.  This is a Palmer Pletch fitting pattern. The only real difference in the patterns is that the Palmer Pletch logo is the masthead, top and center, prominent, on the original pattern. On the newer version it is smaller and tucked into the bottom corner. I found that interesting. Both patterns have lots of info on fitting this top. I would say most sewists would need little fitting adjustment if they flat pattern measure and get the right size for the ease they like.  The shirt and sleeves are very long. I forgot about the sleeves and had to adjust for that. In the original shirt I wear them cuffed up all the time so never noticed any length issues and proceeded to cut these sleeves full length. Mistake. 


This was made in one of my favorite fabrics, Essex Linen by Kaufman. It is a yarn dyed fabric of 55% linen and 45% cotton, very comfy to wear. It gives a nice rumpley appearance upon washing and I only press the details once I start washing and wearing it. I like the rumpley linen look.  The color is actually called denim and its pretty spot on. 

One of the issues I have found and forgot with this fabric is the challenge of topstitching. You are sewing on fabric made with two different colors of threads going  opposite each other. Do you go with the white or the blue? I have found that answer to be a definite no as one color disappears and the other stands out. It looks awful. I try to settle on a color of thread that contrasts a bit . I went with the blue with a bit of contrast but it still disappeared in some areas, mostly on the crossgrain. It was frustrating but I just went with it. The last two garments I made with Essex had no topstitching so I forgot about this issue. I need to write it down and put it up on my wall above the machine as I will definitely be sewing more of this fabric. 

My next project is pants made with a turquoise  Essex. Lesson learned. 

You can see my glass vintage buttons. I love them. I do believe the pockets each need a button in the center. Look at the front views and let me know what you think. They were part of the legacy from my dear friend Ima, the gift that keeps on giving. 


This was timeless shirt construction. In my previous blogpost I explained how I dealt with the challenge of the collar band and it came out nicely. I did the buttonhole but haven't put the button on yet. Not sure I will. I thought I might put on a small, flat, clear button but can't find one. I am leaving it alone for the moment. I will never close it, I do know that. 

After all was done I tried it on. Dang those sleeves were long. I consoled my thoughts with the idea of wearing them rolled up all the time but it still bothered me.  Later that day I saw some TV Diva with a darling shirt that had 3 big tucks on each sleeve. The light went on. I just tucked up the sleeves and I am happy with the results. 

In Conclusion:

I'm a 80%er on this one. My topstitching could look a lot nicer or better yet, be  never done. The hem could be shorter and will be and I could have paid closer attention to my sleeve length before cutting. But in the end what moved me on was the next project. I desperately need pants. I had that new sloper burning a hole in my cutting table and piles more Essex linen that could be made into lovely pants. I have one in process already and I am paying a LOT more attention and doing almost no topstitching. I'm shooting for 100%. We shall see what develops!!!....Bunny


  1. Although I don't think I would add the buttons to the pockets - I don't think it would have even occurred to me - now that you mention it I think it would be nice! Maybe it makes it one step more formal. Those are beautiful buttons!

  2. Thanks, Erika. I just thought they might balance out the tucks. Appreciate your input.

  3. To my eye the renewal looks like a "shacket" so is much more current than a "big shirt". RTW shirts meant not. to be tucked in are even shorter these days. I'm not sure it's a design decision or simply a way to save fabric.

    1. Never thought of the shacket angle. The fabric is a bit light for what we might consider a jacket in my neighborhood but thanks for that viewpoint.


Engaging commentary:

So very much better!

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