Adding a Button Shoulder Accent - Sewing Hack

Pattern Elevation Adding a Button Shoulder Accent Sewing Tutorial
Hello sewing friends! I’m super excited about this blog post because this project is my first sew since packing up the sewing room in late July for the family move (so for about six weeks). Sewing is my one and only thing I do for myself. It is also my stress reliever, and let me tell you the last two months have been stressful! But we are now well settled after the family move from Massachusetts (where we had lived for six years back) to Pennsylvania where both our kids were born. We are enjoying being close to family again after living through the pandemic on our own.

So back to this post! I’m a HUGE fan of the Everyday Tee – it’s such a great base for an entire wardrobe of hacks (see my pleat hack here!). So whenever I see a top I like, my mind immediately goes to the everyday tee as my starting place. Two weeks ago I was at the bus stop with my son, chatting with the other parents and getting to know our new neighbors…and my new friend Megan’s top caught my eye. She was wearing a woven dolman-style tee that has a button placket across each shoulder. I took a mental picture and mulled over it for a bit before coming up with a super easy hack for the Everyday Tee. Read on sewing friends! This is easy as pie and I think you will enjoy the output. For this hack, you will need to cut out all four pieces for the Everyday Tee (front, two mirrored backs, and neckband). You will also need less than a ½ yard of extra fabric for a few extra pieces for this hack. You will also need between four and eight buttons, depending on size of your buttons and how many you would like to have on each shoulder.

First, per the pattern instructions, sew together the back two mirrored pieces, press, and then sew the front and back bodices together at the shoulder seams. Press the shoulder seams well and place your assembled bodice on the table ride side up like this:

Next, measure the distance between the neck opening and the edge of the shoulder and write that number down. Mine was 10.

You will now determine how big your shoulder placket pieces should be. Looking at the size of your buttons, decide how wide you want your placket to be – you don’t want the buttons too close to the edge but it’s personal preference. I decided I wanted my finished placket to be 1.5 inches wide. Multiply the desired finished placket width by 2 and then add half an inch for the seam allowance. This will be the width of your placket pattern piece. My placket pattern pieces need to be 10 inches long by 1.5 inches wide. You need to cut 2 of them, one for each shoulder. Set them aside. Here is my math:

Now, for my hack, I also added cuffs. I thought it would be easier than trying to hem the sleeves with the added bulk of the placket piece later. To determine the size of your cuffs, measure the total length of the sleeve from the front to the back bodice pieces, like this:

Mine was 14.5 inches. I wanted a 1.5 inch wide cuff, and I wanted my cuffs to be the same width as the opening, not smaller. If you want your cuffs to be smaller, take 85-90% of the length and use that instead. So I cut 2 cuff pieces 14.5 inches long by 3 inches wide:

Sew together cuff pieces right side together and press the seams.

Sew together each of your placket pieces, putting right sides together and matching up the long sides (not the short sides). Turn right side out and press, with the seam centered so it won’t show when you sew them onto the shoulders.

This is a good time to sew your neckband piece together, per the pattern instructions.

Here are all my pieces – two cuffs, two plackets, and a neckband:

Take one of your placket pieces and pin it exactly along one of the shoulder seams, with that seam placed against the right side of the shoulder (so it is not exposed). Pin in place, being careful to keep it exactly centered.

I didn’t take a picture of this next step, but for the look I wanted, I decided to do a line of stitching down the middle of each placket instead of top stitch the edges down (which you could definitely do instead).

Now it’s time to add your buttons! Play around and decide how you want your buttons spaced. Depending on the size of your buttons, you may want 2, 3 or 4 along the shoulder. I did 3. For this step, be REALLY careful to not put your buttons too close to the neckline or arm hole because you need enough space to add the neckband and cuffs. I believe I left 1 inch on each side. Then attach your buttons. Doesn’t this look nice??

Last step with this hack is to trim off any excess placket that may be over hanging on the neckline or sleeves, which would make attaching the neckband and cuffs difficult.

Next you will attach your neckband per the instructions. Then sew up the side seams. [note – I always attach my neckband before sewing up the side seams as I find it MUCH easier to do this way, especially pressing the neckline, but you can do in any order you like.] If you decided to do cuffs, you will then sew on the cuffs (right sides together to the sleeves, just like you did the neckband). If you don’t want cuffs, hem the sleeves, then hem the bottom, and you are done!

I hope you liked this hack! I would love to see your versions posted in the Facebook group or on Instagram if you give it a go. I am definitely going to do another version for Fall, but may use the Oversized Tee so I can do long sleeves. You can use this same hack on that pattern too!

If you don’t have the Everyday Tee, you need it! You can get the pattern here.

Happy Hacking!

Andrea@happy.things.here

(Written by: Andrea Goltzer Mulford)

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published