introducing the liesl + co. classic shirt sewing pattern

The classic collared shirt is part of many women’s core wardrobe. It’s a timeless style that works well in virtually every season. It’s great on its own as well as when layered, and it can be worn in so many ways.

It can also be really difficult to find just the right shirt . Finding the perfect fit, color, and fabric can seem almost impossible, which is why shirts are such a great item to sew for yourself! And that’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to our new Liesl + Co. Classic Shirt pattern.

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt women's sewing pattern

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern in Liberty of London lawn

Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern in oxford shirting

There are already lots of shirt patterns out there, so why did I feel the need to release one as well? Well, in part because I’ve been talking about the core wardrobe for such a long time, and I’ve been designing into that concept, too. That’s been a theme in almost all of my Liesl + Co. and Lisette for Butterick designs: styles that can play a key roll in your day-to-day wardrobe. In all my designs, I try to think about versatile pieces that work well together and that can be worn for a long time. Up until this point, though, I’ve never given you that classic shirt, and I felt like we absolutely needed it. Plus, you’ve been asking us for it!

But there are more reasons why I felt it was important to develop this shirt pattern:

  • This pattern comes in cup sizes! I’ve already done the full bust adjustment for you, and the front pattern pieces comes in A/B, C, and D cups. Pick the one that’s best for you, and you’ll be ready to get started. I’ll help you adjust the dart to get a great personalized fit in an upcoming tutorial, but the bust adjustment has already been done so you’re well on your way to a great fit.
  • The pattern includes a two-piece collar. Many of you have requested this over the years. Our Gallery Tunic + Dress pattern has a one-piece collar that’s really easy to sew and that many of you love, but nothing can replace the collarband and collar of a classic shirt pattern. Here it is, and the pattern also includes a separate collar facing to help you get really good-looking results in your sewing.
    Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern collar detail
  • Detailed, carefully written and illustrated sewing instructions to help you sew this pattern just as smoothly and easily as possible. I did a lot of research for this pattern and brought together a lot of the best tips and tricks that I came up with. The techniques included in the sewing instructions will give you great results with a minimum of fuss. And, as usual, we lead you through it step-by-step so it isn’t intimidating.
  • A classic sleeve cuff and tower placket–the kind that you see in most well-made shirts. You can even sew the underneath part of the placket in a contrast fabric or color if you want to add a little surprise to your shirt, as I did in the photo at right below. The cuff includes a separate facing to help it fit especially well, so you can include a contrast color or fabric there, too, if you want. This detail looks so impressive, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to sew!
    Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern tower placket detail
  • Two different pocket styles: a classic workshirt style and a pleated safari-inspired pocket with flap that even has a hidden button–because it’s these little details that make shirts so fun! You can also mix and match these options to add the flap to the workshirt pocket if you want, so you’ll get lots of styles from this one pattern.
    Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern pocket details
    Liesl + Co Classic Shirt sewing pattern both views
  • A lengthen and shorten line. Everyone has her own preferred length, and it’s easy to customize it with these lines so the shirt and sleeves are exactly the right length for you.
  • Upcoming tutorials and blog posts to help you further personalize the pattern:
    • An upcoming sew-along to guide you with photos. It’s always fun to join the community for these projects, we know!
    • Upcoming tutorials for a side gusset, a machine bartack, and a faux flat-felled seam to give you really professional-looking results and details.
    • A pussy bow free pattern that can be added to the shirt for a feminine detail. This is especially pretty on silky versions of the shirt.
    • Fabric suggestions. There are so many possible fabrics you can use for this style, so I’ll guide you through some of your options to help you get started.
    • Styling inspiration and suggestions. Again, so many ideas.
    • Other details and additions you can make to the pattern to extend its use. I’m working on a few more ideas that I’ll surprise you with later.
  • And even more fun: we’ll be including something special in our fall pattern release that will help you get even more use out of this pattern. Stay tuned!

The pattern will be available for sale on our website next Tuesday morning in both a paper version and a digital version. In the meantime, you can view the website pages for the pattern to see the sizing information and fabric requirements so you can start your planning. Leave your email address, if you like, on the product page for the version you want, and we’ll email you just as soon as it’s available to purchase!


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  1. Penny

    SO EXCITED! I love that the FBA’s are you re-done, that’s a huge advantage and I know with Liesl doing the drafting it will go together perfectly with an amazing fit and come with great instructions. Looking forward to seeing what is coming next too.

    1. Penny

      *FBA’s already done* [auto-correct problem]

  2. Darcy

    I’ve been hoping for a classic button up from you! I always love your instructions and attention to detail. I can’t wait to add this one to my collection!

    1. Thanks, Darcy! Glad you’re happy with this!

  3. Love it!! A perfect wardrobe staple!!
    thank you so much – Can’t wait to add a few Liberty versions to my closet 😉

    1. Yes for Liberty! I’ve already got fabric for my next one.

  4. Paige

    What a great looking shirt! I love your patterns and can’t wait to make this one. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Paige!

  5. Have you got a pattern for the navy pants too ?

    1. Not in this release, but possibly something similar in the future!

      1. Donna

        Yes, I was looking for that pants pattern too!

  6. Enbee

    This looks great! Any chance you’ll be including a tutorial about how to add vertical darts to make this a more fitted shirt?

    1. You could always pinch them out yourself, or refer to the darts on our Bistro Dress. I think you might like what I hinted at for fall, too…

  7. Annie

    I love it! I’m excited about the sew-along.

    1. Great! We’re hard at work on it.

  8. Nancy K

    So excited about this shirt! I can’t wait for its release!

  9. Sharon Knowles

    I am excited to try this pattern out! I can tell it will be a staple for me.

    1. Thanks, Sharon!

  10. Tali

    I love it and appreciate the cup sizes a lot! Looked at the pattern for purchase and saw that cup size A/B means up to 1″, c up to 2″ and D up to 3″ difference between upper and lower bust. The explanations I saw so far were 1″ bigger, meaning cup B=2″, cup C=3″ and cup D=4″ difference. Can you explain?

    1. Sorry, I’m not following you. Can you explain what you mean?

      1. Paloverde

        Your explanation of cup sizes doesn’t match the commonly given explanation from the Big 4 pattern companies. (And yes, we know this is not the same as bra sizes.) Their standard is that a 2 inch difference between full and high bust means a B cup. You say up to a 1 inch difference is an A/B cup. Are you creating your own cup sizing standard to add confusion to the issue? Also, would you characterize this design as very loose fitting through the bust?

      2. Tali

        Sorry it was not clear – will try to rxplain regarding cup D, which is my cup size. From what I learned so far, cup D in sewing patterns means taking into account up to a 4 inch difference between upper and full bust.
        On your web site is sais: To determine cup size, subtract upper bust measurement from full bust measurement. Up to 1″ difference = A/B cup, 2″ = C cup, 3″ = D cup.
        So this is different from the usual reference to cup sizes, and it’s confusing.Can you explain?
        Thank you! Tali

      3. Oh, now I see what you’re looking at! You’re absolutely right–those numbers at the bottom of the size chart are incorrect and it’s entirely my fault for forgetting to change them. The FBA is standard: A/B = 2″ difference, C = 3″ difference, D = 4″ difference. My apologies for that; we’ll correct it and issue an errata.

        Regarding the ease, it depends on the size/cup size, but you can compare the finished measurement chart to our measurement chart to see the difference. They’re both listed: I’d say it’s relatively loose-fitting (about 6″ of ease) but not oversized by any means. It’s not a snug-fitting blouse, in other words; it’s more of a classic, tailored shirt with an easy fit.


    I want to know how to make it sleeveless. In the deep south sleeveless is what I wear 3/4 of the year. This year we had almost no winter so a tutorial on how to make it sleeveless would be appreciated.

    1. Absolutely! You can find very thorough instructions on page 68 of the Building Block Dress book. I think it would look really cute sleeveless!

      1. JEB OBARR

        Great! I’ve already got that book.

  12. Bust darts! Love you you Liesl.

    1. Ha ha! Glad you like it!

  13. Michelle

    While I’ve spent lots of time fitting another shirt pattern, I really like some of the details here: the different button placket options, pleats in the back & sleeve, and those pockets (I’m super curious about the hidden button.) I think I’ll have to save my pennies for this one.

  14. I’m a sucker for good blouse patterns! This looks right up my alley. Yay!

  15. This is perfect and beautiful and the cup sizes….I love it !!!

  16. Sarvi

    One question so I can decide which version to order — is it printed on thinner tissue paper, or heavier paper like O&S? Tissue paper drives me nuts so I’d rather order the PDF.

    1. Sarvi, all the Liesl + Co. patterns are printed on a 20 pound tissue. It’s lighter than the Oliver + S tissue but more substantial than typical pattern tissue.

      1. Sarvi

        The 120 tissue will work well for me, thank you!!

  17. I have the same issue re. sleeveless tops. In Singapore, I very rarely wear tops with long or even 3/4 length sleeves. Is it possible to make it sleeveless without changing the shape of the armhole itself (i.e. making it deeper or longer)? It’s really nice to see a pattern for a basic, yet very useful women’s blouse! Thank you!

  18. Connie

    I so need this pattern! I cannot find ready to wear shirt patterns that fit well due to bust size. Not only having a pattern with the dart, but also having the work of altering the pattern for a different size bust already done is fantastic!!! I also really appreciate that you are continuing to offer the printed versions for your patterns, as I am not a fan of digital patterns. I guess I’m old school, but I haven’t found a convenient way to print digital patterns that doesn’t add considerably more cost or work. I much prefer a pattern that I can trace off and get on with it. And I am delighted that you are offering classic designs.

  19. I like the look of this! I’ve just sewn my first ever ‘real’ shirt using another independent pattern and Pam Howard’s excellent Craftsy class. I’m quite happy with it but two variation tutorials you could offer would make me very keen to buy your new pattern: instructions to make it a ‘popover’, and instructions for a hidden button placket – bonus points for a combination of the two!

  20. HOORAY! If 2016 was the year of Gallery Tunics, then 2017 is shaping up to be the year of Classic Shirts! This is exactly what I’ve been searching for: a well-fitting, flattering indie company button-down shirt pattern. You guys nailed it. xoxo Callie

  21. Eleanor

    I am really excited about this! Would it be possible to add shoulder measurements to the sizing chart? I have broad shoulders and for me that typically determines my size in woven-fabric shirts. I would also love a blog post or advice on how to combine pattern sizes or determine dart sizes so that I can make a shirt that fits well in the shoulders but not be overly loose around the waist.

  22. LoriAnne Gamble

    Nice, so very nice. Can’t wait see them for sale.

  23. Dana

    Love these new patterns and love the idea of some pants in your pattern future . I have been wanting to try a shirt for a while now.

  24. Ann

    My bust size is larger than a D cup – would it be possible to do a FBA on this shirt pattern? Although I’d love a button-down or three, I tend to avoid them because of how difficult it is to get a good fit.

    1. Ann, absolutely! I teach this technique in my fit workshops, and many of our other Liesl + Co patterns include instructions for doing a Full Bust Adjustment. Or you could also take my CreativeBug workshop:

      Note that you might want to split the dart into two smaller darts for a better fit, too. I’ll try to address that in a tutorial on the blog soon, or I’ll see if I can find a tutorial or book that can help. I highly recommend the book Fit for Real People as well. It’s a terrific resource you’ll use again and again.

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