Men’s Swiss Dot Cotton Shirt and Linen Shorts


The summer sewing continues!

This month I created two garments for my partner, Michael. The first is a short-sleeve shirt made from a lightweight cotton Swiss dot floral fabric I found at Mood Fabrics in NYC. (Check out Mood’s online selection of dotted Swiss fabrics here.)  It doesn’t get more summery than that!

The pattern I used is Butterick 5579 (below), in a Size 40.


I made only a few changes to the pattern.  I shortened the sleeves (and cuffed them), eliminated the attached front button placket (opting for a fold-back front placket instead), and narrowed the collar to give it a more contemporary look.  I also skipped the pockets.  The shirt has vintage red plastic buttons that highlight the salmon red in the print.  There’s a center pleat in back for additional fullness.






To accompany the shirt, I made Michael a pair of linen shorts using a narrow red and white stripe I also found at Mood’s New York City store. (You can see Mood’s online selection of striped linen here.  If you’re making shorts, be sure to use at least a medium weight linen.)

I chose the same pattern I used last month for my own shorts, vintage McCall’s 5946.  These shorts have two patch pockets in front and two patch pockets in back with buttons. Since the front pocket opening is on a slant (i.e., bias), I reinforced the edge with the selvage from the fabric to prevent stretching.  For Michael’s shorts, I added a length of elastic to the back waistband (secured between inner and outer layers) for snugness. I made his shorts roughly 5″ longer than mine (his request), and with a deeper hem.






Michael loves his new outfit and I think it suits him perfectly.  It’s great for the hot days ahead; somehow Swiss dot always looks cool no matter what the thermometer says.

Thanks for reading, stay cool, and see you in August!




  • Sharon
    July 21, 2016

    WOW! I love these garments and the fabrics used to create them. Your workmanship is superb and the collars – to die for. Great job!

  • Robin Martin
    July 21, 2016

    Beautiful work and a great model. You are so inspiring.

  • Theresa
    July 21, 2016

    Michael looks so cool and rich in these clothes! The workmanship is wonderful.

  • Jennifer
    July 21, 2016

    Amazing job! That swiss dot fabric is just perfect!

  • Fiona
    July 21, 2016

    Oo that’s a great swiss dot! Love the button choice and how the whole outfit works together

  • Martin
    July 21, 2016

    Hi Peter,
    lovely outfit for Michael. Great work of sewing, as always!!!

  • Aline
    July 21, 2016

    Love that outfit! The shirt is gorgeous. Bravo!

  • Ally - Design Rewind Fashions
    July 21, 2016

    Amazing! The fit is incredible and it looks super cool in so many ways!

  • ceci
    July 21, 2016

    lovely work as always – I am surprised at how flattering the color is; my previous favorite Michael colors have been blues. But now its clear that he can also look terrific in warm colors.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Carol Crocker Ware
    July 21, 2016

    Love Michael’s outfit!!! Mich-ael Mich-ael

  • Lisa
    July 22, 2016

    Great projects! This outfit looks excellent on Michael. I especially love the red buttons on that shirt.

  • Marina Villalobos
    July 22, 2016

    Hello Peter: I really admire your taste in finding the right fabrics that go together so beautifully. What great pairing! Your workmanship is masterful. I have sewn for years and joining collar bands to shirts still gives me conniptions. It just never goes smoothly for me so when I see something done so well, I stand in awe. Congratulations!

  • Peter
    July 22, 2016

    Thanks, everyone!

  • Cennetta
    July 28, 2016

    Great summer outfit. Michael looks cool and comfy. Peter, your attention to detail is outstanding.

  • Mary
    August 3, 2016

    Wow! The outfit looks fantastic, especially on Michael. It suits him perfectly.