Cameron Button Up Q&A - Helen's Closet Blog

HelenCameron Button Up21 Comments

Pattern Q&A: Cameron Button Up

Cameron Button Up Q&A - Helen's Closet Blog

Do you have questions about our latest pattern, the Cameron Button Up? We’ll we’ve got answers! Read on to learn more about some of the most common questions we get about Cameron.

Don’t forget you can grab the Cameron Button Up on sale this week for 20% off, no coupon code required!

What kinds of fabrics work best for Cameron?

Cameron is one of our more versatile patterns when it comes to fabric! The obvious option is lightweight cotton, and even quilting cotton can be used for a fun, novelty print option. If this is your first time sewing a button up shirt, lightweight cotton is the best option. Look for ‘cotton lawn’ or ‘cotton shirting’ when shopping.

Cameron also works really well in linen, and a cotton/linen blend is a great option. If you are looking for something a little more cozy, try it in flannel! There are also drapey fabrics like a rayon/viscose challis or Tencel twill. Just know that the details can be tricky to sew in these fabrics. We recommend interfacing the whole sleeve placket if using a lightweight, drapey fabric and taking your time to cut out the pieces accurately.

Cameron Button Up Shirt Pattern - Helen's Closet Patterns

Can I make a Cameron ‘Shacket’?

If you are looking to make a Cameron that is more like a jacket than a shirt, you can try sewing it in a medium weight fabric like wool coating, cotton twill, canvas, denim, or corduroy. Keep in mind that small details like the sleeve plackets and collar stand become harder to sew with thicker fabrics. We did sew a Cameron using a 9 oz wool coating (blog post coming soon) and we were able to do it, but it was a challenge. A 5-7 oz fabric would be easier to sew and still give you that ‘shacket’ look.

Which side of the shirt are the buttons on?

Great question—it’s totally up to you! We’ve included information to help you choose which side you want to put them on, and anywhere it comes up, we’ve included instructions for both options.

Cameron Button Up - Button Placket Instructions Preview

Do I need to do an FBA?

Cameron fits cups sizes A-DD well without any adjustments thanks to it’s relaxed fit and generous ease. Beyond a DD cup, you may want to:

Do you have any tips for sizing down for a closer fit?

You can definitely size down to get a slimmer fit, BUT you don’t want to end up with too-tight shoulders. Consult the finished measurements chart to make sure you still have wearing ease at the size you want to make, and use the “upper back width” measurement to determine the shoulder fit. And don’t forget to make a muslin! It’s a great opportunity to practice tricky details like the plackets and collar, AND you will nail the fit before sewing your precious fabric.

If you’re looking for a slimmer fit, you could also consider eliminating the back pleat and adding back darts instead for more shaping. Threads has a great article on how to do that here.

Can I make Cameron if I’ve never sewn a placket before? I’m scared!

I totally get that! It’s one of the trickiest things in sewing but trust me, you CAN do it! We’ve got 6 (SIX!) pages of instructions for the placket alone. We’ve got you. ❤️

Our biggest piece of advice? Make a “practice placket!” It only takes a small fabric scrap and you’ll feel much more confident after you try it once.

Seriously though. We went into extreme detail with this pattern. No step left un-illustrated!

Cameron Button Up - Sleeve Placket Illustrations Preview

How does this pattern rate in terms of complexity/difficultly?

This is a very straightforward take on a button up. It does not have any trendy bells and whistles, but it does have classic features like a collar and collar stand, button front, and sleeve plackets. I think with our instructions, you will have no trouble sewing this one!

Four line drawings of the Cameron Button Up shirt pattern from Helen's Closet, including the front and back of both views.

How do I lengthen or shorten the pattern?

Not to worry! We’ve included instructions for lengthening and shortening Cameron, as well as pattern lines to make this step a cinch.

What type of seam finish does the pattern use?

There are only two exposed seams in this pattern, the side/arm seam and the armscye (sleeve attachment) seam. We provide 4 seam finishing methods for these seams, including flat felled seams! Stay tuned because we have blog post coming your way with instructions for for how to sew flat felled seams.

What size Cameron are Sam and Parnian wearing in the photoshoot?

Sam is wearing a size 24 graded down to a 20 hip, and Parnian is wearing a size 16 graded to a size 14 at the hip. You can find all of the sample details (including fabrics used) in the product listing!

Cameron Button Up Shirt Pattern - Helen's Closet Patterns

How would I make a bicep adjustment?

We’ve included a finished bicep adjustment for Cameron on the finished measurement chart so you can identify ahead of time if you need to make this adjustment. Click here for our instructions on doing a full bicep adjustment!

Do you have any tips on lengthening it to make a shirt dress?

I can’t wait to make a shirt dress version! You can simply add length to the front and back to lengthen it and have a straight shirt dress OR you can add a bit of flare to the side seam to create more volume at the hip and hem of the dress. If your hip measurement puts you in a higher size than your chest and waist, this will give you a better fit.

Cameron Dress Hack

What types of hacks would work for Cameron?⁠

There are SO many hack possibilities for Cameron, like lengthening it into a dress, or leaving off the collar piece and sewing only the collar stand. You can try swapping out the sleeve styles, or mixing and matching pieces with some of our patterns (like our Gilbert/Reynolds dress hack). We are already buzzing with ideas, and you know we’ll be sharing more on our blog in the months ahead. 😊

Thanks for reading along and checking out the Cameron Button Up! Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment or shoot us an email at

Get the Cameron Button Up for 20% off the week of February 8th, 2022!
About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

21 Comments on “Pattern Q&A: Cameron Button Up”

  1. Nice Q&A! Thanks for sharing the info. Just sending a note in hopes of seeing a lining hack or expansion pack. The Cameron would be great as a shaker with flannel or fleece/sherpa lining. I am looking forward to sewing this great pattern. It’s going to be a TNT for me!

  2. What a great pattern! I am a professional custom shirtmaker (40 years experience) and I have another very easy idea to add shaping to the shirt for a closer fit: Using a curved ruler, *slightly* curve/indent the side seams of both the back and front, starting a few inches below the armscye and ending slightly above the hip line. You’ll have to muslin this change to make sure that enough ease is preserved to be able to button the shirt .

  3. I’d like to get my skills up for this pattern and was wondering whether there were any plans for a larger version. I’d be making it in a 37-38 extra tall. I can figure out the length, but not sure whether I could make other adjustments from the 34. Tough to find patterns for extra tall and large folks sometimes! Thanks.

  4. Hiya! I’m so excited to tackle this shirt and really appreciate the pattern’s notes on altering the fit. I had one question about lengthening the shirt as a newbie at this sort of thing. If you’re making an adjustment for someone quite tall (say, 6′) I saw that you need to adjust the body and the armscye. Should those adjustments total the difference between the height the pattern was drafted for and your height divided by two (so in this case 3″). And is there any rule of thumb/proportion to follow for how to spread those 3″ between the body and armscye? Thanks!

    1. Great question! I do like to half the difference between the person’s height and the height the pattern was drafted for. In your example, somebody 6′ tall has a 6″ height difference, so I would half that to 3″. I would then put a third of that difference in the upper chest/armscye (1″) and two-thirds in the body of the garment (2″). This is not a strict rule and everybody is unique, so it is best to make a muslin and check the fit before sewing the final garment!

  5. Great pattern and clear instructions as always but Ive screwed up the second sleeve placket twice now and dont have a clue where I’m going wrong . I have switched the opening direction but pleats are on the front instead of the back ‍♀️

  6. About the leaving off the collar hack, I think I wouldn’t need to change the collar stand at all (other than sewing the top closed), but am I missing something? Thanks for this great pattern, the instructions are so clear and detailed. I’ve already made a ‘muslin’ to test fit and technique. I’m getting ready to cut a second one with some size adjustments and am considering a collarless version.

  7. Could you provide some more advice on fitting this shirt for a man? I’m looking at the finished garment measurements and think my husband would need 32-34 to fit his shoulders and back, but then a 14-16 for his chest, waist, hips. That seems like too drastic of grading. Am I thinking about this wrong? He’s 6’1″, 44″ chest, 43″ waist, 41″ hip, 19″ shoulder to shoulder across the back. Knowing Sam’s measurements might help! 🙂

    1. Hi Leslie, It looks like your husband would fit best in a Cameron that is 16 at the chest and 14 at the hip. I would suggest comparing the Finished Garment Measurements chart to one of his current button-up shirts that fits how he likes. Measure the back and compare. This can be a tough meqasurment to take on the body accurately. If it is indeed 19 (size 24), you can do a broad back adjustment on the 16 to get more room. A muslin is always a good idea when grading between sizes and making adjustments.

  8. Hello! I’ve made the Cameron twice for my husband and he loves it! However he often pops the sleeve seams. I was thinking of switching out the center back box pleat for two smaller pleats on either side instead. Do you think this would help? Is so where should I place them? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Molly,

      It sounds like your husband would benefit from a ‘broad back adjustment’ if he is popping the seams along the back armscye. Moving the pleats wont make a big difference, you need to add more width. It’s not a hard adjustment, you can do it!

  9. Hello! I love the pattern! I made my husband a long sleeve version that fits well but I did something wrong with the short sleeves. He doesn’t have much movement in the sleeve. For example, if he were to lift both arms the full shirt would come up. He’s 6’2 so I added added length to the short sleeve. I’m just not sure where I went wrong or how to adjust this to fix it. Do you have any advice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Molly,

      It sounds like he might benefit from a full bicep adjustment if the sleeve is tight and pulls up when he lifts his arms. A little bit of this is to be expected, but if it is bothersome, then a wider sleeve is required.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *