This past spring, I poked around for a few patterns that would work for an everyday wardrobe and I decided to try out a classic button-down shirt. Burda Style 7136 fit the bill because it looked like it was pretty customizable and similar to some shirts I already own and like. I used a gift card to get some cotton chambray from Jo-Ann Fabrics and went to work!
I made a few changes -- I omitted the back darts for a more casual fit, lengthened the shirt and sleeves slightly, drafted some pockets with a box pleat, and drafted a front button placket. I did a lot of topstitching with white topstitching thread, which slowed down the construction a bit when I had to switch back and forth between threads. Everything was pretty smooth sailing until I got to the sleeves. I followed the Burda Style directions for making the sleeve plackets (something new to me) and they didn't turn out very well. I could have lived with that, but somehow I mis-measured the length of the sleeves when cutting out and they ended up too short -- like two inches too short. It's the first time I've had to go back to the store to buy more fabric in order to finish a project!! Before I tackled the sleeve plackets again, I watched this YouTube video and cut a separate piece for the button placket, rather than just folding it under and stitching as the BurdaStyle instructions suggest. They looked much better the second go-around. The only other problem with the pattern I noticed is that the sleeve cuff seems to be too narrow, width-wise -- I barely had 1/4" seam allowance when sewing the ends.
(I also have to mention, I recycled all the buttons I used on this shirt from an old J. Crew button-down shirt of my husband's that had been ripped beyond repair! Ladies, if your husband wears out his dress shirts, snip the buttons off and save them for future projects!))
Aside from the problems I spoke of, I do recommend this pattern! I'm pleased with the end result and I've already worn this shirt a lot. Now that I've got the fitting kinks out I'm dreaming of a second version in Liberty of London lawn -- I guess I still can't get away from my love of beautiful fabrics!