Simplicity 6624, MISSES’ TOPS, copyright 1974 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc.
This cover art. I find it very appealing. I like how the models are grouped to create a sense of depth of field, I like the varied but not crazy looking arm positions, and I like their facial expressions. Serious. Introspective. Optimistic. They look smart and calm and I like that.
I also like the skinny belts and how the hair is stylized but not outrageous. These girls are not caricatures.
What I find hilarious about the cover art is that Pick-A-Knit stretch gauge on the back. Look at what a tiny amount of stretch the pattern wants! Barely any at all! Plus the shirt is patterned to have a zipper at the center back neck!
Oh 1970’s patterns, how you amuse me with your cautious approach toward stretch.
It was just your average street-vendor tourist-T. White cotton knit, boxy, kinda thick, kinda clunky. You know, a classic.
After ten years of being washed & worn and washed & worn and washed & worn by the man I love, however, it faded and softened to Perfection. I pulled it out of the wash one day and said, “Hey, can I have this?” and he said, “Of course. Weirdo”.
So I used Simplicity 6624 and made that old grubby t-shirt into a nice new grubby t-shirt.
See the V-neck? How it overlaps at the point of the V?
I did that, not the pattern.
I’m fascinated with this construction style, where you have a V neck that terminates into a yoke.
I had always thought it was a style choice, until sometime during school I realized what it really is: a clever (read: faster, cheaper, less skill required) way to make a V without having to miter the neck band.
This construction method is often used for uniforms, which, viewed with a positive spin, give a feeling of unity, equality, a shared purpose. As in team jerseys or medical scrubs. Viewed with a negative spin, there can be a feeling of homogeny, de-personalization, interchangeability. As in prison uniforms or those shirts we had to wear sometimes in gym class. I think they were called pennies?
Clothes. They speak!
The neckline in the front is cut from the original T-shirt’s hem, so that’s the original cover stitching you see there, with my own cover stitching at the hem of the sleeves and the yoke seam and the new shirt hem. Also at the armsceyes, which I wouldn’t always stitch down, but in this case the sleeve is just a cap instead of a real sleeve, so I cover stitched to finish the seam allowance under the arm, and then went all the way around for continuity. Keeps the upper seam allowance nice and smooth too.
I reused the original shoulder stabilizer strip, which is a method I’ve never used before: basically instead of using clear elastic in the shoulder seams, you have a strip of self that is stitched along the shoulder seams and the back of the neck, clean-finishing the shoulder seams and the back neck binding. It’s very sturdy, you see it in men’s shirts. Gives kind of a rugged look, I like it.
- Yoke seam
- Cap sleeves
- No back seam or zip
- No bust ease. This pattern provided 1 1/2″ bust ease, which is not the insane amount of ease I have come to expect/check for/become enraged by in commercial patterns, but it was still unwanted.
Five hours, forty-five minutes. Not fast, but fine considering the piecing and taking apart the original shirt and figuring out the stabilizer strip and stuff. Worth my time certainly.
Sew It or Throw It:
This old thing really comes through, with a surprisingly contemporary shape. The body length is just how I like it, the shoulders are smooth, the sleeve cap has no ease, the shaping through the body is gentle but flattering.
Might even get crazy and try giving this pattern a real shot, in new knit instead of old grubby T.