Unnamed and undated: a raglan long sleeve T

It’s from the 1960’s, that much you can tell from the hair. 

This was a mail order pattern, meaning the design would be advertised in newspapers, and one could order it and it would come to the house in a mailing envelope with the pattern company name printed on the outside, but no separate pattern envelope inside the mailing envelope, with artwork specific to the pattern the way a store bought pattern has. The specifics are all printed on the instructions page, and that’s all you get. 

Whoever ordered this one back in the 60’s threw away the mailing envelope, so I have no idea what company this thing originally came from, but I assumed it was an Anne Adams based on the artwork (which I love, that black/white with color background is super appealing), but then I found this interesting post on witness2fashion about how all these mail order companies are the same anyway, and if you read down through the comments on that post there’s a link to a KestrelMakes interview with a lady who worked at the parent company that housed Anne Adams and Marian Martin and basically all these mail order pattern companies. 

Aha!


I made the top, but made it have long sleeves and did it in a knit. 

More specifically, a french terry. This is one of the fabrics I chose with my prize certificate from the 2016 Vintage Pledge. 

For the competition, I entered basically everything I made in 2016, because I mostly sew from vintage patterns anyway, and was very pleased to win in the category of bottoms with the simplest thing I made all year, that gold spandex skirt from a 1979 pattern. 

Here is the winners announcement post over on AStitchingOdyssey, for more information on the vintage pledge and the categories, and fun pictures of the competition. 

My prize was fifty dollars to Girl Charlee fabrics, which was really fun to spend, because I hate spending real money on fabric (almost all the fabric I use is thrift shop, aka super cheap and I like to think planet-saving), so spending not-money was perfect. I went to the Girl Charlee site and realized I could either be smart and buy useful things, stuff like solid heavyweight stretch fabrics in useable yardage amounts plus rib knitting for jackets, or I could have fun and get as many one yard pieces as possible for my fifty dollars. So of course I did that. 


The print on this fabric is great, but I was disappointed by the weight of the fabric when it first arrived, because in my head I had decided that all french terry is heavyweight, almost not even stretchy, cotton knit with a loopy back, when in reality, and very clearly stated on the website, some french terry is lightweight, soft, stretchy stuff with loopy back, that is totally appropriate for T shirts. So, disappointed, and then delighted. 

The instructions page for this shirt doesn’t include a recommended fabrics list, but it wants nonstretch. It’s supposed to have a zipper at the center back neck, and bust darts which I got rid of by easing into the side seam, and then took in enough through the side seams (the soft stretchy fabric grew a little) that I think the easing is mostly gone too. 

There are shoulder darts, which I like and kept but totally managed to not photograph. 

The black contrast fabric is some cotton Lycra I had in house. 


Sew It or Throw It:

Sew It. I would really like to make the whole outfit, top and skirt, in a nonstretch fabric sometime, with the zipper and darts and everything as patterned. The design has a great athletic look that is surprising in a vintage top and dress combo. 

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Simplicity 5026: the shirt, not the jamaicas. 


The Pattern:
Simplicity 5026, JUNIORS’ AND MISSES’ PANTS IN TWO LENGTHS AND SHIRT, undated, published by Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. 
This is from the 1960’s, judging from the hair. 
Check out View 2. Her posture says, “Observe: I have matched my jamaicas to my socks *and* my shoes. Did you observe? Look. Right here. Look right here. See that mess? Aw yeah.” 
In other news: Jamaicas! I’ve only ever heard this kind of short refered to as Bermudas. A casual Internet search tells me that the two style names are synonymous. Wonder what the real story is there. 
I didn’t make the jamaicas. Although I’m tempted to. Although I’m pretty sure they would look terrible in real life. The back zip, natural waist look is not an easy one. I would have to really invest in some knee socks and loafers. 
I made the shirt with the band collar, like in View 2.


The Fabric:
Leftover cotton gauze and printed cotton yukata fabric from two previous projects. 
The gauze is so sheer and openly woven. It might be a disaster. How many wearings will I get out of this before it snags on something and totally shreds? Place your bets now. In the meantime, I’ll be washing it in a lingerie bag and hanging it to dry. 
Plus side of the gauze is that it’ll keep the sun out and let the breeze in, with the printed cotton hopefully providing some stability, kind of like a yoke. I totally pieced that printed  fabric in, btdubs, that seaming at the back is not part of the original design.

The only other changes I made: an extra inch and a half in the sleeve length, three buttons at the front instead of the five the pattern calls for, and a shirt-tail hem instead of the straight hem. 

Time:
Ten and a half hours. That number is meaningless when it’s just me sewing for myself for fun, but if I had to pay myself for my time, hot dang this would be an expensive shirt. 
But anyway.


Sheer! So sheer! 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I like the fit: nice and loose. The narrow cuffs echo the narrow collar in a pleasing way. It’s good. 

Advance 9967: a sheath and a jacket and the best cover art of all time

  

  

 

the pattern:
Advance 9967 HALF SIZE DRESS AND JACKET
No copyright date, 1960’s is a real safe guess.
I don’t remember where or when I got this pattern, I just know that every time I see it my heart stops a little. It’s not the garment that does me in, though, 
It’s the art work.
Look at all the shades of black in that black dress, and the different line-weights and the occasional highlight in white and how that pink background —such a perfect complimentary color— isn’t a solid wash, it’s painted on with little spaces left bare, leaving a kind of glow all around the model.
Just wow.
I would have a hard time resisting any pattern presented this beautifully.
Fortunately I didn’t have to resist, because the dress itself is pretty ok too.
Interesting note about the pattern: it is a Half Size. Patterns don’t really do that anymore, in fact, I had to refer to my old sewing books to figure out what that even means, and the answer is: Half Size is specifically patterned for a short mature figure, as opposed to Misses, which is a tall youthful figure, or Women, which is a tall mature figure. I think basically it means petite with a fuller bust, which is not me, but whatever, I can work it out.

  

the fabric:
It’s wool, or possibly a blend, in this odd grey color that has both warm flecks and cool flecks. Usually I demand that grey make up it’s mind and be either cool or warm, but I actually like how this one is somehow mindbendingly both at the same time.

   
    
    
   

See how I’m not wearing this dress in the pictures? That’s because it doesn’t fit anymore. I mean, I can zip it closed, but actually wearing it anywhere would require a leaning board.
Sad, but ok. I’m pretty sure I made this in 2003, which was a dozen years and a baby ago, so it’s cool.
I could let it out, but ugh, alterations on my own stuff is the worst. I might actually rather diet than alter.
Anyway, looking back into this dress is interesting, I see some stuff and remember some stuff,
like:
-The back neck stood away from my body too much, so I put in a second set of neck darts, which I like even better because they mirror the double waist darts.
-I took in through the bust on the dress, but decided it didn’t matter on the jacket since the jacket doesn’t close, and now I can see that that was wrong-o. Baggy baggy baggy. I could’ve helped that by interfacing the entire front of the jacket, but the pattern calls for a partial lining and this time I actually followed the pattern instructions and LOOK WHERE THAT GOT ME.
-I eliminated the dress sleeves.
-That blue lining was a bad choice. Too blue. Also too soft and sheer. Something heavier would’ve given the jacket better body.
-The dress isn’t meant to be lined, but because of wool I put in a full lining. Which has zero give. Hmm, maybe if I just let out the lining it’ll fit…
-Terrible job on easing the sleeves into the armscye. Either I didn’t read those particular instructions, whch clearly explain how to gather, then steam, THEN set into the garment, or I decided that was a waste of time and didn’t bother and now have yucky puffs forever.
-I love those double waist darts. They are hot.

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. A heavy knit would be great. Maybe even sweatshirt knit. Something heavy enough to be cool with that much darting, but with a little stretch for easy wearing.

Butterick 5273 “The Apache Shirt…A New Casual Look”

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Or, “The Apache Shirt…it’s not new: it’s a blouse. For men tho!”
the pattern
Butterick 5273. No copyright date. I say 1960’s. I’m super mad at Butterick for not publishing a copyright date. Patterns should have dates! I mean duh!

IMG_0451
Let’s just talk about all the ways that this is a blouse:
All that gathering below the yoke would do a great job easing over some bazooms. Instead, there the gathering lies. Flat. Over a man-chest.
Speaking of gathering, men’s shirts typically pleat into the cuff? Gathered cuffs are generally reserved for the ladies? As they conjure up the associated words “soft”, “gentle” and, well, “blousey”?
I mean sure, we are going for a Ye Olden folky-costume-y look with this shirt, and the gathering does help achieve that look, however if you make this up in velvet or satin as the pattern suggests you’ve done lost the historical angle.
Also there’s that sash, wait, I mean “self tie belt”.
Let’s look at the cover art for a minute though, I mean, those pants! Those sandals! And the SCARF! Are we going for a French & Indian War thing with this? Man, it is so hard to talk about this pattern without veering into cultural insensitivity.
The envelope is stamped Teena’s Yardstick, Patterns Not Returnable. A quick Google shows me no existing store, so I’m left to come up with my own subtitles. Teena’s Yardtick: Do You Measure Up. Teena’s Yardstick: Present Your Knuckles. Teena’s Yardstick: Thirty-Six Inches Of Fun. Patterns Not Returnable.
I pulled out all the pattern pieces and instructions looking for a copyright date, and found this special offer!

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“LOOK STYLISH…FEEL CONFIDENT…BE ADMIRED!”
Yes!!!!
That’s the spirit!
sew it or throw it
Throw it. Although it has brought me a lot of joy, I will never make this, so it’s time for it to move on.