Although I finished this shirt a while back, there has been the usual lack of daylight for taking decent photos in the last two weeks. Or at least a lack of decent weather combined with moments away from work. The winter gloom seems to be a common moan for us UK bloggers in the darker months, but we’re moving away from the winter season and I hope there’ll be more opportunities to get outside, take photos and indeed not fear hypothermia in the process.
Anyway, on with the topic of this post, which is my second make for Sewing The Seventies. I made the shirt from Simplicity 5196. I’ve already made a sweater using this pattern, so why not go for the shirt too?
There are some great details on this shirt – the big collar, the epaulettes and the little patch pocket. I chose a purple rayon fabric for my version, which was a very cheap fabric (if I recall about £4.50 from Fabric Land), but it has a very nice drape, even if it is a bit prone to looking crumpled. I blame it on needing to wearing a jumper and coat to get me to my photo location, because that shirt wasn’t so crumpled when I put it on in the morning!
I made very little in terms of alterations to the pattern, merely widening the back body a little, to accommodate my wider shoulders, which is a typical pattern alteration for me. I did change a couple of things during the construction though. I added interfacing to the front button and button-hole bands. Most patterns seem to include this, so I’m not sure why Simplicity 5196 does not. I just felt more comfortable including the interfacing; it makes be feel more confident with adding the buttonholes. The only other detail I changed was accidental. I fixed my patch pocket to the right side of the shirt, whereas the instructions add it to the left-side. I did realise my mistake, but a little belatedly and thought that it could be more disastrous to change it than leave the pocket where it was.
All in all, I really enjoyed this make. I also feel more on solid ground with wovens and particularly items like shirts. I’ve been making a few knit items recently and I still feel anxious when I make those.
I’ve worn the shirt a few times now to work teamed with skirts and also at the weekends with jeans. It works for the casual and the more dressed up look too. My favourite thing about this shirt are the lilac buttons, which I think are rather a statement.
I observed something as I was looking around some clothes shops the other day. I periodically take a look now for inspiration, since I no longer buy anything in them. I noticed that big collars are simply non-existent, the little collar or mandarin collar is everywhere, but sadly dramatic collars are completely absent. No fear, I can roll with this alternative look! I hope, unlike in my youth there are no fashion police and I won’t be arrested!