Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

#sewvintageseptember – A Very Seventies Shirt Part 1

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This is a progress post on my current make. I have missed the official deadline for #sewvintageseptember, but I’m still making this shirt and making good progress too!

The pattern I’m using is Simplicity 5196, from 1972. To quote the pattern envelope: “The top-stitched shirt with front button closing has shirt type collar, front bands, button trimmed shoulder tabs, long set-in sleeves pleated to buttoned cuffs and optional patch pocket.” Shame the description doesn’t really do justice to the very seventies features; the collar is huge and pointed and the sleeves have lots of volume.

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Day 4 of #sewyourselfsustainable : Stash Oh no, I think this month is designed to try to get me to reveal the disorganised state of my house! It’s not going to happen! So stash …… it’s one bag in the living room, three bags in the bedroom ……you get the idea. It’s not huge. The three bags in the bedroom are actually mostly left-overs from previous projects rather than uncut fabric. Not sure, does that count as stash? Anyway, today’s photo is my latest project. The fabric is vintage (you can guess the age of it from the uniquely weird colour combination. The vintage pattern is from 1972 and I’m going to make the shirt. I’ve made this shirt before and it’s a great pattern, with nice details like the epaulettes, pocket and deep cuffs. I went searching for some buttons for the shirt today and it’s been really difficult, we just don’t wear those sorts of colours anymore so all the green buttons looked too blue, all the purple buttons too shiny etc. Anyway, I suppose this particular make is quite a typical one for me. The pattern was a charity shop find. I like finding old fabric, but that is definitely more difficult (This was an etsy find). I suppose this makes this make quite sustainable, since it is all second-hand. @newcrafthouse Also, this make is going to be part of the #sewvintageseptember. Thanks to @kestrelmakes & @stitchodyssey for organising this event.

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I’ve had this pattern in my collection for a long time and I have used the shirt pattern before. Here’s a photo of the previously made purple shirt:

I decided to use a precious fabric from the deep stash for this make. The fabric is a beautiful vintage brushed cotton. It’s got to be from the seventies, because I’m sure only in that era would any textile designer have contemplated this wacky blend of colours – a moss green background with brown, purple and bright orange flowers! Writing that description makes the fabric sound absolutely horrific, but actually it sort of works. That was until I tried to find some buttons to match / complement the fabric. I had some real difficulties with this. I suspect that manufacturers just don’t make buttons in these colours anymore, because none of the purple or green buttons in the haberdashery seemed to look right. In the end, I picked these interesting “leather-look” buttons, which I think looked the best.

So far, I have sewn the front bands, collars, epaulettes and attached them to the shirt. I’m quite short on fabric. I still have to cut out some bias strips and that may mean the pocket has to be ditched. It’s optional anyway. I’m now tackling the cuffs and sleeves.

This feels like my first autumnal make; the colours, the brushed cotton. I’ve a few more of these lined up for the coming weeks…..

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

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