Like many of my WIPs that I am trying get out of backlog, this project was started 2 years ago, specifically for Vintage Pledge 2017. It feels good to have it done!
Pattern: Simplicity 7517 (1976)
Fabric: Muslin leftovers, assorted fabric scraps.
Notions: Vintage bias binding (thrifted and from stash), thread (from stash), topstitch needle.
Size: Medium 12-14
Alterations: I didn’t make any fitting alterations this time, but see notes for alterations I would make in the future.
- I made the bias ties longer than suggested, 3″ instead of 2 3/4″ and even though I left the bias loops 2 3/4″ I moved them closer to the seam line to effectively make them bigger. I can say now that it is done, that moving the loops was not necessary, but I like the ties longer.
- Instead of treating the fabric band on the end of the sleeves like a binding as per the directions, I just attached it to the sleeve and hemmed it.
- I didn’t use topstitching thread, I just doubled regular thread. This worked well until I did the ties which has topstitching for both the top and bobbin thread and the tension got a little funky.
- The hem is currently only a 1/4″ instead of the 1 1/2″ inches recommended. I wanted to leave it long until I wore it a few times to see where I like it best.
- It has pockets!
- Not all my muslin pieces are the exact same color. I had most of this assembled when I realized that my late night sewing in poor lighting resulted in pieces cut from different colored muslin. I hoped to fix this, but there was none of the lighter colored muslin left in my stash (and this was a stashbust, so…)
- I’ve made a lot of 1970s patterns now, and my guess is they are drafted for sort of between an A and B cup and definitely for an athletic body with a flat stomach. In terms of width, a 1970s 14 is usually too big in the shoulders area but the bust is still too snug for me and the waist and hips fit but are so tight I can’t sit down, while a 1970s 12 is way too small in the bust, waist and hips. In modern patterns I sew a size 12 and do an FBA, however, the waist is fine as is. The size number assigned to measurements hasn’t changed with pattern companies since the 1970s (a 14 is still a 36-28-38), but I suspect the slopers from which they draft has been altered and there is more ease now.
- …which brings me to say the fit in the bust is not ideal, so thank goodness for the give from the roomy sleeves. I am going to sew the surplice panels at center front to prevent gapping. In future I would do some sort of FBA.
- I would also shorten the length from the side neck to the shoulder cap. I might even do a tuck on this one just to bring the sleeve up to its rightful place.
- The sewing of the side bottom seams and pockets together is not the best…if you’ve sewn pockets in this way before you can fudge it, but I’ve seen better directions…I think it involves sewing the pockets together first and then doing the side seams instead of all in one, which catches all the seam allowances and means clipping.
- If I were to make this again (and I think I will, but I will probably do the dress version or even a maxi dress), I would make the sash ties out of a much lighter weight fabric because the quilting cotton I used results in a big knot that is uncomfortable to have in the middle of your back. However, the ties are long enough to bring around to the front and I actually think that looks much better than the bow in the back – it gives it a sort of a Star Wars Jedi feel.