1960s · Me Made May Etc. · MMM 2022 · Stashbust 2020

Completed: McCall’s 5779 Blouse (1961) and Me Made May Weeks 2+3

I’ve actually made two things from a single pattern! I love the idea of these wardrobe patterns, and have always wanted to make all the pieces of one, so I’m now 2/3 of the way there-just the shorts left to go. This particular wardrobe is a “sports” wardrobe. This doesn’t mean it was intended as athletic wear for really active sports like tennis, but as casual wear for things like working around the home, vacationing, and for slightly more active activities like bowling. Way back in 2018 I started sewing my “crab skirt” from this pattern.

McCall’s 5779 (1961). Photo by author.

After some trouble with the skirt, I put it in the WIP pile. I completed it in 2019, but didn’t fully correct fitting issues until May 2020.

McCall’s 5779 (1961). Photo by author.

I am usually thorough with keeping my sewing journal updated (and yes, it is a real, made-of-paper journal with swatches in it) but somehow I didn’t record this project at all. I know I started it in June 2020 and I wore it at my internship in August 2020, so I must have finished it somewhere in there. I’ve actually worn the whole outfit quite a lot in the past two years, I just never got photos until now. I wore it yesterday for Me Made May, to have tea and sew at a friend’s house. As you can see, I made the sleeveless version.

Photo by author.

Project Description

Time Frame: June 2020
Pattern:
McCall’s 5779 (1961)
Size: 14 1/2 (Bust 35)
Fabric:
Stashbust! The fabric is leftover from a pair of shorts I made for my dad. It is JoAnn’s Symphony Broadcloth, which is a poly-cotton blend.
Notions:
Thread, interfacing, buttons, snap from stash.
Cost: $0

Alterations

  • I made no fitting alterations.
  • Since I’ll never wear it untucked I left the hem as just a serged edge.

Construction and Fitting Notes

  • This top has some clever drafting, although I don’t know that it improved the sewing experience in the end. As you can see below, and also from the image of the back of the pattern that I put up above, the collar is cut in one with the shirt front. This results in a weird neck dart and some slashing in order to get a notched lapel.
  • The fit at the front of the neck actually is quite good. It is just that the sewing gets very fiddly and deviates from your typical construction-I’ve included images of the instructions here in case you are curious.
Top of blouse front pattern. Photo by author.
Photo by author.
Photo by author.
  • I had an odd combination of a lightweight fabric and fairly heavy interfacing, but in the end, except for some of the interfacing bubbling (it was very old and wasn’t playing nice with my iron) it worked out really nicely with the shirt front.
Photo by author.
Photo by author.
  • The fit at the back of the collar is not as good-it doesn’t roll nicely. The back neck facing required some fanagling to get it in and definitely requires tacking down.
  • The buttonholes definitely benefited from the heavy interfacing. They’re some of my best ones yet!
  • Compared to the front of the shirt the lower back is very blousey, probably because it is intended as sportswear this is meant to gives you more range of movement.
  • I’d be curious to make the short sleeve version sometime, and I’d love to make the whole wardrobe in a color/pattern combo like they show on the pattern cover.
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Also, since I missed it last week, here’s my week two Me Made May outfit, Simplicity 1080. I copied my (late) Grammy’s style: floral housedress, Birkenstocks, and chunky plastic costume jewelry.

Photo by author.

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