I wanted to continue to explore fitting the basic shirt block. By that I mean looking for that fast simple fitting procedure. But I didn’t want to deal with the shirt collar and stand. I prefer the look of the open neckline and one-piece collar. It’s more flattering on me than that stand and collar which seem to be trying to cover my ears. I’ve made a real effort to conquer the traditional shirt collar and I can sew one nicely but it is really fiddly and time-consuming for me. I still need to cut the pieces twice and carefully baste along stitching lines. I can do this, but I’d rather not. So I hunted through my stash of patterns looking for a woman’s shirt-type top (horizontal bust dart, front and back darts, center front button opening, shirt tail hem etc). I found several. I’d long ago developed my preference for this type collar and classic styling. Surprisingly, all my other patterns had distinctive details (yokes, gathering, multiple darting) which I did not want to account for during fitting. I wanted to fit a basic block type garment. So I kept looking until I found this uncut pattern McCalls 5937
It’s an old out of print pattern which is still available on Ebay, Etsy and some vintage vendors. It was uncut because it contained sizes 8, 10 and 12. I haven’t been a size 12 in a long, long, looooooong time. I don’t expect to be a size 12 ever again. I’m not sure why I even have this pattern and I skipped over it the first time going through my stash. I returned to it because the styling is exactly what I wanted. I compared it with McCalls M5359, the shell I fit a few weeks back. Well I thought I fit. Because comparing with the shell, I was stunned to see that the size 12 sleeveless version of 5937 was perfect across the shoulders and upper torso – meaning no upper torso alterations – and evenly too narrow. I mean it looked like I should add just 1/2″ down the entire side and 1/4″ down the center of the back. Not so! I trimmed the tissue and decided this would be the perfect time to try out an FBA. I altered the tissue for the FBA and then pinned it together to try on Mimie. The tissue looked darn near perfect on Mimie.
Mimie needs restuffing or I need to partake of the Russian Prison Diet because my initial fitting pics showed
that my shirt fit beautifully across the shoulders and was too tight everywhere else. My fabric is a lovely rayon/silk. It was one of those pieces in a Fabricmart free bundle rewarded to those of us who over indulge at their site. I’ve been very lucky with the Fabricmart bundles. This is a wonderful fabric. The red color is not quit my red but so close I don’t think it matters. Also even though this was not planned for the Autumn 6PAC, I think it will work well with that collection on those Autumn days when it’s chilly in the morning but hot by noon. I’ll don a cardi or jacket for the morn and then be sleevelessly cool while everyone else is sweating in their long sleeves. In short, I didn’t want to wad this garment. But what could I do? I didn’t have enough fabric to recut but I did have two 14″ squares left over. I cut 1.5″ strips and seamed them together. Then I made pin tucks on one side about 2″ apart. Since the side seams had only been basted together, I easily opened them up and added a 1″ finished strip on each side.
I prefer to repeat decorative stitches. I liked the side strips and really wanted to repeat the tucks on the collar and pockets. However they were already finished and I didn’t have enough fabric to recut these pieces. I ditched the pockets and top stitched rows of triple stitch on the collar. It’s not exactly the same, but I think it’s close enough and unfortunately in the pic’s top stitching red-on-red shows up even less than pin tucks IOW no close up of the collar.
I’m pleased with the final piece but do realize I still have fitting issues.
The shoulders were perfect making me think I should start with a size 12 on all my garments. The FBA was totally insufficient. see the front flaring forward and upward? The FBA I added neither enough width or length. I hate to just add 1″ to the sides. I think that usually changes the look of the over all design. It would certainly affect the placement of some designer details. The front pockets of this garment, for instance, would have been places too far towards the center of the garment. I am seeing the bubble on the back view, but it’s gone on the side view. So I think maybe I have a little velcro-butt going on but I still keep in mind that have always previously needed a 1″ BWL and I didn’t make it for this version. I also note that I did not add the 1/4″ down the center of the back. It would have affected the neckline, collar and facing ( I skipped the back facing and just serged the collar to the neckline and then topstitched the whole thing to the back neckline.) I’ve lightened and darkened the pics and the side seams are running straight up and down. The shirt feels comfortable so I don’t think I needed that extra 1/4″ across the back with this fabric.