Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A very good vintage

I have long had this 1975 McCall's pattern in my mental queue for a new knit-top neckline and when I saw this similar Talbots top while out shopping this spring, I decided the time had come to make it. Talbots calls their style an “envelope shoulder” tee; the McCall's pattern differs from it insofar as the front bodice hits about four inches below the shoulder, but the construction would be the same. As you can see from my pattern pieces, the back shoulder continues to the front and the front bodice is simply stitched across. You could easily create this using your own basic t-shirt pattern and make the front bodice hit higher or lower depending on how much of the front shoulder is incorporated with the back. 

The straight edge of the front bodice could lend itself to a variety of ornamentation. The old McCall's pattern envelope shows a lace band. I top-stitched with embroidery thread and did the same on the sleeve hems and bottom hem. 

I used the neckline and shoulders, plus the sleeve cap of the McCall's pattern with my TNT knit top body. The back neckline stood out a bit from neck, so I've altered the back slightly, which I hope will fix that. Both of these tops are “muslins,” so to speak. I've started using a cache of very old knits which I was intending to take to the thrift store, so I feel liberated when sewing with them. However, these are keepers. The heathery top with the three-quarter sleeves is a fairly heavy, not-too-stretchy cotton knit; I was a little worried that it would be too tight, but I've worn it several times and found it comfortable.

The top with the elbow-length sleeves is a very soft interlock. I should have put some knit interfacing in the hem because it had a tendency to ripple when I top-stitched it. Aside from that little quibble, I'm totally satisfied with both of these and intend to use this vintage pattern again.