Sewing Simplicity Pattern 4437: Misses' Sleeveless Top (1960's)

Seeing that autumn has arrived with a chill in the morning and shorter days, I've sewn a summer shirt just in time to wear it before the last warmth fades away. Ideally this project would have been completed a couple months ago when I bought the fabric (just a few dollars at Goodwill, only used 1/2 of the yardage) and thought immediately of this pattern (another 99 cent steal at Goodwill) but my creativity was on hold and my weekdays overfilled with farming, the weekends filled with plans away from my sewing machine.

So here we are: a blouse!
For a minute I imagined myself getting into the photo shoot with a great bouffant or beehive hairstyle and dramatic eyeliner but when I actually approached the up-do I knew I'd fail miserably. This woman owns no hairpins (bobby pins), holding gel, or hairspray. I happen to own one round bristle brush that carried over from days of yore when I'd blow out my locks and heat-iron them straight, and one not-so-useful wide-tooth comb that aids in occasional detangling when I wash my hair once a week. So I did a half-assed job and called it fun, vowing it invest in more hair products because I really want to figure out some fun and easy updo's for a change. Paging my sister-in-law the hairstylist... give me tips!

Simplicity 4437, front and back views:
 This seemed like such an easy project and I jumped right in on a Sunday evening.
Did the layout (easy!), cut the fabric (easy!), and started sewing (easy!). Did I miss a step? Oh that little part about reading all of the sewing instructions before starting, a lesson I learned last time I sewed a shirt, seemed to have slipped my mind again or perhaps was truthfully brushed aside out of excitement. I wondered, "how hard can it be? How much time could it take? A sleeveless top is nothing'." Oops.

And then I thought to myself, let's try tailor's tacks for the first time! (Shhh, don't tell anyone that I promptly purchased two new marking pencils afterward since I'd lost mine somehow. Marking pencils are SO quick.)
Soon I was wondering why my facings needed to look so tailored... what with the edgestitching and graded/trimmed/notched seams inside
And where in the world did the requirement of a zipper jump in?! Jeez, Louise. Luckily I have a bundle of zippers (again, Goodwill) stashed in a pickle jar for just this type of problem and one was the right size and color.
All these little steps for beautiful presentation inside the garment do produce a great end result but I cursed the extra time spent on such a simple blouse. I was imagine 2-3 hours max, when I really spent ~8 hours (o.m.g!) on this shirt. I'd rate myself as an intermediate seamstress in terms of skill but since I've not sewed much in years I'm extra ssslllloooowwww while I figure it all out. I want to do it right. So the inside of this blouse looks and feels as great as the outside and I get a special thrill knowing that I pinked all my seams in spirit of using a vintage pattern.
The patterns calls for the waist facing to be hand-tacked in place but I used the same method for the neck facing as I did the waist-- simply sewing a straight line through the dart seams, center back seam, and shoulder seams, attaching the facing to the main fabric. Though it wasn't called for in the pattern, I also attached the armsceye facing the same at the shoulder seam but found it attempting to slip out of place along the back, so I used a bit of hand-stitching to keep it in place. Here's a close-up of the waist facing and my different method.
This pattern has two versions, a midriff style blouse and another that's a bit longer. I chose the longer style and still find myself wishing it to be a couple inches longer. I need new bottoms to pair this with and will need them to be mid or high-rise in the waist to feel comfortable. A little bit of skin peeking out when I'm moving around is ok, but I generally like my waist skin to be hidden. The pattern recommends a skirt with cummerbund, another option. We'll see. Pardon my dirty and baggy pants in these pictures-- I've lost nearly 25 pounds since I started farming this season and I've got no clothing that fits properly. I turned my favorite yellow jeans into work pants because the skinny ankles fit so easily into rubber boots, and sadly they are the best fitting and closest color match for quick pictures.

Front:
Back (a belt really ruined the look, so a hairband held my pants up):
And side:
I did zero pattern alteration before cutting the fabric even though I'd been thinking, thinking, thinking about figuring out how to shorten the back length. My neck to waist measurement is consistently 1-1.5" shorter than most pattern measurements and I think the pooling of the fabric at my lower back illustrates the problem. It was exacerbated on this shirt because I should have added a slight bit of extra width to accommodate my hips. The base of the blouse pretty much sits where it should though so the biggest problem lies in back length. I SWEAR I will make an attempt at pattern alteration before I sew my next shirt.

Overall, I am very pleased. I don't see myself wearing this very often or at least not until I get/sew new pants, skirts, etc but plan to incorporate it into my regular wardrobe.



PS. As outlined in the pattern, I sewed a loop for the button and mattress stitched it into sturdiness, then sewed on a vintage button from a local antique store. :)


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