After my recent flutter with Japanese pattern books, I felt in need of an old fashioned pattern with instructions and lots of print on the pattern pieces. My vintage patterns have been winking at me from their shelf for a few weeks, so I thought I’d sew one of them - meet Advance 8589.
This is from 1958 and I made the straightforward sleeveless top on the right with the drawstring waist. Lots of lovely detailed instructions (in English) and everything printed on the pattern pieces, even the seam allowances, hoorah.
I made a muslin and decided it needed a few tiny tweaks: I took the side seams in by half an inch and the bagging across the back needed taking in by three quarters of an inch. I have this baggy back problem all the time because of my narrow back and it’s only recently that I’ve discovered a quick solution. Previously I’d pinned a tuck right down the back, then laboriously flattened out the muslin and re-traced the new pattern piece etc etc. After flicking through one of my favourite reads - Fit for Real People (which my husband thinks is hilarious because of the front cover), I discovered I could narrow the back width by simply placing the pattern centre back over the edge of the fold. The simplest discoveries make me so happy. I also lengthened the blouse by an inch.
The neck seemed high, which I am not a fan of (see here for evidence) but because I hadn’t bothered incorporating the neck facing into the muslin (because I’m too lazy) I figured it would go slightly lower once the facing was in place. Wrong. I finished the blouse, but then whilst I was showing it off to my family I started feeling like I was being choked. Even when I took it off, I could still feel pressure round my neck (perhaps I have a weird strangling phobia?) So I carefully unpicked the centre front neck section and re-sewed it slightly lower. Not much, as I think the style demands a high-ish neck, but just enough to stop me freaking out.
The pattern is very simple and there’s a bit of clever trickery involving half turning the facings inside out, then taking out some basting stitches and cunningly turning them the right way round (or something like that). Difficult to explain but it does make the inside look super neat doesn’t it?
I used a printed poplin I picked up in a rare fabric sale at John Lewis. This has a similar feel to a quilting cotton but is a lighter, silkier weight and doesn’t have the starched stiffness of quilting cotton. I absolutely love the vintage rose print.
I do like the top (it was the top which drew me to the pattern rather than the suit) but I think it will take a while for me to get used to the drawstring style. It reminds me of those maternity tops which tie with a drawstring under the bump! I’m too used to most of my clothes being super fitted. Worn with my ‘ever faithful, go with everything I own’ high waisted trousers though and I’m a bit more convinced.
|Magic trousers making my legs look 20 ft long (which they're not)|
I’ve come to the conclusion that occasionally it’s good to sew something slightly out of your comfort zone. I’ve got a feeling this top will grow on me…