This is a very happy day for me! I’ve found a new favorite pattern!!!!
It’s McCall’s 4166, an original 1957 pattern that I found at my favorite local vintage store for $3. Three dollars!!! I bought three in total, but I was so close to snapping up them all, useableness be darned…
So everything about the pattern rocks so far. Even better: the fitting.
I actually pinned the pieces together before cutting (a literal first for me … lol) and found that the fit was fine for a more fitted look, but I wanted it to be looser, so I slashed the front at the middle and added an inch (at the middle where the gathers are, so as to avoid messing up the collar or front facing). I placed the back center on the fold at the top and 1 3/4″ off the fold at the bottom, adding more width to the back without changing the back neckline length.
And those fittings worked! And they didn’t mess anything else up!
(BTW: that’s my Lots of Dots Skirt in these pictures!)
Okay, so the fit is great and I successfully altered a pattern on the first try without messing anything up. But that’s not even the best part.
The Best Part
The best part is the front facings. This pattern is is freaking brilliant … I don’t know why all buttoned blouses aren’t like this.
The front facing and the bodice front are the same piece. The facing just folds back, gets sewn to the back facing piece, and stitched over along the neckline seam. Then it gets turned out and all the edges are finished. No pesky seam at the front! And the interfacing just gets fused onto the “facing” part of the whole piece.
Here’s the pattern instructions if that helps you make sense of what I’m sure I did a mediocre job explaining.
Gah. I’m in love…
My Only Regret
My only regret is the fabric. I got it as a gift from my step-grandmother (with boatloads of other fabric …. OMG it was so awesome … my stash is so happy), and I like the pattern and the color, but once I had the whole thing sewn up, I realized that it kinda looks like an ironic tourist Hawaiian shirt.
But I guess after two days of freak rain, some Hawaiian flare might be in order for my life. (seriously, what is up with Southern California’s weather?)
It’s almost worse because I like the fabric and the pattern so much, but together they’re just so … ironic.
I did change a few other things in the making of this pattern, and I figured out some things I want to do differently next time.
For one thing, I interfaced the whole collar piece instead of just one side, and it’s really stiff. So only interface one side next time.
I added interfacing to the front yoke, and I think that is a definite keeper. It gives the blouse just a bit more body to hold up the front.
I also finished the hem with lace trim instead of an actual hem. I do this mostly because it’s easier and I’m lazy (I did it on this button-up shirt as well), but I think it adds a nice artistic touch too.
I did almost all the seams as French seams, because they just look so nice, especially with slightly sheer fabrics. Next time, they’re all going to be French seams.
The one major problem I had was with the cuff on the sleeve. The pattern directions say to sew the sleeve into a tube before sewing the cuff, which is just a total pain. So, next time, I’ll sew the cuff first and then the side seam. I might add a little button at the side too, to hold the button up (and add artistic flair).
I’m definitely making this pattern again. Multiple times. (You’ve been warned.) I’ve already picked out a white cotton with a small black pattern that I have been meaning to do something with as next in line. I’m also thinking about figuring out a way to make an all-lace version (somehow getting rid of the facings so that the lace is really showcased).
I think one of my favorite things about this pattern is how it’s simple and straightforward enough, while still having some individual details, to give me the freedom to really work on making it look professional, getting all the little details right, and making a piece that will last through regular wear. It’s a great project for little professional details.
What do you think of my new blouse pattern? Too Hawaii tourist for you? Have any of you have similar luck with a recent sewing project? Any stories with vintage patterns?
I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 As always, thanks for reading
— Samantha 🙂
PS: two things:
- Please check out my new Instagram account by_strings_attached
- I don’t know if everything at WordPress will have been figured out by the time you read this (it takes a little while for the new domain to exist), but if it has happened, then you might have noticed that my URL has lost it’s “.wordpress.com”. It’s now just stringsattachedsewing.com!