Pattern: McCall 6750
Sizing: I made a 10 blending to a 12 at the hips, then had to add an inch at the end. Pattern runs small in the hips. My measurements are 33-28-38
Fabric: Liberty tana lawn, 1 yard and a mystery poplin used as sew in interfacing on the fronts.
I recently found myself with a single yard of tana lawn. It was a gift, and I would not have chosen this pattern/colorway myself, but I wanted to try it out. I knew I wanted to make a shirt, but with only one yard to work with I had to get creative. I ended up choosing this pattern, a Palmer/Pletsch design, because A. I could cut everything except interfacing from the single yard and B. I already owned it. I liked the idea of a lightweight buttondown for summer, and imagined myself wearing it to picnics (I hate picnics, but never mind…. that was my mental image!)
I do not think I will ever wear this shirt. There are a number of issues I had with the pattern drafting/ fit. First of all, that collar. It’s insane, right? It’s definitely serving up 1970s collar realness! I probably could have cut it down, but it was hard to imagine before sewing. It might be ok with sleeves, but it’s ridiculous without. It’s also strange because of the back:
As you can see, there is no back collar. The fronts simply fold over. I used a fairly crisp interfacing, and I edge stitched the whole thing in an attempt to make it look less homemade, but in the slightest bit of wind the collar will blow together.
The next issue is the buttonband:
The shirt only calls for 4 1/2 inch buttons. I feel that is insufficient, causing the rippling effect above. The facings are also extremely wide, and they do not want to stay in place. Note that the collar looks strange here – it’s just not possible to get it to lay gracefully on a human body, which is not as regular as a dressform.
I used a bias binding on the armholes rather than facings. I think this was a good choice, because the armholes are huge even after I removed 1/2 inch from each. The binding does show when I wear it, if I ever move my arms. This is not my finest binding job, because I did it last and I kind of knew it was a wash.
Finally, the back:
It’s wrinkled here because I had worn it for a few hours. I don’t know if you can tell from the dressform, but this pattern is very wide at center back. I think that might be part of the issue with the collar. I would eliminate the shoulder darts entirely, and probably narrow the whole piece. I actually have a broad back, so I think this is strange. At most, I occasionally remove darts that are meant to compensate for a rounded back, as I don’t have one.
There are 12 darts in this shirt, but I think it could have fit better with less. I don’t know, there’s just something really off about the draft. And I know, it does come with extensive instructions on tissue fitting and alterations, but the basic pattern should be better. I also don’t like tissue fitting. I’ve done it, but I’ve never felt it told me much of anything, so this time I just blended sizes and went for it.
I’m not upset about the fabric, since it’s not the best color on me anyway, but I am disappointed in the lost time.
One thing I did learn: be sure to use a short stitch length (1.8-2.00) on Tana lawn, or you will get oddness.
Oh well – these things happen! On to something different, maybe a nice blouse with no buttons?