In the 1960's, a lot of people did drugs, which is the only explanation I can come up with for McCall's 8190, above.
Look, everyone loves a good border print, but some motifs don't belong "south of the border," if you get my drift. The best comment came from a Pinterest follower (this pattern is in my Worst Women's Patterns Ever board) who dubbed this "Fruit of the Womb."
I raise this topic today because I had a little fabric design motif issue myself earlier while I was working on my 1940's swimsuit. I decided, after a good night's sleep, to make the swimsuit in the same floral fabric I'd used for the facings and hood lining of my beach jacket. Nobody feared looking too matchy-matchy in 1942.
The only problem with this fabric is that it is very thin, so I decided to underline the whole thing with an old cotton sheet, which gives the fabric much better body. It turned out well (this is just the outside, mind you, not the lining I discussed the other day with the crotch gusset); the suit feels very sturdy.
The design is basically a short slip with princess seams. You've seen patterns like this for sure: there's a front, a back, a side front and a side back. Rather than go to the trouble of regrading the pattern (I needed a 36" but the pattern is a 34"), I placed the pieces atop a slip pattern I'd made last year for a cocktail dress for Cathy (the green taffeta with the lace redingote), and traced the wider edges.
I cut my fabric carefully (I thought) but when I took a closer look at that front panel, I noticed that one of the flowers lands nearly smack in the middle of the...middle. I mean, you can basically reach into the center of that flower and pull out lint. Thank goodness it's not as low as the strawberry!
I didn't know what to do; I didn't have enough fabric to cut a new front panel. Here's what I came up with: I cut the center panel down the center and stitched it back together with a narrow seam allowance that widens slightly right around that flower before it narrows again. Fortunately there was enough room in the waist area to accommodate this.
The fix may not be obvious in the photo below, but it makes all the difference.
Before (the "problem" flower is dead center):
After (there's a new center seam and what looks like a narrow daisy):
Sometimes it can be hard to conceptualize how a fabric design is going to look on a garment, or where a particular motif is going to land. Or maybe you're just not paying close attention when cutting (guilty as charged). But boy, when it lands where you don't want it — breasts and crotches are the worst, with ass cracks just behind (no pun intended) — you know it. Sometimes you can fix it and sometimes you can't. That's when it's nice to own a big brooch; sadly those are uncomfortable to sit on.
Readers, has this bullseye thing ever happened to you? It doesn't necessary have to be a bullseye, it can also be an unfortunate repeat of a motif too close to the same motif elsewhere on the garment. This stuff is tricky! Or course, there are people who like having bullseyes in provocative places.
Finally, what is up with those wacky Sixties border prints? Would you put a cat motif (upper left corner)— there?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!