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Mar 6, 2013

FINISHED: the 1941 McCall's Mens Undershirt!



Readers, I just finished the undershirt from my 1941 McCall's pattern (4474).  It's the first woven undershirt I've ever made.  I like it!



I can definitely imagine wearing a shirt like this regularly.  And it's always nice to match the pattern envelope.





The undershirt went together without incident except for the bias "underfacing" on the armholes.  I had to stitch that down by hand and it still doesn't lie completely flat.  I may try again with narrower strips.



P.M. UPDATE: I ended up removing the underfacings altogether and simply turning the remaining 1/8" seam allowance under and edgestitching.  It's looks and feels sufficiently finished and shouldn't fray since the armhole edges are rounded.



I made the shirt from a beautiful white shirting remnant left over from a long-ago shirt project.  You don't need much since there aren't any sleeves.  I took 2" off the overall length and narrowed the sides by 1/2".  I also deepened the armhole a tad.



I used my fashion fabric for interfacing, which felt more period appropriate than fusible, and chose vintage plastic buttons that have a pinkish cast.
 

The shirt is very comfortable and cool.   



Oh, and great news!  I've worn my new boxers all day under my regular jeans and, much to my surprise, they feel just fine: no excessive bagginess or creep.  I think the gathers look bunchier in photos (which accentuate shadows) than they really are, and they flatten with wearing.  A dirndl skirt this is not.



In closing, friends, I am very happy with my new old underwear.  If only I could really play the ukelele.

Have a great day, everybody!

29 comments:

  1. You did it again Peter! Sensational! :)

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  2. Should be really cool and comfortable in summer. Nice work.

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  3. Awesome!
    RE: the underfacing... Be sure you aren't putting any tension at all on the bias as you place it. It only really has limited stretch, so the more it stretches as you sew it on, the less stretch you have left to turn the facing to the inside. I tend to even compress it a bit when I place it, so it has LOTS of stretch ability when I turn the fabric.

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  4. I love this whole outfit! I feel like you should be in a black and white 1940s movie about WWII and you're stationed somewhere like Hawaii! Hence the uke, of course.
    I started learning the ukelele while house sitting for a friend who had one. It was a lot of fun, but sadly I haven't been able to afford one of my own yet so I haven't gotten any better.

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  5. I really like both these pieces. I'm not sure I could talk my husband into wearing them, but they look really nice. Maybe you need to talk to Gertie about the uke. (She says shes learning how to play.)

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  6. I've been making myself woven cotton or linen camisoles for years, because I don't like the clinginess of knit ones, but like that extra layer under my shirt. Maybe next time I'll add some sweet buttons too.

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  7. seriously. sexiest underwear ever. i WANT these patterns!!!!!!!

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  8. Peter you never fail to amuse and captivate! Cut your next undershirt on the bias and see if you like the drape you'll get when you do it. Bias cutting seems to add a new sensual dimension.

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    Replies
    1. Bias cut underwear for men - mmmmmmm!!!!!

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    2. Interesting suggestion. I would love to see the difference!

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  9. How does it feel to wear a shirt over that undershirt. A row of buttons over a row of buttons.? The only thing missing with this ensemble are
    stocking garters.

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  10. Peter, you look great!!! Love the undies.

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  11. How stylish you look! Really good underwear patterns.

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  12. Hi-de-ho, you mellow man you, don't you look burnt to a crisp !
    Ok, I have to stop there with the 40's slang that I learned from old movies from your country cuz I don't really know what I'm saying.
    Love your post and your set of underwears.
    Are you going to make a set for Michael? There is a spark of envie in his eyes in the pictures of your previous post.
    Well done.
    E.

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  13. ...I never thought I'd end up saying this to a gentleman over the internet but your underwear is an absolute delight. You look like a proper bobby dazzler. I'm an antiques dealer and I often find good linen underwear amongst other linens for sale at auction. I once found the long version of the underpants you made - same waist band but a long, tapered leg and in very heavy cotton. I wonder how comfortable they would have been to wear under trousers. I sold them to a steampunk chappie.
    Thanks for your blog - always a joy,
    Natalie

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  14. I find that pre-shaping the bias strip by curving it as you iron it helps ti make it lie flat around tighter curves. The undies look fab.

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  15. Sock garters should make this ensemble complete!

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  16. That looks like it could be turned into vintage swimwear! Looks fab and I'm glad it is comfortable.

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  17. as a vintage-underwear-aholic, I have to say, I'm smitten!

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  18. You have made the most diverse wardrobe of any sewing blogger...I love it!

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  19. Well, you just made my day! Well done sir. Well done.

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  20. They look fabulous! But I have the same question as Bill - how does the buttoned undershirt feel with a shirt over it? The double row of buttons seems like it might be odd.

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    Replies
    1. Totally comfortable but it does look a little funky, imo.

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  21. Ahhhh! This is awesome! What a great ensemble!

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