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Jul 23, 2014

In Praise of the One-Day Sewing Project -- McCall's 8536



Remember this vintage McCall's Williwear pattern from 1983?  Well today I made the top.  (You know this is basically a unisex pattern when a men's shirt is referred to in the instructions as a top.)



Anyway, it's basically done and it only took one day!

Don't think I don't envy all you women sewers out there who whip up your Monetas, Concettas and Bernadettas, your Tiramisus, Sorbets and Gelatos in the wink of an eye.  Patterns like those don't exist for men.  I can sew a long sleeve men's shirt in a minimum of two days; it's just too much work otherwise.  Even this Williwear pattern was surprisingly labor-intensive.



The top (which henceforth I will call a shirt) has some unusual features that drew me to it originally, particularly the front pockets concealed in the front yoke seams.





My fabric is a striped linen I found at the flea market a few months ago for $2.  It may have a little poly in it judging by the way it smells when I iron it (and the results of a subsequent burn test).  I had just enough fabric for this shirt -- I was really cutting it close, no pun intended.





I'm not crazy about shirts with facings but it's the only way to have a finished neckline if you're not going to have a collar (unless you're going to use bias tape or something).  One nice touch is the covered button placket.



OK, so here's the shirt.  I like it well enough.  It looks like something I'd have worn as a guest star on Fantasy Island circa 1984.  As you can see, the stripes run in two directions.





There is a strong Eighties vibe to this shirt, especially the fit.  And while I like pastels, this may be just a wee bit too pastel for me.  I'm like a walking ad for Necco wafers.



Anyway, it feels nice to whip something up in just one day.  A suit, it ain't.

And that's it.

Have a great day, everybody!

27 comments:

  1. It looks cool and comfortable.

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  2. Strangely, I really like the back view while not liking the front at all. Perhaps I am too traditional and need to see a collar on mens' shirts?

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  3. I'll have a scoop of chocolate and scoop of pimento. That shirt is so pastel and with those white pants, it almost looks like uniform. I think a collar band would have been nice. It's a good resort/beach shirt. Makes your neck look very long and swanlike (Audrey H). I wonder how it would be in gauzey type fabric.

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  4. Keep it as lounge wear. After all, it is comfy.

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    1. It actually looks much better on Michael. I think he'll get it.

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  5. A Necco Wafer and Fantasy Island reference all in one blog post! You are my hero! Sorry to say, I agree it has a bit of a uniform vibe. A band collar might bring it back towards the lounge wear end of the spectrum.

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  6. I like the way you handled the stripes, but I agree tooo much pastel.

    I think in a more masculine fabric it would be cool....I like anything different for menswear. So few choices.

    How bout an Asian inspired fabric...sort of resorty?

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  7. It does seem most women's less-than-successful outfits become great pajamas. Maybe it's the same for men's wear

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  8. I think it'd look a lot better with dark pants or blue jeans to balance out the pastel.

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  9. Da plaaane! Da plaaane!

    I sort of like it. And congrats for finishing a shirt in a day, wow! The colors are all so washed out that I think it needs some embroidery stitching in a slightly deeper version of one of the colors, perhaps on the top edge of the pocket opening. Still, I like the design -- it's a fabric issue, not a pattern or construction issue. Nice job!

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  10. Hmm it should have worked but it doesn't except to serve ice cream while roller skating ...it looks more fitted in the line drawings

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  11. I do like the retro vibe... a shade or two brighter and it would the Alexander Julian palette.

    But don't you have another potential one-day project to get out of the way this month?

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  12. I think I would like it better if the buttons showed. It would kind of break up the stripes.

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  13. How about a Nehru collar? I'm not crazy about them in general, but I could see it on that shirt - which I like as it is, btw - very summery!

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  14. Peter this shirt is beautiful! Work it girl!

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  15. I'm having 80's flashbacks from the fabric .... all you need are some clogs to complete the look.

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  16. NECCO wafers aside, I too really like the interesting seam lines this offers. I'd be curious to see it with slimmer sleeves, and maybe the back yoke higher. Nice change of pace!

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  17. If you're not crazy about the color you could possibly overdye the entire shirt. The poly content of the fabric may resist the dye somewhat, but I'm no expert. Oh, here's an idea.... How about dip dying the bottom half! :)

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  18. (I'm easily distracted.)

    Oh, I kind of like those pockets! I would totally use those in pajamas or a robe or some other kind of loungewear, since they often have, or could have, yokes. I'm a pocket junkie.

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  19. I love it! The pastels are great! I hope you wear it- it's super fun.

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  20. The plane! The plane! Oh, Fantasy Island was a good one. I do like your shirt, it is a bit fun and relaxed. Good for you to have a quick sew.

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  21. I think wearing it with jeans would go a long way toward de-sherbetting the shirt. Beautifully done!

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  22. Nothing wrong with the design, it is a Willi Wear design, the pastel fabric is Peter's decision. Overall a great look, especially worn with white shorts or pants on a hot summer day. Good work Peter!!!

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  23. I have to admit I'm seeing the sleeves and assuming they are cut in one with the yoke/front (I own several uninspired and shapeless 'top' patterns like that). I have always been a WilliWear fan (scored some original shirts) and am a little underwhelmed by this pattern. A stand collar would help, or really defined topstitching to make the parts 'pop'.

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  24. matching pants makes me snicker. I love the design, and I love the stripes across and down. The pastels are just not this decade. I think a linen fabric would be fabulous! And, good grief, you sew well!

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