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Jan 9, 2015

Prepping the Preppy Fifties Shirt Pattern



First off, thank you for all your many recommendations the other day regarding dyeing.  So many options to consider and I hope to tackle this later in the month.

In the meantime, my vintage Fifties Butterick shirt pattern (up top) has arrived, and today I started preparing my first project with it.  I'm using blue cotton shirting I was gifted a few years ago by MPB reader Josh.  It's a beautiful cotton herringbone in a weight similar to oxford cloth.  It has silk-like sheen when pressed.





Butterick 6319 must date from the mid-Fifties, judging by the artwork and the handwritten note on the pattern envelope, "Made for Floyd [Is anyone named Floyd anymore?] of 'green wool' Jan. 1955."  Now, sixty years later (to the month), this shirt pattern is back in service!







The collar will be 3 1/2" wide at the front edge.

There are some weird things about this pattern.  For one thing, on a contemporary pattern, the front of the sleeve (where it attaches to the armscye) has one notch and the back has two.  On this pattern, it's just the opposite.



The torso and sleeves of the pattern are very long: I've taken 2" off the length of both front, back, and sleeves; normally I take only 1" off the torso.

Look how much longer the sleeve is than the Seventies-era Butterick pattern I normally make shirts with:







Finally, the front button placket (on the left front, where the buttonholes go) attaches in the strangest way and, frankly,  I don't think I'm going to follow the instructions.  Does anybody else find this method awkward?



I tested a lot of blue threads from my stash today, but in the end, I'm opting for white.  Better white than a poorly matched blue.





I've cut all my pattern pieces and am ready to start sewing.  I'm not sure how much I'll get done this weekend as I have a lot going on, but hope to finish it in the week to come.





In other news, my Mom will be staying with us for the next few weeks.  Thankfully, she's walking with a cane every day and gaining strength and confidence.  The dogs, who adore her, are in seventh heaven.



And that's it!  Hope your first projects of the new year are going well.

Have a great day, everybody!

28 comments:

  1. Hi Peter, Glad all is well. I have used this method for button placket and, yes it is a pain, yes it takes time but believe me it looks good when finished. It gives a sort of double, double edge that does not pull or pucker when the shirt is worn. I used the same method in my 'shacket' (not copying yours!) and it sits beautifully. I also used it on a liberty print shirt I have just finished using Shimazaki shirt book, as you are aware of. A lot more effort but well worth it. Hey have just spent 4hrs getting an over-yolk to sit right on my wool coat! Look forward to seeing the finished product though. Happy sewing
    Jamie

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  2. that should have read over-yoke! stupid auto correct!

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  3. Mom will be your sewing muse. Maybe even a model?

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  4. Gorgeous fabric! Hello to your mom!

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  5. Love the vintage patten notes. My dad is named Floyd, and I was surprised that a teenage boy at my son's school was named Floyd, also. It has seemed to fade away quickly. My dogs love my mom, too. I think it's a grandma thing.

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  6. What a neat family portrait!!

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  7. I love your shirting fabric. Will you be using cotton thread for top stitching? I read somewhere this a good idea (David Coffin maybe) but haven't tried it myself.

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  8. Actually, I just finished a shirt for me using your pattern's method for a front band and it came out beautifully. This is David Coffin's technique, too. You just have to be very careful lining up the edges of the band and the shirt front. I found 1/4" Steam-a-Seam worked well to hold the very slightly overlapped edges in place. Luscious fabric!

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  9. That front band/placket technique, when completed correctly, will give a nicely weighted and firm center front with no raw edges. Sure it's a little fussy, but as Mr. Kemp Noted above, if done carefully, it gives good results. John Yingling

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  10. I have come across the two notches on the front of the sleeve on a grand total of one pattern. I wish I could remember which one . . . I think it was from the 40s, and I remember that I kept having to go back and check that those marks were correct!

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  11. That sleeve is amazing, given how long I have found 70s patterns' sleeves to be. MrC is 6' 3" and has really long arms anyway, and I don't have to add any length to my favourite patterns. I wonder though if it is related to the fit of the short body? The important measurement is from centre back, along to shoulder and down to the wrist via a crooked elbow.

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  12. Is the width of the cuff different also?

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    1. It's a little bit narrower than the Seventies cuff. This pattern comes with a French cuff option, too, which I'm going to use for this shirt!

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  13. Nice fabric that you were gifted for this project. Looking forward to reading your sewing journey with this pattern. Back to lurking!!

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  14. Cool to see your mom visiting! I love that pattern.

    Did you end up getting the procion dyes? I have them but haven't tried using them yet.

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  15. Beautiful fabric. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished shirt. My arm measurement for long sleeves is 36" (I drag my knuckles on the ground as I walk) so I'm a big fan of your pattern. I also like the collar variations -- spread collars are my favorite, especially in white with a blue torso.

    Have you ever made neckties?

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  16. What a luscious shirt this will be! I do use that button band application (with Steam a Seam) for my shirts. Glad to see happy dogs and mom;)

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  17. Lucky Mom and lucky dogs!
    Your shirt should be lovely. I love the fabric. Hope you'll try the nifty front button band application. From the comments it will be a better result. The original user of that pattern made it in wool, so maybe that's a clue as to why that works.
    Can't wait to see it all.

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  18. I'm sure it will be a lovely shirt and look forward to seeing the end result. Great photo of everyone and glad to see your Mom is doing well. I'm sure the dogs will be spoiled upon her departure (if they 're not spoiled already) ;-)

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  19. Given the sizing and the date, I can speak for at least one Floyd whose wife (my cousin) made him a shirt or two. That's not her handwriting, though. And yes, that placket works beautifully (wears better, irons better) and really sets off a nice set of buttons. The only thing I can think of to not recommend it is the long vertical line where one herringbone is going to buzz off the other line of herringbone. And for that, I'd skip it. Makes my eyes vibrate to think about.

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  20. What a nice shirt pattern. It looks perfect for making white shirts for special occasions with fancy cuff links..I'm getting carried away here ;) Glad your Mum is better.

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  21. I wonder how Floyd looked in the green wool version of the shirt.

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  22. Viva la 2015 : ) ! I love the family pic and your mom is looking great. Looking forward to seeing your shirt.

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  23. That cotton herringbone is just gorgeous! I look forward to seeing the finished shirt. Your mom is looking great! Glad to see she is feeling better and better.

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  24. That is some stunning fabric. It looks like it will be a joy to sew!

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  25. Lovely fabric, I wonder if the sleeve and torso length are due to the assumption that it will be worn under a suit coat? I find sometimes sleeves that are a good length on their own become a bit too short when worn under a sweater or jacket.

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  26. Great pattern! It looks like the sleeves are kind of blousy, maybe that's why there's extra length?

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  27. Glad to see your mom is doing better! The dogs seem very happy about that too!
    Also, that fabric looks wonderful! I bet your shirt will turn out fantastic. :)

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