70s Tunic Update!

I previously chronicled the creation of the 1976 Flannel Tunic. As well as it turned out, it wasn’t a great fit on me. I decided to offer it to my mom. I mean, I did make it from her pattern! It fits her great and she even wore it when we went out to dinner one night. Here she is modeling:

Huh, mom’s look is kind of familiar….

She also gave me a chest full of her old t-shirts so I can make her Wizard Robes. My mom is awesome.

More Adventures With Vintage Patterns: 1976 Flannel Tunic

I’ve really been enjoying the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. It’s really fun to work with the old patterns and it’s certainly helped my shopping needs as I’ve been searching the internet for vintage patterns that I don’t have to resize or resize significantly.

For my 3rd make I decided to take a look in my file cabinet and see if I could find something to sew from the family archives aka my mom’s old sewing patterns. The bad news is that most of the older patterns I took from her are not close to my size. In addition to being much skinnier than me when she was at the height of her sewing career, we do not have the same build. I am an hourglass with the wide hips of my Nana. Tangentially, I was also looking for a pattern to make a flannel shirt. I had 5 yards of flannel that I bought when I was considering making my OctoRobe reversible (which would have been a horrible, heavy and hot as hell garment). Enter Simplicity 7446 from 1976.

Check out View 1 popping’ her collar!

My mom made View 2 from this pattern but View 1 was still uncut. I’d love to find a photo of her wearing the tunic but I don’t know if it exists or if she could find it soon anyway (as she is moving in just a couple of weeks). Based on the pattern envelope measures, the pattern was just a bit too small. I graded it on the fly as I cut my fabric. Having the tunic finished, I probably didn’t need to grade the bust (or only needed to grade it a little) but I would need to increase the hip more significantly. Yes, the hip fits, but I’d like it bigger than it is. I don’t really prefer the gut enhancing silhouette.

Did I use a yellow filter on all these images? Of course I did!

Is the garment a success? Well, kind of? I think the tunic is really fun and super duper 70s. I mean, check out the serious collar action!

I just happened to be wearing that groovy Fossil necklace.

But I don’t exactly like how it fits. Some of that is my grading, but some of it is the pattern. The neckline is awfully low on me. I think the fit is exacerbated the stiffness of the flannel. That may improve after I wash the garment. I know — I’m not always so great about pre-washing my fabric. I’d be willing to try View 1 again in a gauzy fabric and with the pockets omitted. I’d also give View 2 a shot. I wouldn’t do either with any fabric I was really invested. I’m not sure if I will get much wear from this tunic.  I could see it as a fun shirt to throw on after yoga or something. But it’s way too hella warm for springtime in Atlanta.

The other big thing about this make — it was the first project I started (I actually completed another vintage dress in the middle of this project) on my new precious, my Bernina 710!

Top Stitching with the Bernina 710

With all the top stitching and fussy bits, this was perfect to put the machine through some paces. I’ve been considering a new machine for quite a while. My last significant sewing machine purchase was a Pfaff that proved to be a completely maddening lemon. I’ve been sewing on a very basic non-digital Brother for several years. I did a bit of sewing recently on a friend’s Bernina. She’d been singing their praises to me but it took actually using hers to really get me fired up about them. I got my machine as a demo from the quilt show that just happened in town. I got significant deal on it and it is barely used. I’m thrilled. It will raise the presser foot for you and cut your thread. It’s made of magic.

Complete! 2 down in the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

I’ve sprinted off to great start in my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. I have already completed two of my pledge garments. I’m even wearing the one below right now as I write this post! Yep, I’m blogging from my fuzzy tentacular robe made from Simplicity 8510 circa 1969.

Simplicity 8510 from 1969 (please excuse the commode)

I made the robe from an awesome flannel print made exclusively for Joanns. Even better I got the fabric on sale for something like $2.83 a yard.

8510 was easy to put together. I love raglan sleeves. We don’t see them enough these days! The standing collar and overall shape gives the robe an almost asian feel. Since I used a very busy and bold print, I cut the back on the fold so I didn’t have bother lining the print up. I took lots of time to line up my overlap but then managed to shift one of my fronts on the vertical and throw everything off. That was really frustrating since I took the time but it still looks ok. I kind of inadvertently made a new match. Also, I’m not sure I could have done it differently since I barely had enough yardage. This pattern is not friendly to one way designs and the pattern pieces at the hem are very wide.

I assumed that I would use red buttons but when I actually looked for some in my stash I didn’t find any that were appropriate. Instead I used some cool turquoise and silver buttons that I bought when I was in Melbourne. They match perfectly and look even better than red buttons would have. This robe will travel really well. I already took it with me as a cover up on a photo shoot. I’ve gotten really used to traveling with a robe. It’s so nice to have something snuggly to chill in wherever I find myself.

My 2nd completed pledge garment is a knit tunic from Simplicity 5556.

This was out of my wheelhouse as I avoid knits like the plague. I am the smaller of the 2 sizes my vintage pattern covered. Being lazy, I didn’t want to trace out the pattern to the smaller size lines (I didn’t want to cut it either) so I just made the larger size. I suppose, not surprisingly, it came out big on the top. That’s what I get for laziness! I had to grade out for my hip and that turned just fine.

Simplicity 5556 from 1973

I wouldn’t say it’s unwearable but it does border on being frumpy. My fabric was a knit I picked up at our local weirdo fabric outlet. The print is really cute and wasn’t too hard to work with beyond having a tendency to want to stretch too much when I did them hems. I did a double topstitch as shown on the pattern envelope but you can’t really see it. My awesome new vintage necklace really helps this tunic a lot.

1920s Egyptian Revival Necklace probably made by the Neiger Brothers.  Check out those sarcophagi!

It’s 1920s Czech glass Egyptian Revival most likely made by the Neiger Brothers. I’d never heard of them until last year when I bought another necklace attributed to them. They rarely put maker’s marks on their pieces so it can be hard to tell if a piece is theirs or from a competitor. Neiger pieces are generally better made and more detailed than the knockoffs (as you would expect!) The Neiger Brothers were in production from the 1920s until WWII. Tragically, the Neiger Brothers were killed at Auschwitz. You can read a little about them here.  I love this necklace and my other Neiger piece so much but I do get a tinge of sadness when I wear them.

Simplicity 5556 — maybe with a belt?

I tried the tunic with a belt also. I’m not sure this belt really works? As I worked with this fabric navy dye came off all over my hands and on my white machine. The tunic needs a solo trip in the laundry. Maybe it will shrink somewhat? I think the pattern has potential, and it was definitely “jiffy” as advertised. I guess I just need to trace it out properly. I bought a cute heart sweater knit on sale from Fashion Fabrics Club to give the pattern another go.