I feel like this shirt is a little more wild that what I normally wear, but I do wear some rather bizarre outfits. If I’m going to wear an animal print, this is how I do it.
The colorful giraffe fabric is a quilting cotton I picked up at Joann last year with the intention to make a different vintage pattern. The fabric has absolutely no drape, and the pattern was rather shapeless, with no darts at all. I added the bust darts immediately, and after some hemming and hawing about changing the vintage silhouette, I put in another dart at the center back.
Although I eventually deviated a lot from the pattern, I used Simplicity 7608 from 1976. I don’t wear a lot of buttoned shirts nowadays, and I generally like my tops to be more fitted, but I’ve loved these illustrations for years and decided to give it a try. Based on the sizing measurements, I added a couple inches of width to the pattern pieces. I didn’t do this the correct slash-and-spread method, but just added it to the width because I already knew I would add some tailoring to the design.
I wound up taking out most of the width I added, but I’m glad that I had enough fabric to work with. It’s great to have so much overlap at the center front; there’s no risk of buttons pulling and gaping.
I love a single back dart, especially when I’m fitting a garment on myself. No worries about getting two darts even, and so easy to make adjustments! Although from these pictures I see that the dartiest part is too sharp; I need to round out the waist. I may add shoulder darts later to take out some fullness at the neck in the back, but I’m happy for now.
The pattern called for the placket facing to be cut as one piece with the shirt front, but since my fabric wasn’t wide enough I used my yellow striped cotton, and pinked the edges to reduce bulk. All seams and edges are bound in this yellow bias tape. It was my first time successfully using a bias tape maker, and like everyone else I am smitten. I had to resist the urge to run to the store to buy one in every size!
I love these big nickel-plated buttons! The back wraps around the shoulders, and although this is one of the pattern’s features it doesn’t work so great on a directional print. I added the yellow band at the shoulder seam to make this overlap look more intentional.
I had been planning on adding the sleeves and Nehru collar, but once I pinned them on I felt overwhelmed by all the giraffes. Perhaps this pattern would work better with a less ostentatious print, in a fabric with more drape. In any case, I feel like this sleeveless top will be perfect with shorts at the beach.