Sewing Project – Simplicity 7499

I was sent the link (Thanks Mary!) to a very interesting interview with Linda Przybyszewski, the author of a new book, The Lost Art of Dress who says that people need to dress for the life they lead.  I think that is something that women do struggle with, as so often the pretty things in the store are for a more glamorous life than most of us lead.  

It took me years to weed out the clothes in my closet that do not match the life I lead, but now I’ve become very careful in choosing.  Because I’m trying to sew the majority of my clothes, I certainly do not want to spend the time on something I’m not going to wear.  My life is very casual, so sportswear separates fit best into my lifestyle.

Last year I fell in love with the tee shirt in the photo after seeing it in Vogue as the “Steal of the Month.”  After choking over the fact that the people at Vogue think a $300+ tee shirt is a steal, I decided that the best option was to make my own.  The problem was finding the right fabric.  Then, as if a miracle, I pulled this great vintage knit out of the Goodwill bins.

Even though I have a recent tee shirt pattern, I went with a vintage one from the 1970s.  I’d made this pattern before and knew it had the correct fit.

A word or two about the fit of tee shirts:  Nothing looks frumpier or sloppier than a tee shirt that is too big, and nothing looks cheaper than one that is too small.  A tee shirt is not a one-size-fits-all garment.  It needs to fit.

I made a few changes to the pattern to better imitate my inspiration.  I widened the neck into a bateau.  I cut the sleeve a tiny bit shorter and angled the sleeve upward.  I made the front slightly shorter than the back and curved the hem.

The only hard thing about making this shirt was the fringe.  I’d never attempted a fringed look with a knit, and it did turned out to be time intensive.   I cut one-inch strips and unraveled one long side using a seam ripper.  I tuned the edged of the tee shirt under and applied the fringed strips over them, encasing the raw edges.  It worked!

This shows the curvature of the hem.

I wore the tee shirt on my recent trip to Greensboro and the Liberty Show and it performed wonderfully.  Here I am in the 1927 Southern Railway Station in Greensboro, a magnificent structure.

Has anyone read the  Przybyszewski book?  I’m tempted to buy it.

26 Comments

Filed under Vintage Sewing

26 responses to “Sewing Project – Simplicity 7499

  1. A great shape on you, especially around the neck and shoulders.

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  2. The shirt looks great on you — nice proportions. Maybe the custom fringe explains the $300 price tag… like the extra cost of pre-faded and pre-ripped jeans?

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  3. Very pretty and so close to your inspiration piece! You may have saved a dollar or two over the item you were copying :-).

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  4. Just earlier today I put the Przybyszewski in my cart at Amazon, after reading an article by the author in the weekend WSJ. I do plan to buy it, read it, and report on it in my blog at some point.
    Your tee looks great (excellent changes you made) – and I so, so agree about your observations on t-shirt fitting!

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  5. I’m never sorry if you make me sad or relieved at my near-total lack of sewing skills, but in any event this is a very flattering casual/chic project. Congratulations!

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  6. I love the fringed sleeve. And such a great fabric. You have such a good eye for detail

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  7. All the planets were aligned correctly when you decided to make this beautiful t-shirt. I also find the cut of many 1970s patterns far more flattering than modern ones. I think it’s because the armholes are cut higher in the armpit so the sleeve fits more firmly around the upper arm. I just finished a dress from a 1974 pattern which I think I’ll be using more often and I think it’s because the fluttery sleeve doesn’t look saggy for that very same reason. I believe Biba began the trend for cutting the armholes very high and tight, which lengthens the torso and slims and lengthens the arms. Such a brilliant design!

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  8. I read the book and loved it. You will too Lizzie. I blogged about it here:

    http://alovelyinconsequence.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-lost-art-of-dress-and-aunt-laura.html

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  9. Lovely result, just a perfect little tee!

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  10. Your shirt is so great! I bet you got a better fit than you would have if you had decided to buy the over-priced brand-name one! So cool that you were able to find fabric that was so similar. I love the details and excellent fit!

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  11. I purchased the book yesterday and have read several chapters. Reading it made me realize why I find contemporary style painful to see.
    I have a 24 year old daughter [had her when I was 38] and find much of the clothing designs jarring. It is interesting to learn about the congruities of color, texture, etc. that make a design appealing.
    I think you will love the book when you purchase it.

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  12. Great fringing. And the shape is really nice. Goes with everything.

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  13. I LOVE your new tee! Thank you for doing a close-up of the fringe and how you did it too.

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  14. I love your tee shirt…and your amazing luck at finding such beautiful fabric at the Goodwill outlet. (Anytime you come across some orange knitted fabric with an interesting texture I’ll pay for it and the shipping!) I’ve ordered the Przybyszewski book, mainly for its historical information on home economists, experts I’ve come to admire. I’m of mixed minds about the tone in some of her interviews. She comes off as something of a scold.

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  15. I really appreciate all the kind words about my latest project!

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  16. I guess I’m a bit late to the party, but when up in Mass for Mothers Day I saw this review in the paper and thought of you. Was going to mail it in the old-fashioned way, but then realized I could just share the link – how modern!

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2014/05/07/book-review-the-lost-art-dress-the-women-who-once-made-america-stylish-linda-przybyszewski/kV4lUslz8SelLN7YasE5uL/story.html

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  17. Pingback: Updates – The Rest of the Story | The Vintage Traveler

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