Vintage Sewing

McCalls 5830 help!

September 30, 2010

Okay, I’m making McCalls 5830 from the 40s for my niece. I’ve got a very cute flannel and found the pattern in the right size. As she’s really tall for her age and size (3s drown her, but 2s are too short) I’ve lengthened everything by two inches. I’m making view A, which will look adorable in her surfing alligators and “Nemo”s fabric. My problem is that my pattern is missing the instructions, and it includes a piece that I don’t know what to do with. The rest of the pattern is straightforward enough that it’s otherwise not a problem…

Can anyone tell me what the “stay” is for? Does it go around the neckline and front placket to keep the fabric from stretching out, or does it go around the waist as extra reinforcement for the buttons?

Those are my current best guesses for what it’s for…

  1. Well a stay stitch is used to stabilize the fabric, preventing it from becoming stretched or distorted. Stay stitching is usually called for on the edge of a piece of fabric that has a bias cut to it which would allow the fabric to easily become distorted.

    This is usually on the neckline so I'm guessing since I don't see the pattern piece it is for the neckline.

  2. I'm going to go with a waistline stay, especially since the bottom piece is going to go through a lot of stress what with the two pieces attaching by button at the waist. Is it just a long belt-like pattern piece?

  3. Yeah, it is. It says to cut it on the fold, and then has the grainline running in the opposite direction. As for what it looks like here. It's just a long strip of material, really.

    My first thought was that it was to take the place of stay stitching, but it's not cut on the bias, so it's not going to go around the neckline easily. My second thought is that it should go under the buttons for reinforcement, but then again, I have a simplicity pattern of roughly the same era that also features a different style of jammies that buttons together, and it doesn't have one at all. The shape of the facings (the back is triangular and the front is a regular front facing for a button-up) support the front-placket-and-neck theory.

  4. I think I agree. It would add too much bulk to the button placket if sewn there. Now the only question is–why doesn't the Simplicity pattern I have of a similar design have one, too?

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