1970s | Dresses

McCall’s 4866-C: Civil War shirt dress

February 8, 2012

Okay, not really.  I mean, it’s not actually made from a Civil War shirt pattern, but . . . well, it sort of looks like one.  You know what I mean.

I have way too many patterns in general, but the two decades that make up the bulk of my collection are the 1940’s and the 1970’s.  I don’t think I need to explain why I like the 1940’s, but I’ve come to the conclusion that, once the world got over the platform-shoe-and-pterodactyl-sized-collar madness of 1969-1973, the Seventies fashion is, in some ways, unfairly mocked.  I have a lot of really good mix-and-match wardrobe sets, adorable 1930’s-influenced dresses, and highly-wearable casual wear from the mid- and late-1970’s.

This is from the same pattern packet as McCall’s 4866-A, which I made over Christmas break, but this has (allegedly) less-gathered sleeves and a different neckline.

McCall's 4866, View C

I made it out of a tiny green floral print, because, um, I am not at all influenced by packet illustrations.  Right.

I had to scale this down one size.  Actually, I only scaled it down horizontally, but not vertically, since I’m a little above average height.  Mostly, this has been working A-OK, but this time I somehow managed to take two inches out of the neckline, which means I can’t button the band collar.

11-inch neck, anyone?

That’s not so much of a problem since I wasn’t really planning to button it very often, anyway, but I’ll fix it in the pattern in case I make it again.  It pulls against the front of my neck, too, but my guess is I can fix both of those issues at the same time.

I didn’t do that idiotic cut-away sleeve thing again.  I had already taken two and a half inches out of the lower sleeve so gathering it into the cuff wasn’t going to be such an ordeal.  I waffled for awhile on how to treat the sleeve placket, but finally wimped out and just did a miniature version of the neck placket, since that had worked out well enough.

I also took a half-inch height, vertically, out of the sleeve caps.  They still had way too much ease so I’ll re-measure and re-cut them, too, for the future.  They weren’t bad, though.

I also managed to put the cuffs on upside down.  I double-checked myself about seven times and still did it wrong.  I am so amazing.  But they looked really nice so I’ve just left them as they are.  Minor inconvenience.

Cuff, inverted

I don’t have a picture of myself wearing it.  It looks like View A except green and with buttons down the front.

I told you it looked like a Civil War shirt . . .

 Update: Here I am actually wearing it.

  1. I understand the ’70s love – with the caveats you mention, and minus the polyester of bad cheap vintage. The best of ’70s fashion has an elegant, graceful ease, and a tendency toward casual chic with a put-together polish that’s hard to resist.

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