Walking on Sunshine

One of the many times that Jo-Ann’s had its $1 pattern sale, I picked up all the vintage reprints that I could handle. One of those patterns, I honestly didn’t know if I’d really ever use but it’s so cute and a dollar. After seeing Rachel over at Sew RED-y with her cute blue gingham housewife dress I couldn’t help myself. I have a stash of yellow gingham and her retro thread made me feel the need to do my own.

I chose the Simplicity 1365 vintage pattern version C. I did do some adjustments to the back. I planned my path before chopping away. I think that’s part of the reason it takes me so long to sew sometimes. I must plan the attack before it’s executed. The back of the halter is designed to button up. Do I really want to struggle buttoning this up or call upon Hubby to help me dress? No! Independent woman coming through!

I recently was talking about ruching fabric. What I actually meant to say was shirring (Doh!). I get my sewing vocab messed up sometimes. Anyways, it stuck in my head. Why not shirr the back of the shirt to make it fitted and not worry about buttons? There’s a band that goes along the back and I can just shirr that and then the fabric on the bodice back would be gathered.


I’ve been told, by many other blogs, to test out shirring before doing it on your garment. I have the elastic thread on my bobbin and white poly thread on my spool. It took me a couple tries but I got it to gather properly! Woot Woot! Only it’s a big pain and I was only doing about 2” worth. I’m going to have to shirr all the way across the back of the shirt. This isn’t happening. Then I had a brilliant idea as I was rummaging through sewing odds and ends. I have a decent length strip of elastic. What if I stretched that out and sewed multiple lines across it? That would give the same effect with less cussing. I tested the length of the elastic by pulling it from arm to arm across my back. I snipped a bit off the length and went to work. No testing because I was feeling ballsy!

It worked out beautifully! I’m so chuffed with myself. I honestly would take another inch or so out of the elastic if I had to do it again to make it tighter for security reasons, but this still works well.


I doubled the length of the bodice, it’s supposed to be fitted and end at the top of your trousers. That’s not my style. The fabric is a bit thin aka see through. I cut two of both the bodice pieces. One to use as a lining and the other for the outside.


I was going to leave off the bow and make the neck strap connected at the ends. I was worried the tie would be fussy. More security issues. It ended up that the strap parts were too short so I had to add the bows. I’m not sorry about it. How totally cute is it?


Who’s lookin’ all summery? That would be me! Walking on sunshine. Hats off to the ear worm. Hope you enjoy hearing it the rest of the day!


  1. This has got to be the most summery, happiest, cutest top ever! I’m glad you’re feeling the retro vibe, too! And that back hack with elastic — GENIUS!! It looks just like shirring without all that effort.

    I made a retro bra top that buttons in the back and I need DD to help me put it on. So annoying! So it doesn’t get worn much. If I have another button-back make, I’ll have to steal your idea. 😉

    1. Thank you! I feel super summery in it. I swear late at night I get my best ideas! I think being a bit lazy helps too. You try to figure out the easier way to go. And totally steal away! I’m so happy with how it came out I need to figure out another item to add my “shirring” to.

  2. I really like this. I have yet to learn how to do shirring myself.It is something I have somehow avoided since it seems difficult but I might have to try it out now I have seen this.

    1. This method was the easiest of all the ones I tried. I tried the elastic thread. Oh man, it was a nightmare. Some say to wind the elastic lose on the bobbin and others say tight. I tried it both ways and the results were not spectacular. The only think I wasn’t sure about was how much extra fabric to use to account for the shirring. On a wild guess, I used 3″ and that seemed liked enough.

    1. Thank you! I can’t feel anything but happy in a bright yellow. And gingham makes me think of a picnic. So many happy thoughts wrapped in 1 shirt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s