Retro Knit

One of the deals I made with myself this year is that I need to stash bust more. This shirt plays right into that. I had quite a bit of fabric leftover from my Bridgetown Dress. Which on a side note, I’ve started buying less fabric and defying the envelope suggestions. Anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 yard less.  I did this on my last two #sewmystyle projects and I lived to tell the tale. Maybe it’ll keep my stash from growing!

What did I make with my scrap fabric? Simplicity 1365 a vintage halter top pattern. I’ve made the pattern once before with a cotton yellow gingham. I didn’t make it as shown which is pretty typical of me with all patterns anymore. I knew I didn’t want a buttoned up back and didn’t have enough for ties to go around the neck. I also did not line the bust because it was completely unnecessary.

I cut the bodice pieces longer because the top is meant to stop at your hips. No crop tops, please and thank you! I negated the area for overlap in the back since I wasn’t going to need the button-up bit. I do have to say the bust pieces are so much easier to put together when you don’t have to line everything. So how do you keep the whole thing up since I wasn’t including the tie-straps?


I made one long strap. This guy had to go around my neck, under my arms and meet in the back. On top of that, it had to have the right amount of stretch. Too little the whole thing looks stretched out and too much, I’m putting on a show for everyone around town. I believe it was at this point that I realized I had made a mistake.  The back bodice piece was not supposed to have the strap across the stop.  It’s actually supposed to start under the arm.  I wasn’t paying attention to the instructions because I was doing my own thing.  Oh well…


I did add a bit of clear elastic across the back just to make sure there was a tight stretch there. I didn’t want my bra to pop out randomly. I have a thing about undergarments saying “hello” when they’re meant to be hidden. I get ladies like to wear bras as outer wear but that’s a different situation. The bra is meant to be out on display. Randomly playing peekaboo out the back of my shirt…uhhh no.


Looks sort of like a a retro swim suit right? Not that I ever go swimming but I can totally see how easy this pattern would be to adjust.


It was something quick and easy to make with a bit of fabric.  Now it’s time to see what good use I can put the rest of my fabric to.


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!