• Tops, blouses and shirts

    Vintage McCall’s 4916

    Ahhh Carefree McCall’s. Doesn’t that sound like a dreamy collection. I’ve no idea where the name came from but it seems to have run throughout the seventies. I picked up M4916 from my local charity shop and instantly was captivated by that pleated bib. I thought I’d make the dress version on the pattern but when it came down to it, I knew I needed more easy tops in my wardrobe I could throw on. Can you believe it? Me… NOT making the dress… unbelievable.

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s

    The blouse is boxy but hopefully doesn’t make me look pregnant when I’m not. (A common mistake unfortunately, people are often congratulating me when they shouldn’t). And I thought go on Amy, try the puff sleeves you might like them. Factor in a sweet swiss dot effect 70s floral polycotton and I was ready for the #sewseventies challenge. Except I wasn’t. I finished this blouse a day too late and then photographed it even later. So now it’s ready for the Sew Vintage September challenge!

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in floral cotton

    It was a pretty fun make apart from struggling to cut a nice pair of bib pieces that looked carefree and not too repetitive with the flower positions. That’s just me being annoying I bet. There were 4 bibs in total. But thankfully I found the winning pair in the end. The bib has a self facing you fold in half to get the centre front line and then is basted together around the outside. No interfacing which was interesting. I made a toile in black to have a practice and was pretty pleased so moved ahead to the real fabric.

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in black as toile version

    You attach the triangular yoke to the bottom of each bib piece to hold them in place and fold back all the seam allowance before topstitching it in the opening. Fiddly and with no seam finishes but I got a neat finish with my topstitching and overlocked the inside to protect it from the washing machine. I also took an extra step of sewing up the centre front line by placing the two bibs RST before folding back the facings to add a bit more bust coverage. I also skipped the half collar in favour of a bias bound neckline as I find half collars a bit claustrophobic!

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in floral cotton

    My fabric was actually from eBay and while not authentically vintage, it has that sort of 1970s Laura Ashley nightdress print. Like I mentioned earlier, the dots are just printed on which is a shame as a true dobby aka swiss dot would have been lovely for this top. You need something crisp enough to make the pleats and soft enough not to balloon out like a tent and polycotton satisfied both these requirements! It was a whopping £4.49 per metre.

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in floral cotton with puff sleeves

    What surprised me is how much I like these little puff sleeves. At the minute statement sleeves or BIG SLEEVE ENERGY is everywhere and it’s a bit much for me. I have very small shoulder and don’t seem able to pull off the dramatic styles. These are pretty adorable though right!? Or am I on my own here? They are gently gathered into a band which I always enjoy making. In hindsight I could have given myself a little bit more room at the armscye but this is a minor point.

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in floral cotton

    What I really don’t like about the pattern is the centre back seam. YUCK. This breaks everything up in an unattractive way. But it’s a curved centre back seam so I just went with it to add shaping. Now I look at it and think I should have taken the time to cut it on the fold and add diamond shape darts for shaping instead. I mean, this print is too small the pattern match effectively without needing another 50cm of fabric… but I suppose if I hadn’t cut FOUR bibs like a mad woman, I might have had enough. Ca La Vie!

    Almond Rock makes McCall's 4916 vintage blouse pattern from 1970s in floral cotton

    Overall I’m super pleased with the blouse and the fit achieved by altering a single size sewing pattern to match my measurements. Plus I’m happy to take part in Sew Vintage September at least once… but hope to sneak in one more make before the month is over. Watch this space.

  • Dresses

    Psychedelic Simplicity 9936

    Hello crazy cats and kittens! I’m in a 70s frame of mind haha. It is entirely because of my new dress made from a fun 1972 vintage pattern from my stash. With my love of floaty dresses increasing in line with the temperature I decided to dive into my patterns to find something cool to make.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    This 70s wedding and bridesmaid pattern is a build your own dress approach. It has 3 bodice styles and 3 sleeve options plus tips for adding lace or chiffon overlays. It’s a single size pattern and I have the 38″ bust size. I think it was from a car boot sale in a big bundle of patterns.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    At first I chose the sweetheart bodice with long billowing sleeves… you might notice I axed the sleeves though. It was simply overwhelming in this fabric but I’ll definitely add them if I make another version.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    The skirt was hacked beyond recognition to make it gathered at the empire waist and with a gathered tier. The print is pretty busy so you probably can’t see the gathers. Unless you’re very eagle eyed!!

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    My fabric is an absolutely bonkers neon orange and violet floral georgette featuring daisies and poppies. It’s not too sheer but it’s pure polyester so frays when you look at it. I would have loved to do French seams but had to get it overlocked ASAP to avoid distorting any seams.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    I bought the fabric from Leeds Market years ago and never got round to making it until now. It was something like £4 a metre. I’m trying to work through my stash and give some of the amazing fabrics I have a life outside my fabric boxes!! It’s pretty ridiculous how long some pieces have been in there and the recent house move made me think more about my “stock”.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette

    It’s not my favourite dress I’ve ever made but lots of positives!! It’s floaty, cool in the heat, an undeniably fun print and it was nice to use a vintage pattern AND fabric from my stash. As I like to say… “winner winner, quorn roast dinner”.

    Almond rock psychedelic simplicity 9936 sewing pattern in 1970s neon floral georgette