I took New Look 6961 and traced it out in size 16, altering the neck to a V while I was at it. There were some challenges to making it work with the fabric constraints.
CENTER BACK CHALLENGE
The following pics show how little seam allowance I had to work with when making the Center Back seam. In fact, the pattern called for the back to be cut on the fold, but that wasn't going to happen with my limited fabric. Instead, I sewed the seam wrong sides together with only a millimeter of fabric on one side and a centimeter on the other. Then I felled the longer side over to hide the un-dyed selvedge.
BRA STRAP CATCHERS
Because the new V-neck ended up wide, I decided this shirt needed strap-catchers. Strap-catchers are little snaps on ribbons that go on the inside of the shirt. When you wear the shirt, you slide the ribbon under your bra strap and snap it on the other side. That keeps your bra straps from sliding inside the open neck-line and helps the neckline to stay put on your shoulders. This feature is common on vintage garments, since there used to be real shame attached to the idea of visible bra straps. Nowadays, I never see strap-catchers on garments, which is too bad, since they're useful and tidy. Just because I'm not ashamed of my bra straps doesn't mean I want to show them!
Notice something neat about those inside seams? That's right! I've finally learned to use my serger! I took a class taught by Helen Bartley of Seam Divas, and I learned so much! Most importantly, I came home with the confidence to change the settings and really use my serger (as opposed to just staring at it in superstitious dread)! This was the first garment I made where I finished the raw edges this way.
Lastly, I made notes on the pattern, in case I make it again:
Let's see how my sister likes this shirt...
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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