For the Fall for Cotton Sewalong I’ve sewn all four pieces from my mom’s 1976 McCalls pattern. I’m sharing them piece by piece with modern styling (how I’ll actually wear them) before the big reveal of a full-on 1976 photoshoot. This is piece 1 of 4.
Oh San Francisco, how your confusing weather torments me. Just as the dismal summer weather leaves me sure I’ll never see sun again, and just as I get excited to start using pumpkin pie spices in everything while wearing scarves and sweaters, you turn warm. Warm enough that I can wear a skirt and this 1976 McCalls 5088 cami top a week away from October.
The top is cut on the bias and the front is gathered slightly into a triangle inset to give shape over the bust. For the main part of the blouse I used the chambray leftover from my Guatemalan Cowgirl blouse (making this a stashbuster!). I made the triangle and straps out of the southwest print cotton that I will use for the skirt. This pattern is best for the not-very-busty as the bias gathering technique doesn’t add a whole lot of room to the chest. Fortunately, I fall into that category.
This pattern was in size tiny (bust 32. I take after my dad’s side of the family and am unlike my petite blonde mother and aunt, from whom I inherited this pattern) so I had to do a fair bit of re-drafting to make it fit well. Because it is sewn on the bias, it made it easy to nip it in at the waist and flair it at the hips so that it has a bit of shape. I also did a bit of swayback adjustment. It lays flat when I’m standing still, but any movement causes wrinkles like those seen above.
For the back, I used a red zipper and coral thread to topstitch. I don’t like totally exposed zippers (even though they are so very on trend right now), but I thought it would be fun to let this zipper peek out a bit. You can see in the visible grainline of the chambray how the fabric is set on the bias.
I like the bows on the shoulder straps, especially since they echo the bows found in the skirt and pants (wait and see!), but they do have the drawback of making awfully big shoulder bunches when worn underneath another layer, like a cardigan (which one would expect to be wearing right now). Unfortunately, I think this relegates this top to exclusively warm weather (which would be summertime anywhere else in the world), even though I usually wear tank tops under layers most of the year.