|My sister's birthday was coming up and I asked her if she'd like me to make her a hippie shirt. I was startled by the enthusiasm of her reply, so we immediately got to work, deciding on Simplicity 3786 and a cotton gauze for summer comfort. The fabric has an open weave; although it ironed easily, it went floppy just as quickly. The color reminds me of the Grasshopper cocktail that sophisticated ladies would sip after dinner in the 1950s. It should look good with a tan.|
This garment goes together easily, but I slowed things down considerably by making all French seams. I doubt that the fabric would withstand multiple tours of the washing machine and dryer otherwise. I interfaced the collar with unbleached muslin and also double interfaced the cuffs although instructions did not call for it, adding a row of decorative stitching (Singer cam #11, Ribbon) for yet more structure. The matching color of the decorative stitching is a little too subtle perhaps; you need a magnifying glass and direct sunlight to see it, but it does give stability. I added a half inch to both the upper and lower sleeve because long arms run in the family. (I gave the shirt to her last night and the fit was just right.) Shaping the collar out of this gauzy fabric was like trying to make a paper airplane out of wet Kleenex. On the other hand, it made gathering the arm sections a cinch. Tucks went smoothly in spite of the loose weave; I pressed them with starch and used the edge-stitcher foot on my trusty Singer Slantomatic 401 (1958) to make them 1/8" wide.
If I were to make 3786 again, I would eliminate the center seam and make a facing on the opening at the throat, perhaps with the same understated decorative stitch that I put on the cuffs.
The gathered casing on the back is a nice detail; I curved up the ends into a slight Mona Lisa smile. Not sure why I did; it just seemed like the thing to do. Decorative belts on the backs of winter coats have this curve and it looks more relaxed. This is, after all, a hippie shirt.