The shirt that would not be photographed (well sort of)

When I saw the theme for this week I knew exactly which pattern I was going to use (a rare thing for me).

I don’t have a great deal of vintage patterns and I certainly don’t have a ‘vintage’ figure, but I do love the old styles and was determined to use McCall’s 2167 from 1957. It is a single size – 18, and I have been cutting out patterns in size 20 according to my bust measurement but I have come to the realisation that 20 is too large and I am better off doing an 18 and an FBA.

This was a good thing as I had been procrastinating over getting started because I was going to have to grade up my pattern. At the same time, I didn’t want to use ‘good’ fabric on something that was only a test piece. Enter a torn sheet. I will use a section of the sheet as a new press cloth but I can definitely recommend a 1000 thread count sheet for a toile.

I chose style A with the open neck. It is a very simple pattern with only five pattern pieces. The back could possibly be cut on the fold but the seam helps to show where the decoration points end.

The pattern calls for rick rack and decorative stitching. I didn’t want to do that for a toile, but did play around with the machine stitches, even going to the effort of  fussing with the colour (light, medium and navy blue). I did a turned-under seam finish. The collar is in two pieces that create a lovely tulip shape at the back of the neck while the front has a lovely open neck. There is a second style in the pattern which has a double-button and loop arrangement that looks more formal and I will have to try it some time.

The only problem I had with the pattern is that I was too lazy to lengthen at the waist. I knew I needed it but didn’t do it. I will make this pattern again as I like it and I also have the original transfers (unused!) with the pattern.

The Facts

⁃ Fabric: sheet
⁃ Pattern: McCall’s 2167
⁃ Year: 1957
⁃ Notions: interfacing and 4 cottons
⁃ Time to complete: 3 hours
⁃ First worn: for photos
⁃ Wear again? probably for knocking around the house over summer. It is lovely and cool
⁃ Total price: I call this a freebie.


I had such an annoying time trying to take pictures of this shirt. I blended in with any wall I stood in front of or kept chopping my head off. (I’ve been using the tripod). Whoever thought a white shirt could be so annoying to photograph!



Jen Brown just plain-old likes making stuff. If it's usable and wearable when complete, so much the better. A new technique or a chance to see how something worked is where the challenge lies.


Comments are closed.

  1. Oh great job Jen. I just love that pattern! Big surprise. Nice upcycle and great discovery re your sizing – well done!

  2. I think this is beautiful! Looks like the perfect weekend shirt and made out of an old sheet it out to feel wonderful.

  3. Lovely! It turned out very nicely and although its just a tests pattern, the fit looks great.. I like the colorful addition of the machine embroidery too.

  4. I really like this. Looks perfect for pulling on over jeans and so clean and crisp looking.