Aloha! When I returned from Hawaii with my fabric haul, I scoured my pattern stash for things to make out of my new fabrics. Among my fabrics I had a few with a vertical pattern repeat. When I searched my patterns, I immediately settled on this one for a first project. This is a vintage reprint by McCall’s for misses button down vests in two different styles. One is has a lapel collar, and the other is a rounded neckline, buttoned down the center front. Both views are lined, which I was not expecting (don’t ask me why – it shouldn’t have been a surprise). For the lining, I found a neat vintage hunter green acetate that I’ve been storing for over a decade (I took in a huge stash of vintage linings, which has turned out to be a great investment). This lining had a neat script which read “custom design” in a retro “handwriting” font. I have no idea how old this lining is – but it looks PRETTY OLD.
Before cutting, I unfolded the pattern and noted the finished garment measurements. The first thing that stood out is that this pattern is true to size … meaning, you should really cut the size indicated on the back of the package that most closely matches your size. I picked a size 12 in the shoulders, grading up to a 14 at the armpits for the rest of the top. I wish I had paid closer attention to the waist measurements, because the waist is truly nipped in and snug on me. It gives a different look than the relaxed style on the model. If I were to make this again, I would probably add some more ease to the waist so that it fits more relaxed there. I found that the bust has plenty of room, so the issue is truly in the waistband sizing.
I did make a couple of alterations to the recommended interfacing. First, because this is supposed to be a relaxed Hawaiian style garment, I did not interface the entire front of the top, per the instructions. I only reinforced the arm hole 1.5″, neckline 1.5″, center front buttonhole stand 1.5″, and waist band. I was very careful to match pattern alignment as I cut, so some of the pieces were not cut according to the instructions.
The construction was pretty straight forward and very easy to follow. I only changed how the waistband attached to the lining in the final steps by performing a “stitch in the ditch” to catch it on the wrong side (instead of hand-stitching).
For finishing touches, I added topstitching throughout to give it a more “sporty” and relaxed look. I finished the top off with imported coconut buttons, to complete the “authentic” look.
I am considering making this top again – perhaps the view with lapels – but I would definitely add some more ease to the waistband if I do.
Overall, this pattern has really great drafting and instructions. I did dock a few points on the sizing due to the misleading model fitting, and some points on the instructions because there are some finishing/trimming/pressing details that are left out, which make it not really suitable for a beginner.