I don’t dress up much. This has been exacerbated (I love that word.) by my discovery that I can wear loose-fitting men’s clothing. Nevertheless, I had the need to dress up impressed on me by a summer internship at Princeton and by my mother. So I made a Nice Shirt. Then I made two more. I shall probably make more before June rolls around, but here are my impressions of Simplicity 4077.
The shirt is overwhelmingly “cute”. It is a nicely fitting shirt and works best if one is not well-endowed in front. I like this pattern a lot because the construction is very intuitive. Many patterns use a combined collar and front facing piece that is both complicated to cut and sew and uses a lot of cloth. This pattern has separate facing and collar pieces, and construction is straightforward. I lengthened the pattern a good three inches at the bottom on my second and fourth renditions of the pattern, and two and a half inches the second time I made it. (I made it the first time last summer and don’t remember how much length I gave it then). Overall, then, this is a quick and pretty shirt.
It is really hard to make the darts stop at the right place if one starts the seam from the bottom of the shirt. Often the left and right darts aren’t the same length, and they have to be fixed. The shirt actually looks better on me when I make the darts longer. (I did this on shirts 2 and 3.) To guarantee the darts are the same length, start at the top.
The elbow-length sleeve in view D looks really pretty. It’s kind of uncomfortable. The cuff is easy to attach: just one seam. However, single seam allows the cuff to flap around a bit. The gathers on the short sleeve in view E are supposed to be just on top, as in shirts 1, 3, and 4 and make the sleeve really poofy. The sleeve is more floaty if there are some gathers on the side, as in shirt 2. In shirt 3, I lengthened the sleeve in view E by three inches, but I’m not sure if I like the look very much.
The collar is too long for the neck edge and continues past the beginning of the facing where it is supposed to stop–and it’s a good thing. In shirt 1 and 3, I made the collar fit to the beginning of the facing, and there is a gap between the ends of the collar. In shirts 2, and 4, I initially basted across in the inside facing, and then rip-stitched, and sewed the collar between the facing and the shirt. Where the facing ended, I cut the seam allowance so it would fold up into the collar, folded the inside edge of the collar over it, and top-stitched as in pattern instructions.
Now having made the pattern four times, I moved on to other things.
All pictures taken with a Canon PowerShot IE, using mostly the same model.