Use Bias Tape to Finish a Vintage Shirt Neckline!

by Koetiquemade
5 Materials
2 Hours

Although I love the asthetic of a shirt with a high collar, I actually hate wearing them. So what do I do if a shirt I want to sew has a high collar? I simply use bias tape instead. It's so easy!

Shortly after my mom passed away, this unfinished vintage Simplicity pattern number 9025 was found amongst some sewing scraps and supplies at my parents house. The Copyright say 1979 but I think my mom started it sometime in 80's when her kids were all little. All the pieces were cut out, but only the shoulders and placket were sewn. So I decided to finish it and add it to my wardrobe.

Were Necks Smaller in the 1970s?

The front and back of the shoulders were already sewn together and it had the prettiest little button placket nearly finished.It just needed buttons and buttonholes. I tried it on to see if it would fit. I immediately noticed how small the neck was. I knew that if I added the collar I wouldn't wear it because it would be too tight. I also knew I would need to make the neck opening at least 1 inch wider all the way around. Then I would need a different way to finish the neck.

I examined the placket and shoulders as well as the instructions to see if something was done incorrectly all those years ago when it was started. Everything looked to be done correctly. I simply couldn’t figure it out. Maybe necks were just smaller in the 70’s than mine is now?

I needed to make the neck bigger so that I could wear it. But then I wouldn’t be able to use the collar pieces. So how would I finish the neck? Luck was on my side because in one of the boxes of my moms sewing things, I found a package of unopened bias tape in the perfect color to match this shirt.

Below is an excerpt from the pattern I thought I would share. Although it’s quite dated I found it delightful and wished commercial patterns still came with the courtesies this vintage pattern came with. A quick search on the internet showed me what the pattern packet would have looked like.

Simplicity 9025, The Extra Sure Pattern. Copyright 1979

9025 Simplicity has E.S.P. The Extra Sure Pattern for fool-proof sewing… for timesaving for fit… for fabric direction… for fashion… for Extra Sewing Pleasure the E.S.P. Pattern does it!

⚫new, easier sew-sure pattern

⚫ specially developed shortcuts to sewing

⚫ three-size pattern for a sure fit

⚫one fabric width most appropriate to design

⚫fashion tips to stretch your wardrobe

For you… today’s busy woman… our Extra Special Person we make beautiful use of your time!

You want good fashion

The Top

There are three sizes in each E.S.P. pattern so if you are between sizes, you can adjust it right on the pattern piece. This multiple sizing is another plus for the E.S.P.Ⓡ pattern.

Setting the trend for today’s fashion, this nonchalant knit pullover makes a top sensation!! The crisp standing collar, easy extended shoulders and front band, slightly pleated for added softness, all work together to achieve the utmost in fashion versatility. The shirt-tail hem can be worn in or out to change the look. And knits made the top easy sew, easy wear!!

Made in cotton knits, the top looks terrific over jeans and casual pants. For skirts you may want to add a narrow belt and blouse it slightly to go with fashion’s new soft look. For those special occasions, sew it in a silky or glitter knit. Worn with your dressiest skirt or pants, a glitter belt and snappy dress sandals, you’re all set for a magical night on the town.

The cutting layout (in the fourth column) is given for 58″ 60″ (150cm) knit fabric with nap. This means you can choose a knit with a one-way design or a one-way texture which most knits have. Just be sure your knit follows the Pick-A-Knit® Rule explained below…..

Styling My New Vintage Shirt!

I did end up adding some ½ in elastic to the inside of the sleeve hem. It kind of gives it the look of a peasant blouse, which I love.

Following the patterns styling suggestions, I styled it with some boot cut jeans and a belt. Then I threw on my clogs that matched my belt and felt like I was transported to another time. A time when my mom was young and raising small kids and wanted to make a pretty blue shirt.

I love this knit fabric and wish I knew where it came from so Icould link it. It's nearly 40 years old though! If you love this shirt as much as I do I was able to find a nearly identicle one on Bonworth for $34. The Similarity is uncanny!!

Suggested materials:
  • Simplicity 9025   (etsy)
  • Knit fabric   (etsy)
  • Bias tape   (Hobby Lobby)
See all materials

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