Retro Shrug

Retro Shrug

Here is the anonymous shape that was posted on our Facebook Page.  A self-drafted rectangle with three notches – that’s all they got!  And they were very creative with the information.  Have a look at the comments!  And this is the Vintage Pattern (now reissued as Simplicity 8452) that started me off on a quest to make and understand how a simple, self-drafted rectangle shape becomes this elegant top?!?
I began by using my original ideas from theRETRO WRAP as both styles feature the same back detail (the yoke seam that becomes a sleeve seam).   I knew that I was heading for a rectangle pattern so I folded the sleeve away, filled in the waist curve and cut 1 on the fold.  As mentioned in the Retro Wrap, this top will only be successful with a two-way stretch jersey.  By that I mean there must be Lycra/Spandex/Elastane in the fibre content.

Making the top up is simple – sew the CB seam, roll-top over and sew the back yoke.  Then finish the edges and hems for the armhole, waist, and neckline.

At first I had trouble making sense of a top that barely meets at the CF and had no ties or fastening of any kind!  At best it would make an interesting shrug.  Then a trawl through Pinterest and I found a flickr image of the back of the envelope – happy days!  All becomes clear.
You wrap the fronts over and secure it by tucking it into your waistband!  Unbelievable!  Probably worked well in the days when high tight waistbands were acceptable.  I had to tighten up the skirt below so it would hold the top in place.  At the very least it will make a great shrug in the summer months.
So enough of the guessing, I have made a pattern.  So here is the geography of the pattern with dimensions for an Australian Size 10.
Construction goes like this:
Sew the CB seam (4 thread mock safety stitch).  Roll the piece over (right sides together) so the CB seam meets the CB fold notch.  Sew the 40cm that is the back yoke seam.  Finish the sleeve opening and hem edges with the twin needle collarette on your overlocker.    Press and Wear.  This is so going to be a worksheet for the website!
Looks like the Elegant Musings blog has been on the case and posted results here.
Looks fab with the high waisted skirt!
Enjoy 🙂

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Anita McAdam
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