Sunday, December 11, 2011
McCall 3495 - Men's and Boys' Undershirts
Latter half of the 1920s.
Recent weather forecasts around here have featured "freezing fog," which for some reason sounds colder to me than "snow," so warm garments of all kinds seem like a really good idea just now, and an undershirt with an extra layer of material to keep the upper body warm is particularly attractive.
While patterns for men's undershirts are not uncommon, this is the first time I've seen this particular cold-weather design offered. Oddly, I was able to obtain two copies of this pattern in less than six months.
Note that the hip gusset is visible in the illustration. While these gussets were (and still are, in some cases) used in men's shirts and under shirts, it's a little unusual to see them shown in the illustration. McCall wasn't taking any chances - they even provided a pattern piece for the gusset, which is quite unusual. Typically only written instructions are given, sometimes indicating the size of the gusset, but sometimes just instructing the maker to cut a square of material. Hip gussets are not just a nicety - the side seams will pull out without gussets to take the strain, particularly if the wearer is engaged in strenuous work.
Posted by andrea.at.the.blue.door at 12/11/2011 07:15:00 PM
Labels: 1920s, McCall, men's clothing, underclothes
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I do like the idea of the extra layer at front and back of the upper chest - where you might get a cold draught. This is a good one!
Isn't it nice? Imagine it made up in a really good quality merino wool flannel!
Does the pattern actually say how to attach the gusset?
I ask because I recently made a man's shirt according to a pattern in "The Tudor Tailor" which gave only a vague "attach gussets to sides" kind of instruction. I was doing flat-fell seams and fudged something for the first gusset, but for the second one ended up sewing the side seam, turning under the bottom edges of the shirt-tails, hemming the gusset edges, and simply sewing the gusset at the point where the flat-fell seam began. It works, but it's weird.
At this period, the instructions for McCall patterns are printed on the pattern pieces themselves, and I haven't opened out the pattern to read the instructions.
You can see how I addressed these hip gussets in this men's shirt I posted about on my other blog: http://www.andreacesari.com/2009/02/wardrobe-staple-just-not-for-this.html
In a day when many more men than now did hard work, either on the job or chores at home; also when people didn't buy or make as many clothes as now, a hip gusset is a small but necessary feature for durability.
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