Style 1612 vintage shirt

This pattern was a find because it enabled me to scratch two itches at the same time: it’s a vintage pattern from 1976, and it has French darts – or at least darts that start low and angle up. These are both things I’ve wanted to dabble with.

Style 1612 pattern

Finding an older pattern that isn’t obviously vintage took a little searching. This shirt turned up in an Etsy shop, and the seller is in New Zealand. I never thought I would be making impulse buys from a place so far away! There it was though, in my size, at an impulse-buy kind of a price, and even the shipping wasn’t what I would have expected. It only took about a week to get it. What a world, what a world.

The pattern has a front band, collar on stand, back yoke, bust darts in front and vertical darts in back, sleeves with cuffs and plackets.

I did some measuring and felt good about cutting out as-is, except for adding width at the hips and lowering the darts a smidge. The only other real change I made was modifying the super large and pointy collar to something more classic.

The sewing experience was a mixed bag. I was looking forward to vintage directions that I might prefer to the methods I usually use. That did not happen. When I scanned the instruction sheets, I thought I would like the method they used for the front band. Nope, not going to do that again.

But I did like the single-size pattern. There was heaps of information on the tissue, including directional sewing, lots and lots of match points, and of course, seam lines with all the intersections clearly marked.

I also used a couple of outside helps. This pattern finally gave me a chance to use the sleeve placket template I bought from Lunagrafix. My plackets turned out very nicely.

And while I was working on this shirt, I read some reviews and The Sewing Lawyer’s blog post on Jalie’s Rose shirt. Several people mentioned the great directions for the collar stand. One PDF download later, I was able to use those directions. I misread them and made a mistake, but still got a better than average stand.

Those are the two most tedious parts of making a shirt and now I have better ways of doing them!


And the vintage pattern gave really nice results. This is a trim-fitting shirt. It’s been so long since I’ve worn something like that, I’m a little shocked. The shoulders are not too wide. I didn’t need a forward shoulder adjustment. The collar doesn’t pull to the back. It’s much more close fitting than I’m used to, but there is plenty of range of motion.

I think I will like having a TNT fitted shirt to wear with the wider pants that we keep hearing are coming. Here is a rare bathroom mirror selfie to show how nicely it fits.

Style 1612 modeled

Conclusion: This is so different from the loose and boxy shirts that are current that it seems kind of formal. Even though I like it, I’m not going to make a pile of these until I see how much I wear this one.

17 thoughts on “Style 1612 vintage shirt

  1. Your shirt is so classy Robyn. Your dart adjustment makes it perfect, and I love the striped fabric. It’s a great “keeper” pattern.

  2. This is a different look for you, but a good one! As soon as I saw the pattern cover I wondered about the collar. I remember those huge things. At the time they were popular I was a short, skinny little thing, and those collars just swamped my face and body (now they would just make my neck look short). But you trimmed it down to a flattering size and the shirt looks terrific on you.

  3. Beautiful fit! I’m a big fan of the French dart. It isn’t too fitted, yet it pulls in the fabric below the bust to make it much more flattering for a large bust like mine. It’s also easier to sew if you have a large dart uptake since it takes longer to get to the end.
    This came out really lovely in the striped fabric. Worth making again, and again I think

    • Precisely! Instead of the fabric falling straight off the bust, it molds a little bit. It’s especially nice if you are going to tuck in your shirt. I’m not going to do that, but someone else might.

  4. I love french darts and they were used so often in patterns of the 60’s and 70’s. Your shirt is a great fit. Enjoy! (aka- Linda T. of Seams Well)

    • Thank you, Linda! I remember making scads of French darts when I was first learning to sew in the 60s. They were a PITA to mark, and back then I had no idea what a difference they made.

  5. Wow! Very nice fit. I have been playing with shirts as well. I have tried several new patterns and saving an older one – now itis moved into first place. Is your shirt an olive stripe shirting? Where or where did you find it? I have been looking for an olive stripe and have resorted to looking for men’s shirts to recycle.

    • Thanks, Susanne. The fabric came from Farmhouse Fabrics (online). They probably don’t have this particular one any more, but if you have never shopped with them, take a look. I have never been unhappy with any purchase from them, and they shine when it comes to shirtings. Their bundles, in particular, are very good values, IMO.

  6. What a fabulous fit. You nailed it! I’d love to know more about the collar stand. Did you sew it to the wrong side of the blouse first? Did you use that burrito method for the front portions of the stand?

    • I used the directions from Jalie’s Rose pattern – no burrito, which has never worked for me on collar stands. The stand was attached to the right side of the body first.

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