Vintage Pledge 2015: Number 3 – McCall’s 5597

I am slowly working my way through my stash of vintage patterns; I haven’t got many but I have enough to be able to pick one to sew every now and again.  I chose this McCall’s 5597 pattern as I liked the look of view F – a simple blouse to wear with shorts or skirts during the Summer.  As this pattern was printed in 1977, it also counts as my third make for the 2015 Vintage Pattern Pledge.


Whenever using vintage patterns, I always feel like I’m taking risks with the sizing of garments.  The only finished garment measurement shown was the back length, and looking at the body measurements for the size 12 garment, it would be quite small for me.  However, I only seem to have made size 12s before in vintage patterns and each one has been different; some too big and some too small.  So the only way to find out if it was any good for me was to make it!  I’m not yet a fan of making toiles, especially for smaller garments so I just keep my fingers crossed throughout the make that it will fit!


I used some inexpensive polyester stretch that I had picked up in an estate sale…seriously, I don’t have many pieces left now!  I grabbed a box of fabric for $5…such a bargain.  I think that this fabric design has a lovely vintage feel to it already and I only needed 1.5 yards meaning I still have some left for another top. 🙂


I chose to use French seams as this was recommended for the shoulder seams anyway.  I really like that the instructions advise you to stitch the seam down with a row of top stitching; something I haven’t come across before but I think it makes the garment look like a RTW.  I had a slight problem with using French seams at the side seams as it made it a little tricky to turn back the hem for the split at the side.  Mine does need a good press but hopefully it doesn’t look too bad.  On the original pattern, the hem is actually curved towards the split but I just could not get this fabric to ‘curve’…way too slippy.  Instead I went for a diagonal hem where the curve should have been.


The finished blouse is really lovely to wear and sized perfectly for me.  This feels really light when worn and keeps me relatively cool, despite it being polyester.  I do have 2 niggles with the top though, which I will change when making another.  The collar doesn’t seem to sit right; it almost seems too big for the blouse and pulls the front facing out.  I may try a mandarin collar next time, or leave it off completely as my hair tends to cover it up anyway.  The second niggle is my own fault for not using my sewing initiative…flappy armhole facings!  Even though I have stitched the facings to the inside, they still flop out when I move my arms…I should have made some bias binding from the same fabric…but I didn’t! Hey ho!  At least I know for next time! 🙂




This post is vintage pattern related so I thought I would include this as a little extra! I’ve got the below vintage patterns that I won’t use due to size & design. I will happily post any of them on to anyone who would like one or all of them! Just let me know 🙂


13 thoughts on “Vintage Pledge 2015: Number 3 – McCall’s 5597

  1. Cute pattern! I love the top stitched shoulders too. I try to do that whenever I can remember. It looks so nice. I remember facings on tops like that having the same issue for me that you experienced. I think I used to tack the facing down to the shoulder and side seams to help encourage them to stay put. I now prefer the bias binding technique. It behaves so much better. I guess that is one thing with sewing vintage patterns. You can see how much advancement has been made with simplifying techniques. Those facings may behave better with a different fabric too. You did a great job. That’s a very cute top.

    1. Thank you! Yes I’m a big fan of topstitched shoulders & using bias binding now…I did tack these into place but they still flop out! Ha!

  2. Very cute indeed! I love how you managed to use a vintage style fabric too for this. I’m with you on the hair issue too. I prefer a simpler neckline for my similar length-ed hair.

  3. Cute! Yeah, those ’70s collars were HUGE, weren’t they? I like the mandarin collar idea; I think that would really work well with the style of the top.

      1. You might be able to steal a collar band from another pattern; then the only thing you’d have to (possibly) adjust is the length of the band.

  4. It’s not you – collars were massive in the Seventies! The finishing with the top stitching is lovely and neat and a trick I often use to make something look more tailored.

  5. I love the pattern. It really takes me back to all the stuff my mum made when I was little. The top stitches shoulders are a lovely detail.

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