Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kwik Sew 3799: Western flannel top

Kwik Sew 3799 Yolk
I almost titled this post "Western pajama top" but I didn't want you to think it was a pajama top for realsies, because who wants to look at other people's PJ's? Don't answer that.

But this shirt does look like a pajama top... probs because I used pajama fabric from Gramma's stash. Lesson learned.

This is my test run of Kwik Sew 3799, which explains my less-than-stellar fabric choice. I have already pre-washed an amazing plaid flannel, also from Gramma's stash, to make my real version of this shirt. I had a feeling it was going to become a "tried-n-true" pattern before I even made it based on the only review (at the time) on Pattern Review.

I scoured the web high and low for a sweet little blouse with a Western yolk. I initially wanted a vintage 1940s or 1950s one, but realized that the Western shirt has remained largely unchanged for decades and decades. The 50s version had a more cinched-in-waist, the 70s one had wider lapels, and the 90s ones were made up in bright pink and teal Southwestern prints. But the differences were minor when compared to the similarities; save the puffed sleeves, the sweet little blue gingham Western blouse I had as a little girl in the 80s looked remarkably similar to the one my in-laws bought for my son last year.

So, I figured, why pay the vintage price when I could get a more recent pattern for a cheaper price? (Not to mention my non-vintage pattern friendly big measurements). I actually found Simplicity still selling two Western shirt patterns in their men's section. But I didn't want to get those and have to deal with adding darts. Similarly, Etsy had several 90s models that were labeled "unisex", which I'd also have to do some shaping on to avoid looking even more chunk. Also, I really love this unisex one from from Folkwear!

I ended up going with Kwik Sew after my Google search turned up a message board posting that stated "Kwik Sew has a women's Western pattern". I had to search through their patterns before I guessed it was this one. You see, their line drawing doesn't actually show the Western yolk.

Can I just take a second to point out the irony of having to go with a Swedish pattern company for such a distinctly American shirt? And not even just American, a very specific region of America. Get with it, Simplicity, and re-issue a women's Western shirt. (And yes, I do realize Kwik Sew is under the McCall's umbrella now, but still.)

Kwik Sew 3799 front
I like to call this expression "the smug mugshot."
Mine is not nearly as slim fitting as I would like; you can see that billowy-ness action going on in the right side of the picture here. I sewed the largest size (my bust measurement is 45") and should've sized down one. I mulled taking it in on the sides, but as it's my test run, I didn't bother to mess with it. My husband gave it the stamp of approval, so I guess it's OK, but the next one will be more slim-fitting.

And there will be a next one, I really enjoyed this pattern. I did have some issues with the cutting layout, you can read more about that on my Pattern Review. (I clearly have a lot to say about this pattern). But I have plans for one in plaid, as mentioned above, and hopefully chambray as well.

Also, I should add here that my bro said "that looks like what [his fiance] would wear for pajamas," so, I'm not the only one who thinks it looks like a pajama top. That won't stop me from wearing it out of the house, it's just soooo soft. Probably because it's made from pajama fabric.

Kwik Sew 3799
Final thoughts: I love Kwik Sew 3799 and will make it again (and again), which is what I was hoping when I purchased this pattern. It was my first Kwik Sew and, although the smaller, quarter-inch seam allowances took some getting used to, I thought the directions were easy to follow. I liked that they have you finish all the seams with a zig-zag stitch.

Also, I mentioned this pattern was too wide-- it was also too short for my 5'11" frame. Next time, I have to lengthen both the bodice and the sleeves. Although, I'll admit the sleeves actually look long enough in some of these pics, which is not the case. This time, I hemmed with bias tape to both add length and deal more easily with the curved hem.

Finally, I used some cheapie "pearl" snaps from WalMart and I love the look, but next time I may just use buttons. I smooshed at least one snap while hammering it on, and it won't close. Luckily, it's on a pocket. Some cracked as well on the plastic part. Do you have any snap-hammering tips? I wanted my husband to bust out the rubber mallet, but he brought me a standard hammer instead.

This project is linked at: Sew Country Chick


  1. It looks good! Based on what I'm seeing in the pictures, the width is just right around the bust. If you take out any width there, you won't be able to wear it.

  2. Thanks for your input! Yeah, I have enough of the button-gaping issues with RTW, so I wouldn't want that. But it's so loose around the waist (husband calls it a "short and wide" shirt), so perhaps with the next version I'll work on shaping with the darts a little while sticking with the same size. Thanks again!

  3. I think it looks great and not like a pj top at all, but nice and warm and other than the billowing at the bottom, it fits you great. My problem is that I am less than five foot tall and "fluffy". I need to perfect the princess seam.
    Looking forward to your plaid version. Love the buttons on this one, too, btw!

  4. What a nicely made western shirt! Thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...