Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Camp shirts

While Zippiknits, knew exactly what I was talking about, when I said camp shirt-- Jessica (a real life friend—and many years younger) looked quizzical--Oh, how things have changed.

Back in the day (so long!/not so long ago) when T-shirts were undershirts (and came in white only and you'd never think to wear them out of doors—and hated when you mother made you wear one over your swimsuit—which often happened in those pre effective sunscreen days)--camp shirts were what passed for casual summer clothing for girls.  Casual, simple blouses, (with no shaping or darts) and a pocket, too.  A simple notched collar, paired with short sleeves--a basic shirt--(you went to camp with a dozen or more) and wore one almost every day from about age 7 or 8 till, well, in my case, for-ever!

Paired with shorts, or pedal pushers (knee length pants) or even sporty skirts, (since skirts were still the order of the day for girls!) they were a staple of a summer wardrobe. They came in solid colors, and calico prints, and special ones, in madras plaids. They were dressy enough that you could head to church on Saturday wearing one (provided you changed from shorts to a skirt) for confession, but until I was a teen (and standards relaxed a bit more) a bit too casual, and not acceptable for church on Sunday morning--which still required a proper dress, and stockings, and white gloves--even on a scorching 90° day.

Mostly they were cotton—and like all cotton, needed to be ironed! Unlike my newest version—in poly/cotton.

The navy one is just about finished—Still needs some buttonholes and buttons, too, but the bulk of the sewing is done. I have to re-read the directions for buttonholes on this new sewing machine—Others swear they are easy as pie—but the technique is different—and I haven't mastered it yet. I can knock out one buttonhole easy—but a nice set of six or seven? First a mock up, then buttonholes for real.
Oh—I found some turquoise buttons (recycles)not a perfect match—but a 99% one—fine for a casual top--so that will take care of shirt number 3.  Maybe for the purple--I'll do something different.  

I think I am going to sew up both of the linen shirt dresses before I go to work on the light blue shirt--I just undid the seams and binding on the second one.  The first is natural linen color—the second a light lavender. Both are cool comfortable cover-ups—the armholes are a little large (and I almost always were a tee shirt underneath) except when I wear them as pool cover ups—I don't much care about gapping armholes when I have a swimsuit underneath. They both need to be shortened too—but simple sewn hems, not invisible ones. The bulk of the time will be spend making up a bobbin and threading the machine!

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