Camo is everywhere these days.
As much as I like the look on others, I never thought camo — classic army green camo — was flattering on me. So I was delighted when I found this dark gray camouflage fabric, a crisp lightweight Italian cotton, at Mood Fabrics in New York City. (There’s still some available at Mood online here. Rest assured, there’s no green in it.)
Since we’re enjoying spring weather this February, I decided to make a generously proportioned shirt that could also be worn as a windbreaker.
I found my inspiration from a (very) vintage men’s shirt pattern, Simplicity 3089, which dates from 1939. Why do I use vintage patterns so often? For one thing, they come in single sizes, so there’s no tracing involved. I also find them well drafted and, frankly, charming. Couldn’t you see a young Tyrone Power sporting something like this?
I made a few changes to the original pattern. I replaced the gathers under the back yoke (see illustration above) with two side pleats. (My fabric was too crisp to drape into soft gathers, and gathers are hard to press neatly.)
I liked the pockets in the original pattern, but they were too small to be practical. The pockets I prefer are zippered breast pockets large enough for a pair of sunglasses or a smart phone. So I added them. As you can see below, the zippers have flaps (or shields) covering them. You can see one of the chrome-plated zipper pulls just above my hand.
The interior pocket bag is stitched and serged for a neat finish. I also attached a piece of selvage that connects the top of the pocket bag to the side seam so that the bag doesn’t sag. This keeps the front of the jacket looking neat.
The last change I made was to add a front zipper in place of buttons. I opted for a two-way zipper, which allows me to open the jacket from the bottom — extremely handy if you’re going to ride a bicycle, which I often do.
My shirt jacket has traditional cuffs, a convertible collar, and a straight bottom hem. It’s simple but, I believe, elegant and, in this gray colorway, extremely practical. I’ll be wearing this starting today, when temperatures are predicted to rise into the mid 60’s Fahrenheit. Winter? What was that? (!)
I am so glad to have an easy-to-wear camouflage garment in my wardrobe. Camo is the new black, don’t you think?
QUESTION: Do you see silhouettes of rats on this fabric? I do — and I love it!
In closing, do you like your camo gray, army green, tan, or something else entirely? Be sure to check out Mood’s assortment of camo prints — on everything from cotton voile to poly charmeuse — here.
Thanks for reading and see you next month!