1954 Tapa Cabana Set

August – October 2013

Simplicity pattern #4696

Vintage Simplicity pattern #4696, circa 1954.
This was a two-shirt summer as Aaron also picked out this Hawaiian cotton barkcloth. It’s a crazy tapa print. None of the motifs are parallel to the selvage – they’re all a little skewed. The repeat is large and asymmetrical. I found myself at a loss when it came to cutting the fabric. Aaron suggested I stagger the red and white color blocks across the front, then do the same on the sleeves. Naturally I wanted to make the matching shorts. So they were cut the same way and the color blocking continues through the outfit. After all that complicated cutting I was going to skip the pocket matching on the shorts. But with such a bold print it turned out to be necessary. Were it not for the topstitching, I think the shorts pocket flap (as well as the one left shirt pocket) would be invisible. The cabana shirts are part of his everyday wardrobe. But in case there’s an opportunity to wear one of the full sets to a costume event, I got him a pair of Keds. I think this set is a little more 1960s.