J.C. Penny Top-n-Bottom work shirt. A find from my trip to Seattle and environs a few months ago. Made a point of going to every vintage store I could find on yelp. This one was from Lucky Vintage. I'm OK blowing up the spot because it's not in my normal rotation. Sorry Seattleites. They had a few good things here, but their shop in Ballard, Lucky Dry Goods had more menswear though. Lots of the kind of thing you'd see on Sanforized (a favorite blog). Faded hoodies, USA-made converse, vintage denim, and plenty of -- no surprise -- old Filson gear.
The collar was shredded so I patched it up with some khaki twill, leaving a little bit of wear showing for kicks. The collar doesn't lay quite right for the time being but, after a few ironings, I'm sure it will fall into line.
Hand sewed the patch on because I didn't want the swelled-edge look you can get from sewing a patch on with a lockstitch (although that is a good look in some situations). You can see here that there is a break in the fabric on the left-shoulder side -- I took this patch fabric from what was left after I hemmed a pair of khakis. I cut the leg open at the inseam and left the outseam intact.
Gussets on the sides and remnants of chainstitch runoff.
Detail of somebody's old Oops with white paint.
Lots of the construction is dual-needle chain stitch which is no surprise. The width between the two lines of stitching varies all over the shirt––anywhere from 1/4 inch to 3/16ths inch. With my limited knowledge of machines of the time, I assume that they were made on a Singer 134w class machine, based on this website, a 134w5. Here are some images of that machine pulled from said site:
If you're interested, one can be yours (sans machine and guarantee of working order or complete parts) for just under a grand. Maybe Santa can slip one in my stocking next year.
The shirtsleeve plackets are all single-piece which is another neat touch that you'll only find on reproductions and vintage-inspired clothing. This single piece of fabric is less likely to rip than two pieces sewn together are. Not a problem with today's poly stitching but I imagine it was when these shirts were popular.
I went and ruined this fantastic shirt already by patching up the collar, so I had no problem adding an extra button and buttonhole down at the bottom of the front.
This is the first time I've done a buttonhole like this. Not too bad for hand work.
An old blue cat-eye button from my stash fits the bill nicely. Sure, I have brown buttons, but why not blue?
You can expect to see more of this shirt on the blog in later times as it has become a favorite.
If you have any vintage finds that you want to share, please let me know about them in the comments.