Posted by: Lyon
I’m working on my first pattern from Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1912 Titanic Sewing Project.
Accordingly, the first challenge was to size up to fit my not even close to a 36″ bust form. This meant adding about 4 inches to the circumference of both the shirt shell and sleeve.
I also altered the original style slightly to accommodate a lower neckline, longer waist-to-back length and removed the back button closer and changed to a placket button closure in the front.
I moved the neck line down because close collars have always made me feel as if I’m choking. I am even bothered by the soft and stretchy collar of a T-shirt, so having a tailored high-neck collar is out of the question.
Another 1912VPLLTP participant alerted me to the fact that the waistlines on all the patterns she’s done have been rather high. I think this is partly the styling of the era, most images seem to have a Princess waistline which is very high, closer to the bust line than the current trend of fashions to drop below the waist closer to the hip. Since I am very petite to begin with, the measure was only an inch short of a comfortable waist line for me.
Since the pattern has decorative buttons on the front of the blouse, then more buttons on the back for closure, I decided to delete the back closure and add a slim placket with button holes to the front. The choice of commercial buttons is quite pathetic in my area, so I will be making self-covered buttons instead.
Here are my adjusted pattern pieces laid out on muslin for the first fitting.
I printed out the original pattern pieces on newsprint. It’s heavy enough to manipulate, but sturdy enough to take the abuse of being slashed and spread to adjust the sizing. I will need to make further adjustments to the collar, basque and armholes once I am working with the muslin pieces.
Another challenge I ran into was not being able to find cotton Swiss dot fabric. There were several embroidered white-on-white fabrics at the store, but all of them were either a poly/cotton blend or 100% poly. I ended up in the “quilting fabric” section so I could get a 100% cotton fabric. Again, the choices where not to my liking for the white-on-white fabrics. And several other fabrics, while attractive were too heavy in weight for the styling of the blouse. I settled on a light weight fabric in a pale blue ground with tiny red/pink roses with berries and vines as being closest to a historically appropriate look. (And also matching my current wardrobe pieces.)