Posts Tagged ‘http://vpll1912project.org/’
Posted by: Lyon
- Pattern Description: Ladies Dress – #4016. This dress features welt trim and a cutwork collar. It is without instructions.
- Pattern Sizing: The pattern was sized for a slim miss 8. When I started this garment I was in a 14, but have since lost some weight to fit into a 12.
- Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Due to the massive alterations to the pattern, the final garment is different although of a similar silhouette.
- Were the instructions easy to follow? No instructions, minimal markings on pattern, and many pieces of the pattern had to be created by the seamstress during construction.
- What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Although the placement for the welt trim was clearly marked, I would have liked to have similar markings for the center back, front and shoulders on the bodice piece. There was a marking for the natural waistline. Thank goodness.
- Fabric Used: I used a very flimsy synthetic which was see-thru and required a lining. I used a solid lining material in a matching cream to the background of the see-thru fabric.
- Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: About the only thing I didn’t change was the upper skirt. Alterations were made to adjust for size on all pieces. A princess seam was added to the front of the bodice to give the dress a more flowing fit. The empire waist was changed to a dropped waist with a pointed front. I didn’t place on the welt trim. The sleeve cuff was transposed to a flutter detail. All decorative buttons were replaced on the front placket. Left side opens and right side is merely decorative to match. Bottom border trim was not used. A sleeveless full lining completed the changes.
- Would you recommend this pattern to others? This pattern has a lot of advanced details, but could be done by a moderately experienced seamstress in a stiffer fabric. Utilizing a delicate fabric like I did would require someone with advanced sewing skills. The styling is unusual enough that most sewers would not have encountered similar before and the novelty makes it fun.
- Conclusion: This pattern is best suited to a woman with smaller hips and breasts, the silhouette is very straight and doesn’t accommodate curvy shapes easily. I got a great many compliments when I wore the piece to a wedding.
- Pattern Name: Ladies Dress #4016
- Sewer’s Skill Level: Advance
- Pattern Rating: 3 – Good/Average Because this pattern comes without instructions, closing treatments were left up to the seamstress. This is usually one place where period details are lacking when researching. This is the one area where I had the most difficulty and ended up deviating from the era quite a bit.
- What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? Advanced level because of the lack of instructions and minimal markings on the pattern pieces.
- Were the instructions easy to follow? If not, what needs to be changed? No instructions.
- How was the fit/sizing? Did it correspond to what you thought? The sizing and fit was very slim. I had to revise my up-sizing a second time to accommodate a very slim hip area (I am very curvy), even though I was aware of the issue from other participants’ blogs.
- Did you make any pattern alterations? If so, what alterations did you make? Where they fit or design alterations? The only pattern piece that I didn’t change was the front placket. Every other piece had both fit and design alterations.
Posted by: Lyon
Since this pattern came without construction instructions, deciding on a closing system that wouldn’t pull open of gap was up to the seamstress’ ingenuity. It probably took me 3 times longer to decide what needed to be done than to actually do it. This part of the construction had a bunch of false starts. I tried to make frogs from the sage green ribbon trim, but given its unwoven nature, that was a miserable failure. I ended up making bias tape from the lining fabric and sewing it over itself after turning the tube to give it enough body to take repeated buttoning and unbuttoning.
Next on my list of potential bug-a-boos was making sure the skirt below the dropped waist didn’t gap or bulge when seated or bending. I considered snaps, and decided they wouldn’t hold under the stress of bending and pulling an actual worn garment goes through. I next mulled over using multiple hooks and eyes, but unless I made them very tightly spaced, the opening would gap. Putting on a garment with tiny hook and eye closure after tiny closure made my old lady fingers throb just at the thought. So I hand stitched in an invisible zipper. So not period, but I plan on wearing this garment in public and it’s no one’s business what kind of unmentionables I’m sporting. I did end up putting in 2 tiny hooks and eyes here. One at the top of the zipper tape and one at the seam of the bodice and skirt since the added bulk in those areas caused buckling.
Since the fabric was incredibly flimsy, and see-thru on top of that, there was no way to add interfacing or any other form of stiffener to make the stand up sleeve cuff. So I didn’t. I cut two of the pattern pieces per sleeve and made a layered open cuff. I used a rolled hem on the exposed edges on both cuff levels. (I did the same finish on the under collar as well.) After fiddling with this area and a couple of false starts – the sleeves were NOT the same measure even though I cut the pattern pieces on a double layer of material – I attached the cuffs to the sleeves. It was only after I had stitched the lace (I had yards of it in my stash) and ribbon (also from my stash) into place that I realized the longer cuff layer was on the outside of the garment. At this point there were 3 layers of zig-zag stitching. There was no way I could rip those all out and not completely destroy the sleeves. So the cuffs are backward. Hopefully, no one but I will know.
Since I decided on the loop closure after the bodice fabric and lining had already been closed and sewn into the skirt area, I had to figure out another way to hide the structure stitching attaching each of the 20 loops. I hand stitched each loop on to the outer bodice area and stitched the pearl shank buttons to the placket. The left hand side is the one that opens, the right hand side is just decorative. I then layered the same lace and ribbon on top of the outer bodice front. Once that was machine stitched, I did some tiny hand sewing stitching on the lace over the raw ends of the loop, sewing it sight to the edge and enclosing the raw loop edges inside. I also had to hand sew both lace and ribbon along the area of the invisible zipper so I didn’t end up catching any of the zipper coils in the stitching. One last hook and eye completed the neck line area at the upper left placket point under the collars. It’s sewn on the inside of the bodice lining.
The fabric has it own striped detailing along the lower edge, so I skipped the lower band of the pattern, which works out to be the perfect length for me anyway. I covered the bottom grey band with a wider cream lace I had purchased for another garment but never used. The green ribbon goes from under the collar down the front of the garment, turning at the hem lace and circling the hem area and back up the front of the garment on the other side. I think this horizontal finish gives enough of a nod to the original pattern. Given the flimsy nature of the fabric, there was no way several rows of bias bands would have been made to look attractive without compromising the integrity of the garment. I think I made a great number of changes to the original pattern that no one would say I made the same dress, but the basic silhouette is still achieved to honor the fashion period styles.
Posted by: Lyon
I took so much time drafting the changes to the pattern, I neglected to take progress pictures.
The refinements I made were to add a princess seem to the bodice front, create a more form-fitting side seem, enlarge the upper sleeve area, drop the neckline down for a looser fit. I also dropped the waist below the natural waistline, instead of letting it be above as in the original pattern. I actually ended up making two muslins because I forgot to add ease on the first one. Oh yes, I made careful measurements and up-sized the original pattern to my measure, but if I had wanted to oh, do something crazy, like sit or maybe breath while wearing the dress, it wasn’t going to happen.
I also decided to lose the bottom band. The skirt length without that suits my height perfectly, so it seemed best not to try to adjust the skirt length and then add the bottom back. I looked into creating a corset to wear under this dress, because the flow of the design really calls for it, but decided with the August 30th deadline, I just didn’t have time to create one and get used to wearing it. I’ll make a corset for the dress at some future time.
I chose a very, very delicate fabric for this dress. It was so light, it was see-thru. So I also had to make a lining. I am now an expert at sewing this dress since with the two muslins and the outer fabric and lining fabric, I’ve made it four times!
Because of the feather weight and transparent nature of the fabric I chose to do french seeming on many of the visible seams. This helps make the seams less obvious as well as minimizing fraying. This garment is going to have to be hand-washed because of the delicate nature of the fabric. I really do love it though. The right side of the fabric has little sparkles on the stars. So much fun.
Another change I threw in, was to not try to make the cuffs stand up. There is no way to use interfacing on this fabric, so I decided to make a flutter cuff in two layers. I am still mulling over whether to add in the bias bands or not. I may just skip that and sew on some green ribbon yarn I have that is the same dusty grey green color. If I am that ambitious.
Yesterday I finally got to the stage where it was time to place the gussets. I’ve never made a gussets from scratch before, I just don’t like tightly fitted garments around neck and sleeve, so I’ve avoided this little tailor’s trick. So I hunted the web for a step by step instruction. Burda’s web site had a very detailed guide, with photos for each tiny step. The only thing they assumed was that you already had a pattern piece for the gusset. But the images allowed me to get the general idea of what the gussets shape should be.
My gussets are shaped like an upside down kite because of all the adjustments I made to the side seam and sleeve. My pattern piece is hardly recognizable as the same bodice piece as the original pattern. So I measured the opening in the under arm area carefully and this is the pattern piece I came up with.
I cut out the two pieces and then came the task of making the french seem in such a tiny area. The fabric frays if you breathe on it heavily, so this was something of a challenge.
The last image is the finished gusset. It’s almost so tiny, all that work seems hardly worth the effort.
After both gussets were placed, I sewed together the bodice and bodice lining; and the skirt and skirt lining; and the front placket top and bottom and the front placket lining. All seams were trimmed close and over stitched to minimize fraying. I stitched top and bottom pieces together and then put the separate pieces together on the dress dummy to hang out over night before finishing.
At this point, my husband arrived home and peeked in at me. He has been fairly dubious on the suitability of this dress for an outdoor August wedding based on the drawing that came with the pattern. He saw the dress on the dummy and exclaimed, “That looks really nice!”
This is the man who has only complimented an outfit I’ve worn a handful of times in the 16 years we’ve been together.
Needless to say, my ego was very gratified by his acclaim.
Still to go:
- Attach cuffs
- Figure out how to close the garment for wearing without the opening poofing open. I have 20 tiny buttons. (Even with the added ease, the dress is still quite form-fitting.)
- Adjust waist seem in front placket. (The hem hangs about an inch lower on the placket then the rest of the skirt.
- Place decorative elements on skirt, bodice and sleeve. I also want to do something to make a nod at the original pattern’s lower skirt band.
Posted by: Lyon
I’ve been watching other sewers complete this garment and see the troubles they are having to avoid. The pattern came sized for a 34″ bust. Again WAY smaller than my measurements. So the first thing I had to do was size up by 4 inches to accommodate my frame. Next, because there was a high waist and a lot of gathers in the front right there as well, I decided to alter the garment lines while I also did the FBA to make room for the girls.
I did a bit more research for sizing up and for the FBA and here are the best tutorials I found:
A three-part blog tutorial for both grading up and down. I used the entry for grading up.
This is a tutorial for the FBA. Unfortunately, the links to the pattern they mention are no longer valid.
The next step was to drop the waist and remove the gathers there as well as create a princess seam in the bodice for a more flattering fit. I think the stylized drawing of the dress is for a very tall, very thin, small-busted woman. I am none of those things. No one will ever describe me as willowy. I’m more like the proverbial cherub.
So I began a hunt for a tutorial for princess seams. I ran into a bit of a snag since most of the lessons start with a darted bodice and just slash and twist to get the princess seamed pieces. This wasn’t going to work in this case because, a. there was all that gathering at the high waistline, and b. the bodice pattern was one piece for back, sleeve and front side panel. I was dreading having to drape the front pieces from scratch because my dress form is sized to my 20 yo self. Hardly helpful, if you know what I mean.
Then in my searches I came upon this AMAZING little bit of Excel marvelousness. You pop your measure into the purple boxes and the Excel sheet calculates the precise positioning for the princess seam. Of course, once I did the basic shapes, I had to them add them to the 4016 pattern and make adjustments to suit. I added my dropped waist at the same time I made the princess seaming alterations to the front of the bodice. If the back needs adjustment, I’ll add a small dart to the waist area to fit.
I’m now ready to cut my sizing muslin to work out the final fitting. Obviously, all the decorative welts and buttons will have to be repositioned from their pattern placement, but I can do that once I have fitted the dress.
In the mean time, I’ve been spending my evenings relaxing with the embroidered collar. I’ve discovered this as a guilty little pleasure. I LOVE making these eyelets so much I spent most of Saturday afternoon working on the collar. I’ll have to regulate myself from now on as I got nothing much else accomplished this weekend. It does take hours and hours to do all this handwork, but it relaxes me, so it’s a good way to end my days.
The marking and the beginning stitches of my outlining. Next time I think I will make the markings darker. The water-soluble pencil was difficult to see while working. At least I won’t have to worry about it showing on the finished collar.
My first eyelets on the center back of the collar. My spacing of the pattern seems to have left a lot to be desired, but for a first attempt, I’m pretty darn pleased with myself.
If I do another collar, I will be able to improve with knowing all the mistakes I made on this one.
Posted by: Lyon
Pattern Review Checklist:
- Ladies Blouse – #1000 This beautiful ladies blouse features a pleated front with cutwork scallops and padded granitos at collar, cuffs and basque.
- Sized for a 36″ bust
- Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes
- Were the instructions easy to follow? What instructions there were, were easy to follow except for the cuff. It says to sew the unnumbered edge to the sleeve, but both sides had numbers.
- What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I find high necklines very confining. I also didn’t like the deep pleat in the sleeve when the bodice had several small pink tucks.
- Fabric Used – light weight woven cotton in a rose/vine print on a light blue ground
- Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The only piece I didn’t change was the cuff. Most changes were to accommodate my much larger bust size.
- Would you recommend this pattern to others? Yes.
- Conclusion This pattern was easy to follow and adjust for fit, except for the sleeve. The underarm seam falls in the front of the garment instead of matching up with the side seam on the bodice as in modern day garments. I like the way this alternate placement works in the fall of the sleeve.
- Ladies Blouse – #1000
- Sewer’s Skill Level: Advance
- Pattern Rating: 4-Better than Average, why? A very flattering fit for most body types, even a short-round like me.
- What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? Intermediate level for pattern as is, advanced for someone to change the neckline as much as I did.
- Were the instructions easy to follow? If not, what needs to be changed? See above on cuff.
- How was the fit/sizing? Did it correspond to what you thought? The fit was close to my thoughts, the sizing, even for a 36″ bust would be much tighter than modern day garments. Both the neck line and arm hole areas are much higher and smaller than what we are used to.
- Did you make any pattern alterations? If so, what alterations did you make? Where they fit or design alterations?
Fit Alterations: Added width to bodice and sleeves. Lengthened basque to achieve larger waist measurement. Dropped and opened arm hole for ease in wearing.
Design Alterations: Deleted back button closure, added buttons and placket to front as new closure. Converted deep pleat in sleeve to 2 pin tucks to match bodice back detail. Dropped and opened neckline by 4 inches for an open Peter Pan type look. Seamed closed back of basque and collar. Added gathering to bottom of sleeve for fuller sleeve. Used interfacing on cuffs to help them stand up. I added buttons to the waistband at the back pin tucks as decoration.
- Other notes: I used interfacing on the added placket as well, made self covered buttons and used the standard machine setting for a scalloped edging on collar, cuff and basque instead of attempting hand embroidery. To make the new collar, I hand draped the pattern piece on a dress maker’s dummy since the original pattern piece was no longer useful. If I make this pattern again, I will add more ease in the upper front bodice since as it is, the pin tucks pull out across the chest front when wearing the blouse. I think I may also go for a full curve on the collar at the neckline instead of having the squared-off finish on this garment.
Posted by: Lyon
I cut out my basic muslin patterns on Sunday and began basting them together. The back and front on the side seams were the only place I didn’t have to make adjustments. The lower edge of the front fell about two inches lower than the back, so that had to be trimmed. The neckline was off in more ways than one, so I took my trusty marker and just drew where I wanted the neckline to fall on front and back while the blouse was on me. The back shoulder seam needed to be adjusted to match the slope of my back. It was okay at the arm but way too wide at the neck.
The sleeve went in very easily, the seam I thought was on the back turns out to be a front seam. It is the first time in my years of sewing I have seen a sleeve seam in this configuration. Very interesting. I still have to make adjustments to the sleeve pleat. It no longer falls at the shoulder seam since I enlarged the sleeve so much. I also don’t care for the rather large single pleat when the rest of the blouse has smaller pin tucks. So when I move it froward, I will make its sizing match the rest of the pin tucks.
The collar pattern piece was pretty much useless as provided due to all the added width and lowering of the neckline I made to the original pattern pieces for the front and back, so I just draped a new collar on the dress form to match the changed silhouette. The back neckline still stands out a slight bit from my back when I have the muslin on, but I can adjust for that by pulling in the seams at the shoulders slightly when finishing in the cotton print.
I didn’t fit the cuff or the placket and belt on the muslin since those pieces are basically long rectangles and don’t really affect the fit of the rest of the blouse. (The yellow in the photos is my basting threads, the blue is my marking lines.)
Now I have to figure out how to do the scalloped edge embroidery on the new collar since the pattern no longer applies. Wish me luck figuring this one out as I am a complete novice with vintage embellishments!
The photos show the muslin shell on my dress dummy. The dummy was sized to me some 30 odd years ago, so disregard the “extra” bagginess on the front, I fill it quite well even if the dress form doesn’t. LOL
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.)
June plans to be super jam-packed full for me. So I will be taking a short break from coloring pages while I work on getting all my various ducks in a row.
First up is an amazing illustration course. It’s called the Illustration Master Class and is taught by some of the top illustrators around. I will be heading to Amherst for a week of intensive (and ego-numbing) illustrative lessons to move my craft to the next level. Never stop learning!
Once I get back, there has been some interest by an app developer in creating some of my stories into an app for kids. Nothing I can talk about at the moment, but I will let you know as soon as I can!
And last but not least, I’ve signed up to be a pattern tester for the 1912 Titanic Sewing Project. Authentic period patterns are given to the testers to create the garments and help the organization develop usable instructions and information for modern-day sewers. I am truly excited to have been invited to participate.
Tonight is the Strawberry Moon, but since Sunday is Father’s Day I decided to make this week’s coloring page for that instead.
I hope to be back on schedule by July 4th. Have a wonderful June.
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