Monday, April 9, 2012

Ageless Pattern 1016 #2

First off...
Check out this super sweet parasol I got in Gettysburg this weekend! It should be a perfect accessory for the mourning costume.
"Sometimes, even smiling make my face ache!"  - Frankenfurter

This weekend's progress
This weekend, I recopied the bodice pattern pieces so I would have a clean copy with last weekend's alterations. Then I decided to make a more complete muslin that would include everything but the non-functional trim. As I learned recently, it really pays to test the muslin with the sleeves. 

Ageless Patterns only come with the original pattern instructions. And it must be that in 1887, the base sewing knowledge must have been very different. Really, if you are an experienced sewer, the patterns can be reasoned through carefully, but in about every pattern, I have found something that stumps me for a while. 

In this pattern, it was the process of attaching the basque (the hip skirt/peplum-ish bit). The pattern says "Attach the Basque from #7 to #8. Insert the Basque underneath the sides and front. Attach to front from #9 to #10." I found these directions to be insufficient to my needs. After much fiddling, here is the more detailed set of directions I  came up with. 

Bodice without the basque. On the left is the center front false vest, on the left is the  edge of the postilion folded out. 

    Step 1: postilion on left, basque on right. Sew Basque to Back Postilion from #7 to #8
    Step 2: Iron the basque around the fold near #7 & #8
    Step 3: Clip the seam open at #6 about 5/8" to allow the bottom edge of the bodice to turn up.   
    Step 4: Fromt the outside, tuck the basque under the bodice edge and fold back over the postilion
    Step 5: Pin the basque to the bodice along bodice edge 
    Step 6: Clip horizontally to #9
    Step 7: From the outside, arrange the baque so that it overlaps the front smoothly & pin in place. Match #10 first.  
    Step 8: Sew from the clipped edge near #9 to #10. (view from the inside. Sorry about the overexposed pic.) 
    Step 9: Sew the Basque to the bodice. There will still be an opening near the postilion. This will have to be closed by hand later. You may also have a small gap at #9. Hopefully this can be covered by the revers. Finally, from the inside, tuck the basque under the postilion pleat and pin in place just to keep things tidy during the rest of the sewing. 
Other construction notes
The rest of the garment went together smoothly. Here are some pictures of the current muslin. There are some clear fitting problems on the dress form, but I need to try it on me before I get all worried. My shoulders and neck are different than the dress form's. I also need to try it on with the skirt. Right now, it looks like it's gapping in the weird way at my low back, but that room might be required by the GIGANTIC BUSTLE on this skirt. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ageless Patterns 1016 #1

Ageless Patterns #1016 is a bodice from 1887. The original pattern size if a 37" bust and 24"waist, so I started by adding 4" just at the waist. 

Then I got help last craft day fitting just the bodice. I had to shorten the waist, like always, but I ended up taking back in much of the extra waist ease. Note to self: I might have to add some back in for multiple layers and boning. 

Here are fitting photos, with the awesome skirt!

I transferred the changes to the paper pattern, so next up: another muslin (this time, with sleeves... oooooohh aaaahhhh)

TV 428 #4 (finished!)

Last weekend was craft day, and I made a lot of progress. First, I got the sleeves pin fitted. It was a good thing that I added a lot of height to the sleeve cap, because you can see below that I ended up taking off 2.5" inches. 

On craft day, I got the sleeves on and all the finished done except the buttons. Tonight, I finished the buttons.

The only minor outstanding issue is across the front of the bust. You can see the source of the problem in this photo:
Right in front of the armpit, see? When I put the  sleeves on, the seam allowance ate up all the extra room in the bust, even though I sewed only a 3/8" seam allowance. 
So, it's pretty tight across the bust, which means I'm going to have to use a lace insert for modesty. Lesson learned? It's worth fitting the sleeves on the muslin before cutting the final fabric.

My mom bought me a new sewing machine. It's so excellent! I used it this afternoon to change in boning in my corset and make the buttonholes on this bodice. I'm still getting used to it, but it is undoubtedly lovely.