Knitting shaped Kimono sweater shoulders- Help?! 3

Calling experienced knitters, I want your help!*** See below Please! 🙂

Mostly level shoulder ribbon

Mostly level shoulder ribbon

This is Kamakura Kimono sweater from Knit Kimono by Vicki Square is an ambitious project for me!  I am using Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, gentle to knit with and it has been a warm lapful this winter. It is Challenging! The fabric is heavy, even drooping on the dress form. You can see the armhole steek below the orange pin…

Heavy sweater sagging already!

Heavy sweater sagging already!

  • My original yarns were lovely together but not enough contrast for the pattern, so back to my local yarn shop, oh my! 🙂
    [check!]
  • My good friend Carol said I must learn to knit with 2 colors at once! Okay, stiff upper lip and I’ve done that!
    [check!]
  • This pattern is a little confusing and my local shop guru said I should knit in the round and STEEK IT! I watched Eunny Jang steek 3 ways, will take  a Very Deep Breath and slice into this after stabilizing the front edges and armholes.
    [um, almost…eek!]
  • Shoulders, oh Dear!! Mine slope down and forward. I will get lost in a straight shouldered kimono! I found this great reference, looks exactly to the point: “shaped shoulders in the round“.

So, “FeralKnitter” recommends 5 steps:

  1. Decide how much rise you want. The usual 3/4-1″ measures for me are: 2 3/4″ front and 3 1/4″ back.
  2. Measure rows/inch– easy, 13/2″, or 6.5, one medallion repeat in this pattern, even for both directions.
  3. Rise (#1) x Rows/inch (#2)  gets me adding 18(+1= 19) rows to the front, 21(1+=22) to the back.
  4. Count stitches (armhole Steek to center front Steek), 73 for the front. The back is 156 stitches across. I don’t want to V up the center back neck, so will angle up across only the shoulder seam, flat across the back neck. That takes 6″, out of 15″, 9″ x 6.5 st/”= 60 stitches each back shoulder.
  5. Divide shoulder stitches #4, by short rows, #3, and add 1.  Front 73/19=3.8, which I will call an even 4-stitch short row. 🙂
    Back 60/22=2.76. Hmm, I hope it isn’t too indulgent to call that “3”. that still isn’t an even #, so a graph is in order…

*** This is where you come in, not so much for the graph, but for the ease/stretch/ heavy sweater sag experience! I wonder how much I should reduce extending shaping from shoulders up to the neck, for this heavy sweater?  Halloo?? 🙂

Mother of the Bride! 4

The wedding is in 2 weeks, at our house, & I’m making a dress for my friend,
Mother of the Bride. 🙂

The pattern is Vogue 1102.

Vogue 1102

Vogue 1102

“Note: No provision made for above waist adjustment.”
YIKES- What am I doing here??

My salute to the blog– Feel the Fear and Sew it Anyway!  Scary sewing for me, pricey fabric, for a Friend, sigh. Tania’s blog was encouraging. 🙂 Altering! Re-designing! Grading! Oh My!

  • The entire dress was re-sized, petite stature, grading up. The waist line was re-positioned, all around.

    Lining- dropped waist & covered zipper

    Lining- dropped waist & covered zipper

  • The bodice was re-fitted for full bust allowance: bust darts were moved, altered and a couple added.
  • Full bust allowance, darts added, moved, altered

    Full bust allowance, darts added, moved, altered

  • No back bow, please! So I raised and re-shaped the bodice back and armscye.

    Skirt lining narrowed, muslin basted in

    Skirt lining narrowed, muslin basted in

Two Threads hidden button placket articles caution–plenty of ease! So the small covered buttons will go directly onto the dress, over the security of a back zipper closure, bodice lining extending under the zipper.

Covered buttons over zipper

Covered buttons over zipper

The dress fabric is cotton lawn from Britex, lined with Imperial Broadcloth, bodice underlined with silk organza. The dress fabric is pretty sheer, so the skirt is also lined. She’s worried about August heat, so the additional lining full circle was reduced to an A-line. I pulled out my reference books. For this step, the Italian one was most helpful: MODA  Manualità tecnica e illustrazioni, ~”FASHION The technical of the design and relevant pictures”.

From full circle skirt pattern to A-line, with dropped waist

From full circle skirt pattern to A-line, with dropped waist

Just one more fitting, want the skirt lining? Check the hem, sew in the zipper, trim & clip the waist seam— replace all that basting with final stitching!

Dress front in progress

Dress front in progress

Dress back

Dress back

If there is time, my dress will be Burda 08/2013 #134, 7 yards already pre-shrunk and pressed…waiting.  We may not have home-canned pickles this year, only so much time in the day.  🙂

Summer cotton 4

Up for coffee, newspaper, polar fleece robe…

Whoa! It is too hot! Time for stash hunting, cool cotton! This Burda is an old pattern I made when my daughters were much younger.

burda 4835 & remnants

I finished the robe,  added pretty buttons, pocket flaps and seersucker contrast. Then didn’t want to put that fabric away, wanted to use it up!

Cooler robe

Cooler robe

Well, those remnants were left, after I added this Sorbetto Top, Creative Commons free ware. I added darts, a front opening, and serious back alterations. It will need more fitting work before I make it again, but it is fine for today, cool for 80 degrees.

Sorbetto top front

Sorbetto top front

 

Sorbetto back

Sorbetto back

 

 

Nihon Vogue Linen Jacket 2

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Here’s my first try at following a Japanese pattern magazine, like copying from Burda, but without any translation for the Kanji . I wanted something to bridge the hot weather I expected in DC, with the aggressive air conditioning popular there. It was ready in time for the meeting, LWVUS Council 2013. The magazine comes from a Japanese book store, sorry I can’t read the title for you. I found a website that didn’t help me much.

Photos: You can see the cover, the linen jacket photo, #13, then the instruction page. I copied the pattern pieces from the insert pages, altered and fitted them. The instruction sheet helped some. 🙂 The fabric is an interesting linen weave, a sturdier plain weave for the collar and covered buttons. The lining is Imperial Broadcloth, from a bolt unearthed in the sewing room, left over from smocking days- sheesh! Photos were taken with the top straight out of the suitcase, a little worse for wear, how linen looks. And I’m not shaped like their willowy model. 🙂

Fitting: I made a muslin. Shoulders were tilted and narrowed, bust points moved and expanded. Next time I will widen the front overlap a little further.  I might nip in the front waist a bit, lots of free swing there. I wish I had a fitting buddy to help, like with the back, the armholes, hard to judge, not seeing them.

Sewing: Every seam showed top-stitching. There was a princess line marked on the front piece that wasn’t a seam, so I stitched it with a double needle. It added a nice definition. The front edges and hem were interfaced, button and inner snap areas (lining only) reinforced with button felt circles. The beaded button was a gift and I sewed it on the night before our meeting, a nice nod to our 2012 League of Women Voters of Oregon Rose Parade Suffragettes! See my sewing post on that.

I enjoyed sewing this. The linen was a dream to work with, though I needed to press the sleeve cap firmly, using all the tools I had, sleeve board and hams for a smooth fit. I would make this again, maybe with a stretch cotton that doesn’t need lining.

Stay tuned. 🙂 I want to see what you’re working on!!

 

Yukata seams revealed… 2

For a 1912 Titanic Sewist- Yes, work continues, though branching out, or going back to what we did before?

For making a Kimono (or a summer one, a Yukata), you use traditional fabric woven in narrow widths and combine them in a set manner. I have a reference, Make Your Own Japanese Clothes, can’t find it right now (sorry!). It describes the narrow woven cloth and how to construct these.  Here’s a google reference, 1988 publication. I think it is still in print. I support local bookstores, and pretty easy to find online, ~$10-$45.

Here are some Yukata pix, not sure if it was my mother’s, from the late ’60’s in Japan. This is a textured cotton, pattern woven in. There is a large square inner patch over the seat; you can see it if you look for the center seam, then note that the pattern is 90 degrees rotated. I think it is a reinforcement, not a repair.

sleeve seam and shoulder fold

sleeve seam and shoulder fold

The shoulder does not have a seam from the neck out to the sleeve. These panels run continuously, floor front to floor back, with a tuck at the base of the arm seam, which would be covered by the obi. You can see the tuck from the inside in the next photo. All seam allowances have been very neatly sewn down, with no cut edges exposed, mostly the woven edges. All sewing is hand stitched. I don’t see any machine work.

underarm finish and seam allowance tuck

The wide seam allowances under the arms are sewn down, narrowing up over the shoulders to ~12mm. Garment shaping is very subtle as the shoulders are only slightly wider. You can clearly see the tuck at the back waist, the depth of the seam allowances. Those are pressed toward the front and have the same width all the way to the floor.

Here is another photo of the inside of the sleeve seam. The sleeves are not sewn all the way around this opening. The sleeve hangs freely from the body for ~5″ up from the base of the side seam, which is ~3″ above the flattened tuck. This sleeve is a pretty short one, not closed on the edge sewn to the shoulder, below that seam. Women I knew in Japan usually had longer kimono sleeves, with at least part of the inner seam closed, and they stashed things in them, even shopping!

inside arm seam

inside arm seam

This fabric is pretty dark, sorry it is hard to see the seaming! The shoulder is on the left in this one, seam allowance narrowing, sleeve edge turned & sewn down, ~3mm. The fabric is pretty crisp, but the edge of the sleeve is turned the 12mm I mentioned, the body section only 3mm.

On the inside, the sleeve is pressed to cover the body seam allowance, not a simple flat pressed-open seam. It looks like a tape along the shoulder. The actual seam under this is placed at ~the outer edge of the white shapes.

overlapped inner sleeve seam

overlapped inner sleeve seam

Before we leave the shoulder area, you should see the yoke /reinforcement I found there, on the inside. The edge is enclosed in the neck seam, the rest of it turned under and sewn down with a fine pick stitch in a white thread, ~every cm. The white unfinished fabric shows on the outside for half an inch, some variation from wear for some performance or other, probably should have been removed. It is pretty though. 🙂

inner yoke

inner yoke

Next take a look at the front shaping. The pattern diagram LL posted doesn’t seem to show these separate strips. It is hard to see the seams, so I placed pipe cleaners along them, hope it helps! The collar strips, three of them, are sewn with all edges enclosed, the middle section lapped on top of the lower front sections. Look in the photo for the third set of red dots up the strip, right to left. That is a collar seam. I think there are four (or more?) layers of fabric around the neck- it is pretty hefty. The single pipe cleaner down the V of the others is actually  the placement of a fold that encloses the edge of the piece below it. Think of this as a very wide flat-felled seam. The front section goes across to the lower pipe cleaner. The side (front also) section goes from the wide arm/side seam allowance we saw above, across to the single pipe cleaner, so this standard with of cloth has been used without cutting the cloth width to adapt to the section. Pretty clever- it appeals to my frugal nature.

front panel seams

front panel seams

Looking at that seam from the inside, you can see how wide it is. The hemming is visible, a neatly mitered corner at the front edge, narrower finish on the vertical edge, yet a relatively narrow bottom hem, too, ~a cm folded up twice and sewn in place.

front panel, deep seam allowance
front panel, deep seam allowance

 

LL, I hope this helps you! Have fun with yours! Let me know if you want any specific measurements.

 

Inauguration Pie 4

Inauguration Pie today, raspberry-blueberry custard.  Some Red, some Blue, it looked awful, sort of like we did, 18 hours into Inauguration ’09, after absorbing cold, outside all day. But wow, damn-fine pie. We’re getting up at 3am again tonight to take a friend to the airport, just like we did for that 3am cab ride to the first Metro into DC from Hither-&-Yon, VA, just beyond the end of that line. Tomorrow I can feel bleary, remember the surreal gratitude all over again!

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Here is the pie, and a photo I would only share with friends, of us at the Western Regional Ball. Photo manipulation could only help a little, hat-hair, make-up blown off, from many hours before. We walked all over creation in DC, Metro bolluxed by crowds, roads still closed for the parade, cabs impossible. I hadn’t thought to engage a limo, probably not possible anyway. You can just see the edges of my shawl, which is huge and luxurious, but not warm.

For my sewing friends, the shawl I wore is made of Pino Lancetti silk, lined with red silk. I fell in love with the fabric in the garment district in Manhattan and it languished while I fretted over not ruining it. I ended up facing it with a red charmeuse I chose for it, lots of fine hand hemming. I could still take it apart and make it into something spectacular. Thank you 1912 sewers for helping me to even consider that!

I started the knitted hat after our inaugural tickets arrived, Friday before the Monday Inauguration. The hat was not warm enough when I finished it, so I lined it. Plenty of time to knit when you’re fretting over making last-minute arrangements to fly, sleep somewhere(?!).

Today we enjoyed the Inauguration from home turf.  Obama looked burnished by the last four years and so do we. And looking forward to the next term. I promise you that we are still adding to the volunteer mix here, trusting that it’ll make a difference. For today though, I got my contented fill of Sousa marches, speeches and the poetry that make me belong here, an American at home , in the place we’ve been working on. Here’s to all of us, Deo Gratias!

Alterations; Fixing a Failure 8

Everybody I know who sews has fitting challenges! I love to sew but fitting is my least favorite part & I am really bad at it.  Yucky. 

[See my strudel post related to this & other very cool sewing etc. at

Disparate Disciplines. She’s asking “do you sew Cake or Frosting for yourself?” ]

Okay, I Hate Fitting! I made this and then Never Wore It!
So, since I am taking the Couture Dress Class, I went back & picked up a “Wad it into a ball and bury it!” project from last fall.  Use it Up, Make it Do… 🙂

Like now, getting chillier, last fall I wanted a jumper that looked “fallish”, could double as an apron. I’d been reading about vintage “house dresses” & wanted something really comfy for around the house. Butterick 3725 looked fine. Add cozy cinnamony plaid baby wale corduroy.  I was set to go, had bodice lining ready…

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The fit was terrible and I didn’t really have a clue what to do, So disappointing!

  • The shoulders fell off.
  • The bust just didn’t fit
  • The side seams just fell away

I looked up Full Bust Allowance (Vogue advice). I am gritting my teeth and am now resolved to add the following adjustments:

  • Choose pattern size by upper chest measurement: around the back, up under the armholes and across the upper chest (not “bust).
  • Consider using an even smaller back size, or at least look at any back fitting needs.
  • Look at the bust area, and adjust if it needs more room, by adding both horizontal and vertical allowances.
  • Narrow the neckline and widen the shoulder straps to try to get them not to slip off. btw, my shoulders are uneven, so adding shoulder seams helps.

The jumper is done & I’m wearing it! The wider straps are less of a problem, but not perfect. I’d enlarge them onto the back wrap-panels and again, insert a shoulder seam. The bodice fits better!  I  would narrow the neckline/center panel even further to keep those shoulders up! –and stay stitch that curve– the elastic did the job, but *I know*. it was a mistake, and it shows.  🙂

I hope this helps you, if you are looking at bodice fitting!

Dress Fitting Class Reply

I have started the Craftsy class “The Couture Dress“.

V8648, Calvin Klein reversible wool flannel gabardine.

I had already made the dress & many of the problems she averts with re-design show here:

  • The shoulders are cut on the bias and “fall off”.  Super slick lining, Rats. Next time, I’ll pull the back up as she recommends.
  • And pull up the front a bit, less of a “cocktail hour” look.
  • The center waist panel has a center seam that could be deleted. Sure ’nuff, that topstitching looks fussy. I’ll take it out next time.
  • I didn’t use a muslin (before the class). It would’ve helped. That was pre-1912 sewing. Thank you for the shove into better sewing, you all!

Reinforced shoulders, bias reined in with grosgrain ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Calvin Klein reversible wool flannel gabardine was a B&J’s remnant. Marked down, but still precious! I took the plunge and used it, now wish the class had been available before I cut it, SIGH!

The OLD Vogue 8511.

I don’t have the heart for another try right away, starting with an alternate recommended pattern, Vogue 8511, no longer available, got one on Etsy. Watch, out, Vogue has already issued another pattern with this number. 🙂

I’ve made the muslin and started fitting. I took the difference from Size 6 Body measurements /Dress measurements, added that Ease to my own measurements (more like 12-14). I adjusted the seam lines on tracing paper from the pattern pieces, then marked muslin pieces and traced with thread, as she recommends. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

 

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Next up–

  • I pulled the bodice side seam apart and pulled it in. The back side panel is now seriously off-grain. This addresses exactly that issue of the back being a smaller size than the front! And the armhole is now bizarre. Time to pull out the French curve, needs work.
  • The front waist line falls a good inch below mine on the dressform. When I pull it up, that may help those dramatic pleats in the skirt that scream–HIPS! Hoping…
  • The bodice front princess seam line needs to be altered to line up with the outer skirt tuck.
  • My dressform needs another check-up. Time to have a serious re-measuring, just in case.

 

1912 Dress #4016 Summary! 11

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This dress was fun and I recommend making it! I made it so Kate Brown,  our Secretary of State (VoteOregon!) would have a costume to wear ( my earlier 1912 one) in the Portland Grand Floral Parade, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Oregon Women Voting! Go Suffragettes! I finished the dress and hat in time and walked with pals. Our group included the League of Women Voters, Oregon Women’s Commission, and some others. See the 1911 car carrying Oregon Suffragette Abigail Scott Duniway’s great grand daughters. They told me that she wasn’t really the first Oregon woman to vote, that was Sacagawea, sorry I don’t really know.

Go Portland Mayer Sam Adams! Yes, that is the real Mayor in the picture, though he does play the Mayor’s Aide in Portlandia. The Rodeo horse shook it’s head and snorted at my costume- no pockets, no apples or carrots! No wonder people watched for the Wells Fargo coaches1 Amazingly pretty!

The pattern came without instructions and here is a review of my posts, with a summary of the 1912 Project notes at the end.

  1. Getting bearings on the dress and pattern!
  2. Pattern measurements
  3. Making the Very Pretty Collar 🙂
  4. Pattern fitting (continued! 🙂 )
  5. Bodice fitting
  6. Fitting and shaping the skirt seams
  7. Inserting sleeve/bodice gussets
  8. The cuffs
  9. Sewing the bias bands
  10. Sewing the front panel
  11. Making a neck facing
  12. Finishing- odds & ends

VPLL Check List:

Blog points, so I can ask for more patterns!  A possible  total 25 per pattern, here’s my check list:

  • blog – a dozen posts!
  • pattern without instructions. Right, none on this one.
  • photos– max 5, plenty of photos, 20? on this summary alone.
  • fit description. This dress is high & narrow waisted, with a fitted, long skirt and inset front panel. Sleeves are elbow length with faced cuffs. The bodice is pigeon-chested.
  • alteration descriptions. I widened the bust, hips, and waist. I shortened the sleeves a bit, moved the shoulder seam for my dropped shoulders.
  • pattern change descriptions. The front panel sections differed by including/not including a 3/8″ seam allowance and they needed to be matched. I only had room for two bodice bias bands. I drafted a neck facing. If I were to make this again, I would move the bodice gathering section closer to the center chest. Offsetting it by the width of the facing fold pushed it too far off to the sides. There was no provision included for the contrast band at the hem.
  • instruction change list. There was no instruction list. I described my sewing order in the blog posts.
  • finished garment description. This long, fitted dress is completed in Pendleton wools, both light weight gabardines, a cream solid and a cream/beige mini-hounds-tooth. A solid cream fabric is used for a center front inset panel and to line the cuffs. There is a wide hem band, underarm gussets and a self-fabric belt. Bias bands on the cuffs and front are accented with covered buttons. The embroidered collar was made with a cotton gabardine over a piped undercollar. Front closure is under the left side of the panel, with snaps, hooks and eyes sewn onto cotton twill tape. A self-belt was made to match.
  • description of technique (lace, cut work etc.). Detailed descriptions are included for making the underarm gussets, the Broderie Anglaise collar work, cuff facing, bodice panel lining etc.
  • sewing skill used/needed, why. Very good skills are needed for fitting the the one-piece (no longer usual) bodice, drafting pattern pieces, fitting the components of the dress closely, to be flattering. There are plenty of tricky bits, the gussets, sewing the bias bands with appropriate ease, stabilizing bias edges.

[this is a separate checklist, including just in case 🙂 ] review checklist included at end.

description– see pattern & finished garment description above.
pattern sizing– this was a small dress, hoo-boy, those hips were TINY! The skirt 0162 I made last was billed as a 25″ waist but seemed bigger, so I assumed it accommodated numerous undergarments. This dress doesn’t. Someone guessed it was designed for young women. Since pattern numbers have jumped all over the place since 1912 and have been inconsistent from one source to another, I’d say this was designed for a women ~5’2″, weighing not much more than 110 pounds.
look like photo? Yes, aside from the fact that the sketch is considerably stretched for fashion interpretation. 🙂
instructions easy? No instructions and some would have been helpful. I researched for making gussets and learning Broderie Anglaise, cited in posts.
what to like/dislike? I don’t really like the front closure, don’t feel confident with snaps, hooks and eyes. I would change the neck fitting for a re-make. The gussets were a very positive feature and I really liked the collar, so pretty! It looks like one in a current Vogue ad for Louis Vuitton spring suits. I wore a slip reaching mid-shin and really needed one as long as the dress for walking in a stiff breeze with knitting stockings.
fabric used– Pendleton gabardine wools, light weight, and a cotton gabardine for the embroidered collar. I loved working with the wool, it drapes spectacularly.
alterations/design changes? see above.
recommend to others? If you don’t need historic accuracy, consider using a zipper closure. Practice making a gusset with waste fabric beforehand. Think carefully about the cuff seams- I got them backwards. They are counter intuitive.  Place the bodice gatherscloser to the middle. Fit carefully- I was struck by how frumpy my initial muslin version looked.
conclusion? This dress has charm and great style details. I love it!
Pattern Name: E4016_DRESS. 
sewer’s skill:Advanced.
rating & why, 1-5, 1-Not a Fan, 2 – So-So, 3 – Good/Average, 4-Better than Average, 5-I LOVED IT! and why?
skill needed & why. I loved this dress. It was fun to wear, got scads of compliments. It was a challenge for me, a sewer who is likely to make errors. 🙂 I learned lots!
instructions easy? Change? [no instructions]
Fit/sizing? As expected? The pattern size wasn’t listed, so I was prepared to alter and check all areas. It was actually smaller than I expected though.
Alterations? For fit or design? I flared the skirt, all three pattern sections, back, side and front panel. I inserted darts in the skirt front and tucks in the bodice back.
volunteer for more… sorry, very little spare time, not really any with this added to the plate. 🙂

4016 Finishing Odds & Ends 1

My dress is all but finished! Here are some final steps:

  • The under collar needed adjustment to complement the embroidery (not exactly the same shape) and I piped the edge.

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  • Buttons– I chose covered buttons again and they needed to be made: 6 for the skirt, 6 for the bodice and 4 for sleeves. Okay, only 4 for the bodice (couldn’t fit in 3 bias bands) and 8 for the sleeves, backs overlooked!
  • The bottom band! I still think this piece needs to be lined or something, since the fabric is thin and pale. It hung nicely, especially with the horsehair hem. I continued the curve from the skirt pieces, might opt to pipe this seam another time.
  • Hem– I owe my daughter another ’50’s kitty skirt for helping to pin, this time the hem, which I sewed with horse hair so it would hang nicely.
  • Closure– I decided against a hidden button placket and went with snaps, hooks & eyes. The left dress and front panel edges were reinforced with a cotton twill tape, pinned in place to help mark closure placement, then snaps were sewn onto the tape before the tape went onto the dress. They were secure and didn’t show after being sewn on. I turned the dress facing after sewing on the tape. Well, full disclosure? 🙂 Some of the snaps popped on the skirt at the hips when I sat down, so I sewed up the skirt (like the pattern called for!)  at the last moment, by hand.
  • Belt- I found some old belt tape in my elastic basket and used a double fitting buckle from Mindy’s Needlepoint Shop. The dress fabric covered the tape. I pressed the edges of a strip down, used a bit of fabric glue, sewed the strip and one buckle side in place,  checked for fit over the dress, then sewed down the second buckle piece.
  • For the final fit check, I moved a snap and replaced the neck hook and eye with a strong snap. A good press, hanging overnight and off to the Parade! 🙂 Actually, I started the hat here. You can see it in the pictures. The ribbons matched the collar ties.

Oh, btw, I noticed that the book I mentioned, The Mary Frances Sewing Book [1913!], had a note after the title page that some notions are available from the printer, Lacis. This included the Sewing Bird, $14.00 for the basic one. I was pleased to see that they carry tatting and bobbin lace things!