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.  🙂

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!!


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!

4016 Cuffs 4

These have to be the most complicated cuffs I’ve ever made (never did make those men’s shirt cuffs from David Page Coffin’s class).

Every mistake I could make I think I did! The cuff needs to be sewn counter-intuitively, right side to inside of the sleeve, cuff seam away from the sleeve seam. I’d inserted a shoulder seam and those two needed to be aligned. Usually I’d match the sleeve and cuff seams, did that and needed to rip and fix it. There’s a series of steps, petty tricky for somebody watching the clock:

  • First I hauled the dress fabric back out for those bias strips, decided on 2″: 3/4’s folds and 1/4″ seam allowance. I ran a quick measure of the skirt panels, bodice and sleeve strips, think I’ve cut enough for all of them.
  • Strip placement is tricky at best. I decided to wait on the skirt strips until I’ve sewn the waist seam. I remember wishing I’d thought of adjusting the back pleat height to break at the knee on dress #0162. When you look at this dress image, her legs are longer than I am tall (and those feet are teensy!). More on that later.
  • I finished the cuff facing edge and pressed it.
  • Bias piping for the cuff edge, nice, better when pressed.
  • The cuff looks inside out, then finished, but easy to mess up the seams here. the finished cuff side gets sewn to the inside sleeve. Rats- That stabilizing tape will have to be hidden. I’ll press the cuff to hang a bit low to cover.
  • Finished edges align, with considerable trimming of bulk, probably smarter to use thin lining fabric for the cuff.
  • Sewing the bias strips on with a walking foot is So Much Smoother!
  • Use an edging foot to sew down the piping, really helps.

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    All that’s left for this step is buttons. I counted 16, but actually there are 4 needed for the sleeves, will need to make more. On to Gussets!

VPLL Dress #4016, First Post 2

The race is ON! Done for the June 9th Portland Rose Festival Parade or BUST!

I promised to loan my Skirt #0162 outfit to a friend to wear in the parade with us, so I want to dig into this and complete this one with enough time left to *not Panic*.  Here’s the image:

The description is helpful since there are no instructions:
“This dress features welt trim and a cutwork collar. It is without instructions, so 25 points.” 

Today I assembled the pattern printer pages and traced. Pattern pieces:

  • Collar, center back fold and a curved seam. The photo looks like the front  edges meet at the center, marked with a number 56. I’d guess it will meet a number 65, the center Vee point of the Bodice panel. There is a 3/8″ line that looks like a seam allowance, so I will cut two and use my best heirloom skills. 😉
  • Collar overlay, another collar layer that includes the cutwork, very pretty. In order to finish this on time for the parade, I may try to incorporate some shortcuts here.  Here’s an image of these two pieces. Sorry it is warm now in my attic, the ball point ink smeared, so I used other markers after this.

Collar patterns, embroidery over collar

  • Bodice Panel, the narrow strip that shows as light fabric in the image. It is deeply Vee’d, not so obvious in the photo, and it is cut with a center fold.
  • Skirt Front,  another very narrow panel, continuation of the bodice panel. There is a note to lap the skirt sides to an inset line, forming the pleat I can imagine seeing, looks like an inch.
  • Skirt Sides, a couple of flaring panels, with trim placement markings and a note to leave the left front open above a marked point. Now, the think in advance about facing, reinforcement, interfacing?
  • Skirt Back, similar to the skirt sides, cut on the fold, fold line up the center back. The trim placement lines are continued from the side panels. I’m thinking I’ll sew the trim on after those side and back panel seams are in place.
  • Cuff, trim placement marked.
  • Welt Trim, guessing pretty much entirely on this. I think I’ll start musing on bias strips of the fabric, which has a weave. It is 3/4″, so folded, with 1/4″ seam allowance, would give me several yards of 2″ lengths. Hmm, maybe slash the skirt along those placement lines? Sew on top, fold and press?
  • Now, the surprise piece…Front, back and sleeves, all in one!

    Dress #4016, bodice and sleeve pattern

This piece is cut with a fold up the center back, so the front will be biased. Figuring sleeve length and shoulder placement, bust fitting, etc., makes this a strong candidate for *not skipping* the muslin step.

Fabric– I want to use some of the Pendleton mini-houndstooth light weight tropical wool, with the solid cream wool for the inset panel.

Buttons– I have plenty of covered buttons already, unfortunately, all 3/8″, when it looks like I need 3/4, around the bodice, half a dozen, another half dozen around the skirt trim, and four smaller ones on the cuffs.

The *Deep Breath* parts so far are- that Collar embroidery, the trim (WELT?!), and fitting.  I should do some research into what the welt implies about construction. I bet someone in our group has strong opinions on this. 🙂 I hope so!

Next, measuring for alterations, etc.

Skirt #0162 Blog Review 2

My Skirt is done! Now the point review, links to skirt posts…

Skirt #0162, ensemble with Blouse #4925

Blog post points, 1 point each? I started this site to learn how to blog, set up the site, looked forward to getting a pattern, visited fabric stores while waiting to see what kind of patterns I’d get. I posted several entries getting ready for the first pattern. These posts are about the skirt:

Instructions & Changes– this pattern had them and I would change some of them:
–I was surprised that the layout included pieces with opposing up & down directions, back & front up, those wide side panel pieces down. I’m all in favor of efficiency but didn’t do this, afraid the nap would scream.
–I went back and marked the seam-matching point numbers on my  layout page, found that very helpful.
–I got the pleat direction wrong on my muslin for the back pleats, saw that they should open under the back piece, not flaring out under the side panels, made a note to myself. Pleats fold under the front and back panels.
–I am so spoiled by modern layouts that I wanted to copy the instructions into a program where I could add the Section Headings, as they were in an early page, for Alterations, Cutting, Pressing. I’d list the seams by name, the waist, hem, and  a special section with recommendations for buttons, waist finishing. Advanced options like lining, boning, interfacing should be highlighted, too.
–I serged fabric edges and pressed everything, as the instructions suggested, including the serged edges, so they wouldn’t add bulk.

Photos, a point each, up to 5. I worked on these, with an image editor called GIMP, since many images of paper pieces and otherwise low-contrast had to be optimized. I worked on composition, too. I hope you like them. Look at the links above. 🙂

Fit, Pattern & Garment Description- this long “day-length” walking skirt sits 3″ above the waist, at the ankle in front, slightly lower in back, but not to drag. It has a graceful fit over hips, flaring for a fuller swing in the back. I found the 25″ Waist description to be overly flattering in underestimation of the actual size. 😉 It is embellished with soutache braid (or use the scrollwork pattern included for couching). The two wide skirt side gores pleat under the narrow front and back panels. No facings or waist pieces are included.
–This pattern fit would probably be a modern pattern size 12? I have ready-to-wear sizes in my closet that range from 2-12, so who knows? Patterns from the ’50’s, I’d wear a 14. Now I alter for petite height. The waist and hips should be altered to fit each time this is made up.
–I thought it did not look like the photo because I don’t stand with my waist facing forward, emphasizing the “Virtual Bustle”!
–I like this skirt! It is comfortable to wear and the walking ease is lovely. I did catch the hem in my heel at one point when I had to reach down, was afraid I’d torn out some hand stitches, will have to be careful.
–Fabric used was a Pendleton Wool, tropical weight summer gabardine, see a blog post above.

Alterations– This skirt was too long for me. I shortened it. I was worried that I’d make a mistake with the overlap allowances for the  front opening, so cut the seam allowances wide, ending up taking them back off, after leaving a generous turned edge for a nice supportive “facing” edge.

Pattern Changes
–I checked the pieces, yet the front panel still seemed off in length. I will be very careful with my next patterns. I caught this at the Patternmaker step, before copying onto tissue paper.
–I considered ways to reinforce the front button panel, facing it entirely, opening both sides, either with button holes or snaps.
–I faced the waist with elastic instead of grosgrain ribbon, then took it off and reduced the waist size, reapplying the elastic, so it didn’t pull the waist and pucker.
–I narrowed the front panel lines above the pleat, following the hip lines, so they didn’t look wider at the top, a very unflattering image, I thought.
–I considered facing the hem, before I saw how big the circumference was! It still needed help, so I sewed in a line of horsehair, then whip-stitched a dark thin ribbon over it, since I could only find white horsehair.
–The soutache braid called for would have been very hard for me to find, estimate yardage (trusted my ability to goof and need more! 😉 ). I used a crochet thread, couching it on by hand, detailed instructions in a post listed above.
–Buttons- I used covered buttons, including adding a few small ones at the base of the back panel, at the top of those pleats.
–Next time, I would alter the pleat height to start just below the knee in back, more flattering. It was probably placed there for the original length of the skirt, and I didn’t think to alter that position when I shortened it.

Techniques, Skills- There is a post for the scrollwork embroidery used in place of the soutache. Easing the hip curves was important, may need a note for beginning sewers. This pattern was not difficult, could be made by beginning sewers, but having a good foundation will make a big difference in the final garment, reinforcement stitching, pressing at every opportunity, understitching, experience with fitting. Proceeding from stitching lines instead of outside edges of seam allowances is not basic, was very helpful.

Conclusions– I would recommend this pattern for others, really like this skirt. I would compare it to the Folkwear Walking Skirt Pattern, the advantage here being that the waist and hip silhouette may be more graceful without the back gathers seen on the Folkwear pattern. The narrow front and fuller sides and back of both are similar.

VPLL Checklist:
1. Ladies Skirt May 5, 1912, La Mode Illustree #0162
2.  Sewing skill, beginner to advanced, benefiting from added care taken.
3.  Rating 5 out of 5 (top). I loved this skirt, simple yet fun to embroider, fit, execute and wear!
4. Skill needed- This skirt would benefit from advanced sewing skills, experience with well-designed garments, so that techniques not described in the instructions could be added, like horsehair for the hem. Optional boning, heavy interfacing or lining are suggested but not described. Understanding these steps is assumed.
5.   Instructions- see above.
6. Fit/Sizing- see above.
7.  Alterations- see above

Maundy Thursday blouse progress 1

After whining yesterday about blouse closure decisions, today I tackled a few easy steps and started putting pieces together.

Sleeves & Cuffs
The over blouse will be dark red. I want the top to coordinate with the skirt I just finished, so the collar and cuffs will be that dark fabric, faced with the red. I turned the facing for a clean finish, and pressed allowances to turn the facing under a bit. You can see the red rolling a little in the bottom here.

I got ready to sew cuffs onto sleeves and got the pattern pieces out to check placement when directions said to match notches. They were printed on the cuffs but not on the sleeves, so I looked at the photo and decided the cuff should flare up opposite the inner sleeve seam, midway round the arm.


There was a considerable amount of pressing here, seamed flat, then seams opened, seams turned. I haven’t pressed the cuff flat up onto the sleeve, some care with that when I’m fresher. 🙂






A little review- lining, front & back, is ready. I sewed the sleeves in and gathered the  over blouse.

Lining Front


Lining Back










So, what’s left for tomorrow, last day before I want to wear this:

  • Sew the over blouse collar on and face that front V-neck.
  • Re configure the French lining closure- fronts, facings and collar, to open in the front.
  • Sew the lining to the over blouse.
  • Hem the waist and sleeves.
  • Sew the buttons on the collar, matching the  the cuffs.
  • Finish my Hat!

    Maundy Thursday

A new pattern- Blouse (Shirtwaist) #4925 1

to go with skirt #0162, a 

I’ll make the big blue one, over-blouse, “French lining” and sash.

The overblouse is cut in one piece, 2 sides, left & right, with 3 tucks, up & down, front & back, over the shoulders.  The piece is pretty spectacular! How to paper fit this? I folded for sleeve length and diameter, distance from front waist, up over to back waist. It seems okay (fingers crossed!).

I didn’t think it would fit on the fabric! This Pendleton wool is pretty spectacular, very wide and wonderful. I even had to piece the tracing paper!

The big arc across the bottom gets gathered around the waist front. There will be some gathering in the back (top of the photo) and the straight bit on the right will be 3/4 sleeves, cuff yet to be cut.

I sewed and pressed the tucks. Okay, maybe this will be a
problem. This tucks are falling off the shoulders. My dressform has spiffier shoulders than I do…

We’ll get back to this, bigger fish to fry. This has to be done and wearable in a couple of days (Yikes!).


The “French Lining”
I looked at the pattern for a while over this, especially after I’d cut out the lining in my wool (ouch!).
There are 2 side back pieces, #’s 9 & 10. Clearly the second from Left is a  side front, no sweat. But this needs to be in the “lining fabric”, back 3 steps.

So I cut out new “lining” for the underblouse and put it onto the dressform, nice Pricess seams and I was tired, so I did them backwards and upside down.  Where did I put that nice seam ripper?!
N.B.- see how nicely the fronts overlap?  More on that soon…


I placed the seam allowances on the outside (inside for a lining). The sleeve seams will be on the inside, facing in. Rats, when I got the skirt fabric, I thought it was a very dark Navy. Now it looks more like a very dark grey, not such a good match with this underblouse.

The collar and neck facing:
Facing directions say to sew the right shoulder, then finish outer edges. Back and front facings fold at centers.
Collar instructions say to finish or face, seam up the center back, to be closed with hooks.

Now, remember that generous front allowance? I matched backs and side seams onto the dressform–looks for all the world like that should be a front button placket… we’re now up to three closure options, deep breath!

I went back to the collar and moved the seam to the left shoulder. I walked a tape measure around the facing, measured my neck, and added 2 1/2″ to the neck diameter, didn’t change the facings. Man, was that one strait-laced time!! No, thank you!
Here’s the original size collar on top of the facing. This is when I decided I must do a muslin of these two pieces, at least… I’ve never seen a seam  that took so much clipping. I’ll use tiny stitches
when I use good fabric.

Anyway, it looked nice on the dressform and was impossible to wear. The collar was entirely too small for my old neck. I cut it down more than an inch, 2″ around, curving down another 1/2″ in
the front. I  just looked for the wrinkles when I tried it on, marked it, and serged off the excess.








Here’s the tall one, reminds me of my great-great grandmother Simpson.


And here’s the serged one, more wearable:








Just one more thing for today. I finished the collar, edge-stitched, pressed and ready to use. The 3/8″ covered buttons are ready for it. 

Now, to figure out where I want this to OPEN!!

I’m thinking, open  in the front, where the extra fabric already is ready for facing.

But that collar should at least overlap around to the shoulder seam, or do a Mandarin dip, or somethin!!

And I don’t really want to make another dozen tiny buttons. Hmm. Maybe sleep on it…Ideas?




Skirt #0162 finished! 2

Last finishing bits:

The Hem:
I wanted a little more body so I sewed in horse hair, then covered it with a sheer ribbon, in case I start kicking up my heels. 🙂 This would have been so much easier with black horse hair, but I didn’t find any…


The Placket:
It needed reinforcing but I didn’t want more bulk, so I used a black cotton twill tape.  The waist band looked better when I took the elastic off and refitted it, pretty bulky though, with the twill tape! In an earlier blog, a pucker showed on the placket, so I took it apart and restitched it.

I like the buttons. What I would do differently? Those back buttons should hit higher on me, just at the knee, and they are lower. Next time! If you are fitting, I’d choose where that pleat starts and move it, if you need to!
But the skirt is done, ready for this Saturday, an Oregon Suffragette! Watch for finishing the shirtwaist & hat…