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!!


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 Morning 2, fitting continues… 3

Halted last night, discouraged by a dowdy muslin. And no, dress form isn’t standing up straight, tough day for her, too. Escape to bedtime reading !

Threads articles: gussets , Feb/Mar 2010, pp. 29-43, thoroughly intimidating! But helpful. On to another, Aug/Sept 2007, pp.46-51, Vintage Patterns, helpful for closure and facing recommendations.  Time to sleep on it and redesign. I wonder if anybody else has trouble making dumpy alterations by trying to use measurements…now Today! 🙂

A bunch of things needed to be fixed!

  • The front panel pattern pieces didn’t match widths, by the 3/8″ seam allowance included in one, not the other.
  • I tried pinching in the waist skirt panel.
  • Then I looked at pulling the waist in further.
  • Oops, I added widened the back bodice and skirt, but the skirt was way off, must have goofed, so in goes a skirt mid-panel.
  • That back skirt is catching & riding up the hips, needs some wiggle room!
  • Confidence ebbed, rechecking back width to the pattern.
  • The skirt front image looked straight down the side seam, so I started playing, narrowing it.
  • The shoulder line isn’t mine 🙂
  • Well, guess it was time to think about a gusset since the paper-like fabric is shredding. The Threads article called for a 3″ slash.
  • Okay, totally straightened that side seam.
  • I widened the front skirt panel a bit, intend to go even further.
  • The waist line has returned to Empire, Thank You, Theresa!!
  • Taking the flare out of the side seams, I wanted to see how much I might add to the back, so I slit it to see natural spread. A bodice insert, including a couple of pinches at the waist helped, too.

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Okay, enough playing, now back to revisions, want to be sure it looks okay before I go to fabric…  & I need to work on Gussets Arrrggh!)

#4016 Bodice- the Rubber Ducky! 4

Today I am working on the #4016 muslin, starting with bodice fitting. I am using my daughter’s “rubber ducky” technique for resolving a mystery in computer programming- explain what you’re trying to do to a rubber ducky and sometimes solutions to your problems will become obvious!

4016 bodice front spread

Straight of Grain
This is the first question. I needed to slash and spread both the back and the front to get an adequate bust and waist enlargement.  This made the shoulder stand up a good 1/2″ that would need accommodation.

I cut the muslin with the front (I thought) on grain, and the back off grain, where the fold is supposed to be. The alteration seemed to throw this off anyway.

4016 bodice back spread

You can see the shoulder tuck that appeared. I knew I’d need for this to be slashed with an insertion, since my shoulders are already more sloped than the norm. It looked like I should let out an inch, for a dart length of ~3″.

4016 shoulder slash

Here’s what the shoulder section looks like when the first few seams were sewn and I could see what it naturally spread to on the dress form. I’m concerned about the natural fall of the neckline here, too. It looks like I may need to enlarge it. I thought the slash was more even on the shoulder, looks like the insert would go almost entirely onto the front. I am starting to think of slashing the bodice on the center sleeve, inserting a seam, and placing the center front and back pieces on the straight of grain.

4016 bodice back

Bodice Back
You can see the grain lines clearly with the muslin stand-in here. It is pretty spectacularly off grain, where the fold is supposed to be. I started to worry about bias stretching and noticed again the wrinkles on the underarm section of the sleeve, in the pattern image. Also, it is Way Too short for me in the back, even though that doesn’t seem true in the front. It could be needed for wearing ease that doesn’t show.

4016 bodice gusset slash

I wanted to take a look at how well the gusset slash would work, may want to alter the length of the slash, size of the gusset needed.

Front Placket
I have to think about the front placket, how it affects fitting, how the folded pleat will work, and how I want to deal with getting in & out of this dress, open and close it! The buttons on the pattern image have to be decorative, at least some of them. I looked in a Threads file and found a reference to an easy hidden button placket, April/May 2004, p.  35. I am concerned with how the fold buckled a bit when I pinned the bodice to the front insert. This is a focus and convinces me that I want to put this on straight of grain, considering my sewing skills. 🙂 It could be reinforced with some kind of stabilizer, but I think I prefer trying a grain shift with the sleeve sea insertion.

4016, off-grain front pulling

I want to keep an eye on the heavy gathering at the base of the bodice. This seems to fit the period “pigeon-chest”, but the pattern drawing looks smooth. Maybe this is what happens when you alter the pattern to accommodate a bust, underscoring somebody’s guess that this is meant to be for a younger woman, even a girl.

So, the front has been lowered to match the extension needed for the back. It looks way too long, sorta what I expected since it didn’t look like it needed any change.  I can cut generously, then alter the final waist seam as needed. The back length was lowered, 2 1/2″ for me, and I’m not tall! I even like high waists, but still too short for me. I widened all around. Next I’ll work on gussets, seam allowance refining, any facings needed for closure reinforcement and how to insert the collar, especially dress neck facing, so the collar can be detachable.

4016 altered back

The altered back may need tiny pinches or darts, pin-pleated in the photo.

The sleeve section grain lines are a huge contrast! I wonder how this will play out?

The final front is the top photo, grain lines straightened, bust and waist girth expanded, waist line lowered. Back to work, watch this space! I’ll be done with this by Friday morning, leaving by car for the Saturday Parade- cross fingers for me! please…

Dress #4016- Pattern Measurements 12

Wrong 2 inch overlap

Pattern Measurements, Altering Necessary for Me! This morning I measured the pieces, checking for seams aligning. They all looked fine, nothing glaringly mismatched (seam allowances aren’t included; I’ll add them later). The numbers did dig out a couple of problems, though.  Hip alert! I have rechecked and found I’d goofed on the front tucks- they are not 1″ overlapped. They are 1/2″” overlap, 1″ on each side, only a 2″ circumference reduction.  Here is a summary (corrections!).

corrected front panel overlap

You can see the offending confusion- the 1″ lap mark on the front bodice panel, and the corrected placement, pretty obvious, when you look at it. Turns out the collar should be fine as drawn! Sheesh. I am perfect for this project, finding likely tripping points and clearing them up! 😉 Please let me know if you find errors!!

Correct overlap close-up

Okay, back to the Summary:
–Waist- 25″
–Hip: 33.25″
–Skirt Length: 32.75″
– Bust circumference: 39″
– Front length: 49″
– Back Length: 47 1/8″
–Sleeve: 13 3/8″
– Neck- 14″

  • Waist25″. Sides were 12.5” (7.25″ each, then subtracting 1/2″ lap, 1″ folded on each side, not 2″!!, from sides onto the front), front 3.5″, back 9″ (4.5″ folded). Remember, this is above the “natural Waist”, big contrast to the dropped, Hippy look popular now. ;-

    Collar fits!

    I will still need some wiggle room, not planning to wear a corset this time. aah…

    4016 waist & Hip patterns

  • Hip (7″ down from natural waist): 33.25″. Oh dear- this is a big alert for me, mine are bigger!  16.75″ for both sides (9 3/8″ each, 1” lap removed), 13″ across folded back, and front unchanged, 3.5″. Hoo-boy, Even a corset wouldn’t squeeze those hips up into the pigeon chest. Sorry about the smudges- I had to double TRIPLE! check this!
  • Skirt Length– 32.75″ down the front panel, 33.75″ down side-back seam & center back. I expect that’ll curve out and over those hips some.  This may benefit from hanging to allow for any bias stretching, before hemming. This looks too long for me, considering the image. No surprise there.
  • Bust circumference 39″.

    4016 Bodice

    The bust flares, so I measured the bodice across, at 10″ down, top of the middle trim insertion. This is 9 3/4″ across, giving 8 3/4″ each side, after 1″ lap subtraction. Bodice front panel is 4″, fold opened. Back bust (chest)- 8.75″ each side (1″ lap subtracted), center fold to the sleeve insertion, total, 17.5″ across.

  • Front length– 49″ Shoulder to waist seam- 16 3/8″, skirt- 32 5/8″. Hmm- this must allow for considerable blousing on that front piece.
  • Back Length– 47 1/8″. This is 13 3/8″ bodice back + 33 3/4″ center back. So, the difference is 1″ longer skirt, and  1 7/8″ overall shorter, so that front must blouse 2 7/8″.
  • Sleeve– 13 3/8″ from neck to seam. The cuff is turned back, doesn’t add to the length. The sleeve is 13″ around at the cuff seam. Neck– 14″. I’m not sure what brought my attention to this, looks more like a dropped V in the image. You might want to check yours for comfort.

    bodice neck edge

  • Collar– Okay, this’ll need checking. The neck edge measures 14″ on the bodice (including front panel), looks like ~8.5″, opened to 17″ on the collar, though there isn’t a clear seam end on the front curve. The front center pattern point (56) numbers match. It looks like there is considerable easing in on the collar piece, must make it roll nicely. This should be fitted before starting any intensive embroidery! I wonder if this collar was made as a detachable one, with a facing attached that would somehow snap/button/hook to the dress?

4016 collar seam close up

Next, alterations!

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, March progress 1

Skirt #0162!

The Muslin

The big (!) question is, how do I fit a muslin when my weight (waist, etc.) fluctuates, I can’t fit with my daughter’s corset on because I can’t bend over the sewing machine. So, take a wild guess? 🙂 Optimism, elastic, stab in the dark? I fitted to my dress form, variously too big & too small. sigh. It looks great. You can’t see the accidentally inverted back pleats. lol.

The hem is lower in back, wondering if it should drag?
AMAZING UPDATE!! Alicia, a 1912 sewist 😉 says she owns the original skirt!

  • not lined
  • a day length (not dragging?)
  • she will get it out and share with us when she can. yay!

The Skirt

It is cut out, including an extension to cross over the front, under the “button-up” panel, in case I want to add it. The Pendleton wool is lovely and irons beautifully. I was amazed that the (WIDE!) side panels could be cut on one pass- really wide fabric–


Now, fretting about how to interpret that scroll work down the front! I copied it carefully on the pattern.






The pattern referred to soutache braid and I knew I’d have trouble bending it into those fine curves. See the middle of the picture, like vines. The leaf on the right is a quilting pattern copy, pierced through several layers of paper.

The strip on the left is the scroll work pierced to sew onto the fabric. Here’s a better view:

Look closely! You pin this to the fabric, sew over it, then go on to “couching”. This is an embroidery stitch.

I used cotton, red to contrast on the front, dark on the back. I couched an “Aunt Lydia’s” #10 crochet thread onto the side panels. I’m ~ 3/4’s done, figure it’ll take ~9 hours. whew.

More soon! I’ll post photos of tools & technique…:-)