I have almost finished sewing the layet. My last items are petticoats and a cloak.
I decided to explain in a little more detail how I have been approaching these patterns. Before beginning I always need to get my head around the measurements and instructions, as they can be straightforward or a little confusing. The patterns also can go on about advice that is not necessary in producing the garment. I start by reading, re-reading and the making dot points on what I believe is essential to constructing the garment. I also re-draw the diagrams and pencil in any essential measurements. I also use this stage to alter any measurements as needed.
I also make notes of changes as I work. This helps me when making future copies of the pattern.
This pattern was very straightforward in creating the skirt. I did alter the length, as one of my original gowns was a shorter than the length given. The panels are two different widths as the back is only a half width. The closure is a simple 7 1/2" slash that is narrow hemmed and has a buttonhole thread to strengthen the slash.
The bodice is a little more complicated. The bodice is a 5" x 26" rectangle that is folded into quarters and has the armholes cut out.
The shoulders are simple 4" x 1 1/16" strips that are run and felled to either side of the cut out holes. The armholes and centre backs are then narrow hemmed.
It is at this point I decided to deviate from the original instructions. The instructions are to hem the top of the bodice 1/4" and use a narrow tape to drawstring. The neckline at the shoulder straps is right angled, so I decided to bias tape and drawstring the neckline instead. This is also a perfectly period correct option used on other extant ladies underwear garments.
The final step is to attach the bodice to the skirt with the use of a band. The band is 2 strips of fabric 1/2" x 19". The bodice is gathered into one of the bands at the center front and side backs. The skirt is gathered all round and attached to the band.
The pattern did not provide measurements for the bodice gathers. It did provide a general diagram. I decided to work it out by quartering the band and bodice and attaching the two with pins at these points. I then pinned them together where there are no gathers. Once it looked correct I marker the fabric that required gathering and noted the measurements for the future. For me it was 3" on each side back and 6" center front.
The second band is used to face the inside of the band. Larger tapes are then either sewn to the band or threaded through to make the waist adjustable. The completed petticoats are simple and functional. The pattern was also very simple to construct.
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