Gathers & Pleats & Tucks, Oh My!

Here in the US, Downton Abbey has but one more episode to air and where will we find the historical eye candy that fluttered across our screens each week? Although the series will come to a close, the fabulous creativity can still be found at Historical Sewing Monthly where the February challenge is ‘Tucks & Pleating’.

For my project, I chose a dress sized for a 7 year old girl, the original pattern from La Mode Illustree, May 1894 (Model on right).  Made of a lightweight woolen with linen detailing for the collar, cuff and scarf, this dress fit the challenge nicely.


There are lots of gathers along the bodice waist at center front and back, and along the puff sleeves at shoulder and cuff.  There are pleats along the waist of the skirt to pull in all that volume without adding bulk.


There are tucks to shape the front bodice at shoulder and front opening and more along the back, hidden below the collar.

tucks and gathers

And, let’s not forget the tucks along the skirt which can be let out as needed when our little girl grows.



I had hoped to trim the sailor collar and make a slightly longer skirt, but in keeping with my desire to use up my stash, I was limited to the two yards I had on hand. I have one 3” x 8” piece left which could possibly be added to the collar at a later date. Now all I need to do is find a willing model to wear it – a bit before her time, but little Sybbie Branson, I presume?


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Filed under The Vintage Pattern Lending Library

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