Category Archives: Pattern #4016

The Story Behind The Fabric

Carolyn wasn’t a close friend but I admired her from afar for her grace, talent, and impeccable taste.  For monthly sewing guild meetings, she would arrive with the most creative and gorgeous outfits, and have in tow a few more to show that she made for her children & grandchildren.  I secretly wished she would adopt me.

Belle-Armoire-Jan-Feb 2011

In January 2011, I purchased “Belle Armoire” magazine featuring the designs of Alabama Chanin.  After reading the article and studying the fabulous garments, I became a total Natalie Chanin fan.  It wasn’t until days later when I actually continued on to page 25 and found another article showcasing an art to wear garment by Carolyn.  I had no idea (as she was not the type to brag) she was being published.  Nor did I realize she had won several design and sewing awards as well as The American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest in 2005. Yes, she was that talented.

In 2012, Carolyn lost her battle to cancer and her family donated the contents of her studio to the sewing guild.  Special pieces in her collection were passed on to her children and grandchildren, but her patterns and fabric were donated to her sewing friends.  Being late to the meeting that day, I missed so much of the lovely fabric that was being sold, but I did obtain 3 pretty pieces of fabric that I decided I would hold to make an item, or items, that Carolyn would be proud of.

So, fast forward to my last post on the 1912 dress – I used two of her fabrics to create it, and, this is also the reason I put it away for so long.  The dress came without directions or pattern layout but I was happy to see from the pieces themselves that I had just enough of the deep red silk twill for the main dress and the small section of linen would work perfectly for the center panel.  Yippee!

I used cotton in my stash to line the bodice and silk to make the bias bands, started an embroidered collar, muddled through underarm gussets, but wait….. why is there no pattern piece for the bottom hem band(?), ARGH, now you tell me, and I don’t have any more linen!  So, what I had hoped was going to be my personal thank you to Carolyn, ended up somewhat crushing my motivation.  And, the half-finished dress moved into my UFO tote for over 3 years.

Thanks to Leimomi at Historical Sewing Monthly and her perfect January challenge “Procrastination’, I felt it was time to re-visit my dress.  My linen hem doesn’t match as much as I’d like and it’s not as creative as Carolyn would have made, but I think she would be proud of it just the same.

 

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Filed under Costumes, Pattern #4016, The 1912 Project, The Vintage Pattern Lending Library, Uncategorized

Historical Sewing Monthly 2016

January Challenge: Procrastination

Fabric: Silk for main fabric, Linen for center front and hemline, Cotton to line bodice.

Pattern: Ladies Dress from La Mode Illustree   Date:  April 7, 1912

Notions: Buttons, Grosgrain Ribbon, Cotton Crochet Collar – Still needs belt.

How Historically Accurate: Dress pattern/design is 100% accurate drafted from a vintage magazine. I’m not sure of the main fabric – it IS silk but has a twill-look weave to it. Due to time and budget constraints, I used buttons that are not necessarily accurate. The collar that is meant to be with this design is not complete (possibly the May challenge?), so I added a vintage cotton crochet collar from my stash.

Hours to Complete: Too many to calculate. This started four years ago as a project to test a pattern which had no directions or layout to go by. Fabric was purchased (so I thought) and not until the final step did I realize I needed more of the white linen fabric to finish the bottom hemline. I can’t believe how much white linen is out there and NONE matched up. Hence, with regret, this was relegated to my UFO tote. Timing wise, I would estimate 24-32 working hours.

First Worn: Not yet – this was made in the size presented in the magazine and is a bit small for me. I will probably donate this to a local theater for use in an upcoming production, or try to peel in on when I finish the proper corset for underneath.

Total Cost: Very little as fabric was purchased from an estate sale at $1 a yard.  Story in next post.

e4016 collage

 

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The Historical Sew Monthly 2016

It’s been a while since my last post.  Oh, my…. three years?!  It’s not as though I haven’t been sewing, but blogging and taking pictures has certainly not been on my radar.

Then, along comes The Historical Sew Monthly 2016, a blog/challenge I have followed since it was an Historical Sew Fortnightly 2013.  Each year I would pledge to work on a challenge, and each month another project would push said challenge to the side.  I sat back and watched in amazement as others showcased their wonderful talent and was always a bit disappointed in myself that I let yet another month go by.

Well, the call went out again and it begins with the January challenge of ‘Procrastination.’  Talk about perfect – I feel the theme is quite apropos.

So, this year I will again make my pledge, (putting it in writing may help).  I WILL finish a garment that I have been totally procrastinating with – the 1912 dress from my last post in 2012.  I think the timing is right.

HSM2016

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Filed under Pattern #4016, The 1912 Project, The Vintage Pattern Lending Library

And It All Started With A Collar

A note of thanks to The Vintage Pattern Lending Library for the inspiration to tackle garment patterns from 1912.  To commemorate the centennial of The Titanic tragedy,  The 1912 Project was born.   This endeavor has brought together delighted sewers  from all over the world, and of every skill level willing to share their knowledge and expertise for the good of the group.  It has inspired so much creativity, I am genuinely in awe of their talents.

Ladies Dress #E4016

For my next project challenge I went with Ladies Dress Pattern #4016, released April 7, 1912.  The fun part about this particular pattern is there are no directions, only pattern pieces, and a lovely cut work collar that just drew me in.  It’s been a long time since my embroidery days, but I was thrilled to take a stab at this one.

For the collar I decided to use white ecclesiastical linen and white DMC #20/32m cotton thread.  I am SO pleased with this fabric because unlike apparel linen, it is quite stiff and tightly woven.  When you put a needle through it, it snaps like twill.  The downloaded collar pattern only prints one half of the design, which I then printed again onto tracing paper.  This made the mirror image visible on the back, so taping the two together made a detail of the full collar.  Using a FriXion pen I traced the design on my linen, attached it to my stretcher bars and set to work.

Please note:  I am not an expert regarding white work embroidery.  There is such a broad spectrum of techniques including Hedebo, Aryshire, Richelieu, and Broderie Anglaise, to name a few.  Then within these techniques, there are a variety of subcategories which varied by when and the region where it was made.  I think my version is a combination of a few – mostly Broderie Anglaise, but it is what worked for me.

To begin the scallop edge, I made a knot in my thread and stuck it in my fabric about two scallops away from where I was going to start.  With tiny running stitches in the stitching area, I ran the thread to my starting point.  Working right to left, I started my button hole stitch.  I found it easiest to hold the tail thread up and out of the way with my left thumb, making my stitch through the loop, then pulling the thread taut making a nice ‘bead’ along the edge.  Pardon the lack of a manicure – too much gardening.  I need to get my hands out of the dirt and start sewing!

To finish my threads, I ended with a back stitch then stitched forward inside the open scallop design line with a running stitch until I used up the excess thread.  This gave the scallop a bit of padding, the linen some stability, and hides any threads.  This is after all, a collar and it’s nice to have the underside look as pretty as the top (yes, Toby Barton – I fully agree).

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For the eyelets, I used a DMC #20/28m which is a bit finer than what I used around the scallop edge,  I first ran a running stitch around the circle just inside the line, and then again, running up and down the opposite of my first go around.  For the smaller holes I used an awl to push a hole in the center and began my button hole stitch working right to left, right going inside the hole, and left being the traced circle.   Giving a slight pull at the end of each stitch ensured a nice round eyelet.  For the larger eyelets I cut a cross pattern within the hole, then trimmed the flaps leaving a slight opening.  Following the same method as my smaller eyelets, working from right to left, and inside to out, naturally pulled the excess fabric edge under and encased it in the underside of the buttonhole stitch – I liked the look.

For the larger, teardrop shapes I really wanted to go with the technique that Cassandra Edson used on her collar (oh, so pretty) but since my fabric is a very tight weave, I don’t think I’ll have the eye power to make it work.  I’m probably going to use the same button hole stitch throughout – the jury is still out on that one.  For now I’m going to put my collar aside to start working on the actual dress.  I’ll have to keep you posted.

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Filed under Pattern #4016, The 1912 Project, The Vintage Pattern Lending Library