Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Titanic Project post 2

It's been hard work work, lots of head scratching, many hours of hand sewing, new stronger glasses and a  large tin of spray starch but also immense satisfaction -  I've finished my first challenge on the Titanic project.  It just fits on my mannequin (if I adjust it to the smallest size) 

I have to confess to not paying much attention to instructions generally, when sewing I tend to scan the pictures to get an idea of the order of making up and launch in.  So the fact that the Princess Slip pattern has no instructions, and the only pattern markings for the lace placement and numbers at intervals was fine by me.  The idea is you sew the pieces together in numerical order, 20 to 20 then 21 to 21 and so on. Janyce at the Vintage Pattern Lending Library has provided some instructions and for the rest I just thought very hard about the order before cutting and sewing - think twice and cut once and all that. With only four pattern pieces and a flounce this was not too tricky

My only criticism of the pattern itself is that it is produced with grey not black lines - this makes for very faint lines when printing out in black and white - hence the new stronger glasses!  But in a good light I transferred the numbers and lines for lace placement with one of those magical Pilot Frixion pens which produce a strong black line which instantly vanishes when ironed

I continued to work on the lace insertion in the same way as I described in my last post. If the insertion ran over a seam I worked the seam first.  I decided to work all the seams as very fine French seams

When sewing curved seams generally you need to clip the outside of curves and notch the inside but if the seam is narrow enough (and I'm talking of 3/16ths here) then you can persuade the seam to curve without clipping with a gentle steam iron.  The pattern pieces fitted together well, I decided not to adjust them to fit (me or anyone else) but to make up as drawn) 

I did wrestle with my conscience a bit over the button holes.  My sewing machine, has a special foot for button holes.  It works like a little gig with a slot of the button that ensures the machine automatically makes the right sized button hole.  But would seamstresses, particularly home workers have had anything like that? Having learnt to sew on my mother's treadle, already ancient by the 1950s I know they would not and I did want to make the petticoat in as authentic manner as possible (hence the miles of hand hemming on the insertions).  So I hand sewed all 8 of them.

I departed from the standard of 'stitch then slash' for the insertion over the seam attaching the flounce.  I felt the end result would be too bulky so I machined a narrow turning on the slip and one on the upper edge of the flounce then attached the flounce thus bridging the gap and maintaining the sheer effect that I had in the rest of the garment. 

I did seam the side front seams properly then cut them off when working the back of the insertion.  I wouldn't do that again - it was too fiddly and left me with very little fabric to turn under and hem.  Next time I will stitch a plain seam with as wide a stitch as I can get from my machine and then pull it out after attaching the lace.

In one blog I read that the blogger found the neck gaped between the two side front seams.  I think it does and wonder if it is meant to do so to accommodate the cleavage a woman would have got from the way the corset was worn.  I used the ribbon insertion to pull up the fullness so that the neckline laid flat.

When I finished I had about a meter of the lace insertion left but did feel I could have done with a little more of the eyelet lace ribbon, and lace edging for the neck and armholes.  The broderie anglaise was exactly enough, about .5m more would have been less scary and the same amount more ribbon would have given me enough to have proper ties to adjust the fullness of the neckline.  Of the lace edging, I did not have enough to gather it all around the sleeve edges so kept the fullness to the the shoulder only.

But overall I loved making it, the pricked fingers and the needle threading all worth it - and I'm looking forward to the next project coming soon.



VPLL Checklist

1.         Pattern Name Princess Slip #0336
2.        Sewer’s Skill Level: Advance
3.        Pattern Rating: I LOVED IT! So pretty, I had never attached lace insertion this way before but it was quite easy and I found the hand-sewing relaxing (am I the only person who loves hem stitching?)
4.        What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? Intermediate, there are one or two tricky seams which look like awkward shapes but you just have to take charge!, 
5.        Were the instructions easy to follow? yes?
6.        How was the fit/sizing?   fine, it came out just as it said, with drawing up the ribbon at the neck and putting it over a corset, the fit was very good
7.        Did you make any pattern alterations? the slip was a perfect size 36, although a little small for me I wanted to make my first 1912 pattern up as drawn to get the hang of the general way the patterns and instructions are drawn before I began messing about with anything!?
8.        Other notes: I loved the pretty design, and will make one in a size 40 bust for me to wear under my vintage outerwear.  Some people have said it would make a perfect summer dress and I think that's right, although too frilly for me it would be perfect for a younger person


Brooke said...

Oh my, that is absolutely lovely and such an inspiration. Just wow. I love all the details and the lace, and the ribbon is a cute touch.

The undomesticated scientist said...

WOW! and all that hand sewing! its beautiful.

Anonymous said...

A thing of beauty. Well done you!

Mari said...

Fantastic! All that hand stitching is very impressive. Thanks for the info on the french seams. I had been wanting to try them, but wasn't sure how to navigate curves with them.

spinndiva said...

OMG! It's absolutely charming!!!!

LynDee said...

Super job! Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the first project completed...looks like it has been a lot of hours of dedication. Fiona

Rogues of Thread said...

Lovely slip! Yo did a great job. It definitely looks like the drawing. I only got my pattern yesterday and have yet to start. After seeing what a great job you did, I may make it up in some unconventional manner instead.

Jeanettec said...

You did a Fabulous job. It's simply lovely.