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Well, I did it. I cut into the beautiful plaid wool. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement on the last post. It was so wonderful to sew with! It seems I'm mildly allergic to wool; my arms have a little rash on them. It's completely worth it, though.
|Instagram photos are full size.|
This week's Project Run and Play theme is Mad for Plaid. I happened to have some lovely wool yardage calling my name. Serendipitous? I think so. This week, I went all out and made a four piece outfit. There is a jacket, a shirt, a skirt with suspenders and a matching cap. I also got a crash course in working with vintage patterns. I'm also going to add that I made most of this on the weekend. Why? Probably because I'm a sucker for punishment.
Unlike the previous vintage pattern I sewed, this pattern had very minimal instructions. The pattern was also much more detailed. Between the lack or directions and the odd shaped pattern pieces, I had a lot of fiddling to do. The pattern pieces had holes in them for markings (all different sizes) which I had to mark and then match up later. Once I figured out which hole was for what part, it all made sense but it was a long process. My muslin had many strangely placed darts and I might have dulled my seam ripper.
|Everything you need to know about installing a lining.|
A text message conversation with my wonderful aunt and, suddenly, everything fell into place. The other pieces had fewer holes and starting with those helped me understand what all of this meant. There are 4 holes to indicate darts, 4 holes for pocket placement, holes for seam allowance, collar placement AND where to cut for the lining (this was the one that really had me stumped). If you break it down, it's really not as scary as it looks.
Through this process, I made my first lined jacket and my first darts. In my opinion, the darts look perfect, but I think the wool's forgiveness has a lot to do with that. I also learned a few things about construction that I plan to use later in pattern drafting, like the clever way they made the lapel.
The skirt is interesting. It has snaps to hold closed the opening on the side and it called for a hook and eye closure but I chose to use a larger snap for ease of getting off and on. The directions merely said "face opening and sew on snaps" with a drawing so I pretty much had to wing it and, as it turns out, I sewed my facing on backward but I'm just gonna go with it. Before I realized what I'd done, the seam allowance had already been trimmed and I was pretty much out of fabric.
One thing I love about vintage patterns is how they are made to grow with children. This pattern has suspenders to hold the skirt up and the waist is just a bit too big. The suspenders hold the skirt up high so that it the silhouette is right. As my daughter grows, I can remove the suspenders and have her wear the skirt as is. It will fit at her natural waist and hit right about the knee. The jacket is on the short side but will probably last her two seasons since the arms are long.
|With suspenders, it fits much shorter.|
|It's longer without the suspenders and barely stays on right now!|
|Detail shot of the waistband.|
One of my favorite things is that this pattern calls for gathers at the elbow. It's subtle but darling.
It add just a touch of extra fullness to the sleeve and makes it easier to move in. It just really tickles me for some reason, probably because it's something that would have never occurred to me. I managed to miss taking a photo of it somehow.
The shirt is not a vintage pattern, it's a shirt from Lily Bird Studio which I've had for ages and only just got around to sewing up. I lengthened the sleeve for more coverage and lengthened the hem as well so that she could wear it for two years along with the skirt. I like the little ruffle detail at the neck but I flipped it and sewed it downward instead of leaving it up as shown in the instructions. It's a simple silhouette but has just enough little details to make it special. I didn't want something that would overwhelm the suit or the plaid so I stuck with a solid color and a simple shape.
|I love the ruffle neckline and the gathered sleeves.|
|Sweet, gathered back yoke.|
I took some photos indoors because it looked like it was going to rain, but I managed to get out and go to the park when the rain let up. I much prefer outdoor photos.
|A little 40's shoulder pad love|