Tag Archives: sewing


Suit-A-Long: How to Sew the Skirt Placket

I’m finally able to take a few minutes and work on sewing the skirt of the suit!

The placket may sound hard by reading the original instructions, but it’s really quite simple.  When I sewed mine last night, I took photos of the process so you can follow along.

I sew the placket of the skirt before assembling the side seams.  I just find this simpler, but you can do this after the side seams if that is easier for you.


The first thing to do is finish the straight edge of the center front skirts.  I used rayon seam binding (Hug Snug), pressed in half, then sandwiched the raw edge in the fold and topstitched it on.


Measure in from the edge to where the fold line is.  It’s about 1 3/8″


Mimic this marking on the front.  When I cut my fabric I lined my stripe up with this edge, so I don’t have to mark it.  But if you do, use a long stitch line on your machine, a water soluble pen, chalk, or thread marking.  ALWAYS test on a scrap first to make sure it comes out of your fabric.


Press under the edge on the fold line.


The center front is 1″ from the folded edge.  Mark this in a similar method as above.  Here I’m using a basting stitch on my machine.  Mark on both pieces.


Lap the pieces over each other, as shown.  The line you just marked is the center front line, so line both pieces up on that line.

Since my fabric has a pattern to match, I matched the pattern on the lines.


Now, figure out the opening you need.  Don’t forget, the skirt has a raised waistline.  I did mine at 9″ down from the top, but you could probably go as long as 11″.  I put a double set of pins at where my stitching should start, but add pins above it as well, to help control the fabric above where my stitch line will start to make sure it lays correctly where I start.


Now, stitch right on top of the center front line. If you did a basting line, like me, you might want to go just to either side of it.  If you stitch right on top it will be really hard to remove the basting later.


If you want to, you can do a stitch line through the skirt at the top, to make the stitching seem continuous down the front.  Obviously, don’t’ stitch both together or you can’t get in your skirt.

And that’s it!  After you put the waistband on, you can add hooks and eyes at the top, then snaps down the front, and your placket is complete.

Next post will be about attaching the interior waistband.


Part 5: Suit A Long. How Should the Skirt Be Constructed?

Hello!  Sorry for my lack of posting.

I spent 5 very busy days driving up from San Diego area to San Fransisco to attend seminars and a trade expo for my upcoming clothing line launch (more on the trip in a future post), so I wasn’t able to give much thought to blogging!  We got back on Wednesday, and after playing catch up I feel like I can finally take some pictures and share another step in the Suit A Long.


So, we’ve covered fabrics, sizing, and how to grade the skirt if you need a different size.  Aren’t you itching to get sewing yet?

I thought long and hard about how the best way to illustrate this would be, and I’ve settled on it.  We’re using a period pattern to make this suit, so I think a period example that’s close in silhouette would be the PERFECT way to show how it would have been assembled.

Luckily, I have had this 1910s skirt for quite a while, so she’s happy to illustrate for us how she would have gone together.


IMG_2339 Just like our skirt pattern, there are four main pieces to this skirt.  There’s a front skirt piece, a back skirt piece, an external belt, and an internal belt.  Basically if you ignore the pockets, it’s nearly our exact same skirt!  But hey, you could always add pockets to yours, too…


You can see that the skirt hits higher than the natural waist.  Please ignore the padding and the marks, that’s for me to pad out my form to what I need to be doing and is NOT part of this skirt.  But if you look in this picture, you can see that it hits about two inches above the natural waist.  You can also see that the belt that we see is EXTERNAL, and NOT ATTACHED all the way around.


In fact, this particular belt is just attached with a swing tack (or French tack) at center back of the skirt.  If you don’t know how to make a swing tack, check out this video on YouTube.

 In this close up you can also see the stitch lines for gathering the back skirt to the internal waistband.  Ours will have more gathers at the back.


What does the internal waistband look like?  Here it is, inside the skirt.  You can see that it’s basically just a long, wide piece of grosgrain ribbon.  This was most common in the period.  In fact, skirts with this type of construction continued in until the mid 1930s, if not later.  The grograin ribbon snugs your waist, but it is hearty enough to hold up the skirt and not collapse on itself.

This waistband does not have darts on the inside.  In fact, the couple of skirts I have do not have the darts.  Our pattern, however, does have darts.

Personally, I’m thinking of leaving the darts out  of the interior waistband because I don’t think I have enough of a difference in my corseted waist size to need that extra shaping there.  If you have a pretty strong curve in your corseted shape, you may find you need to keep the darts in.  The waist size on the pattern is given for the darted waistband, so if you leave them off you may need some adjustments (because without darts the waist size would be bigger).  When you make your mock up, test it out and see which one works better for you.  Either way, the top of the skirt’s raised waist should fit you snuggly, and not gape.  But MAKE SURE TO LEAVE ROOM for your blouse to tuck in and allow room for your petticoat waistbands it you’re making this before you’ve made your underthings.


This illustrates how the waistband was attached.  Like out pattern, the front skirt is attached smoothly, with no gathers.  The back skirt has some gathers that are pulled in to fit the interior waistband circumference.

To do this, stay stitch the waistline on the skirt.  Next, press the seam allowance toward the inside (wrong side) of the skirt, so you have a nice fold.  After this, run your gathering stitches along the top of the back skirt.  Now, pin everything together, matching the top of the skirt to the top of the waistband and pulling in your gathering stitches to fit.  Topstitch through all layers, about 1/8″ in from the edge.  In the photo above you can see the outside of the skirt, then the inside of the skirt.  You can see the stitch line is visible from both the inside and outside, because this stitch was done in one step like topstitching.


What about the center front fasteners?  1/2″ or so is just turned under at front and back.  This example has the waistband free below the top, though I have seen some examples where they fasten at the lower part of the waistband as well, to help if hug the figure.  When I used to be able to wear this one, I would have trouble with the snap coming unfastened.  I’d suggest you supplement a skirt hook and eye for the snap if you’re worried about that happening to you.


Here you can see how the button lap and the snap work together at the front, just like they will on our skirt.  Easier than you thought, right?


What about that front button lap?  Well, you can see it’s simplified.  In this original garment the front lap was not interfaced in any way.  If you had a lighter weight fabric you might consider interfacing it for added stability to the buttonholes and buttons.  But, you see the buttonhole side?  It’s simply the selvage edge of the fabric there, not turned under.  On the side where the buttons attach, you can see they did turn under the seam allowance and there’s also topstitching near the edge on that side for added stability.


The seam finishes were quite simple.  At center back they simply used the selvage to finish the edge.  We don’t have a center back, so we can’t do this (the selvage needs to fall on the straight of grain, and our side seams are shaped), but we can do this for the front underlap, like shown above.  The shaped seams are finished with a simple stitch (in this case, it’s a chain stitch, but since most of us don’t have chain stitch machines, that doesn’t matter so much).  But these side seams were finished as quickly and simply as possible, which makes me think that this skirt might have been readymade instead of home made.  It’s sewn, then just finished with a double fold bias binding.  If you don’t know how to do this, check out my past post here.


And for the hem?  They didn’t face it, like our pattern calls for.  Instead, the just turned the hem up on itself like you usually do and stitched it down by machine.

I hope this post really helps you visualize how the skirt goes together!  I think once you get to see the “guts” of these period pieces, it makes construction kind of click.

So go ahead and get started on your skirt mock up!  And once that’s done, go for the finished article!

If you need any help, or need clarification, please leave me a comment letting me know.  And don’t forget, you can ask questions and participate on our Facebook group!


Finished Project: 1002 Nights Poiret Dress

I have just finished up my Poiret inspired dress!

Paul Poiret is one of my fashion design icons.  Making a dress that paid homage to him was really fun!

I felt so “high fashion” in it, because of it’s absurdity, so had fun with editing my photos to capture the way it felt.

p02 p03 p04 p05

p01 p06 p07

If you missed the prior post with more details about the making of this dress, you can find it here.

This “excuse” for making this dress (not that I needed one) was the Historical Sew Fortnightly’s “Fairytale” challenge.  Here’s the info for the challenge:

The Challenge: #6- “Fairytale”  Inspired by Paul Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night” party.

Fabric:  The tunic is all poly with little rubber dots on it.  Pretty horrid, but has a great look when made up for the “Poiret” look.  The dress is a black satin rayon, which they actually did have in this time period.

Pattern: Underdress: My Cordelia skirt pattern and the 1910s Blouse pattern with an altered neckline and no sleeves.  Overdress:  Very loosely based on a bodice pattern from the period, but mostly entirely self composed as I went along.

Year: 1913-ish

Notions: Indian import trim, hooks and eyes, snaps, hoop wire, bias facing.

How historically accurate is it?  If it wasn’t for the fibre content, it would be pretty close.  I’m knocking myself for that, though, and giving myself a 40% accuracy marking.

Hours to complete:  I have no idea.  Maybe 12-ish?  It went pretty fast, but I puttered in 15 minute increments on it over the span of three weeks (didn’t make the “fortnight” due date).

First worn: Today for pictures!

Total cost: Hmm…. considering the only thing I really bought for this was the dupatta, I think it was around $35.  Everything else was from the stash.

More outfit details:  My shoes were thrifted, my hat is authentic Edwardian, and the brooches, etc are vintage, with the exception of the necklace and earrings, and the choker I used as an accent on the belt.  All of those are new from Ebay, bought over the last seven years or so.


In Progress: A Poiret Inspired “One Thousand and Second Night” Dress

The next Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge is “Fairytale.”  I was originally thinking that I would finish my Edwardian tea gown and do “Sleeping Beauty”, but then I got totally uninspired and realized I made some mistakes in construction when I started it last year.  That, and I had about a million pieces of insertion lace to cut the back out of and finish, and I don’t like the fabric.

So my second thought was “The Midas Touch”, and making a gold 1920′s evening dress and cape.  But the event I was going to make it for was last night, and we didn’t go, and I obviously didn’t make the dress in time.

So then, I looked on this lovely Indian imported dupatta shawl (bought at Queens Club on Etsy).  I had bought it to make a 19-teens evening dress for, but when it arrived I wasn’t enthralled with the poly content and little painted gold dots on it.  But the trim on the edges is GORGEOUS, and, the next idea that popped into my head was more costumey, which would allow a little more wiggle room for authenticity than my original plan I had purchased it for, so it was sort of serendipity.

One of my fashion design icons of all time is Paul Poiret, and he had lavish parties themed “One Thousand and Second Night”.  PERFECT theme for the HSF challenge!


Denise Poiret, 1911, at one of the “One Thousand and Second Night” parties (found via Pinterest).

Did I mention I love roses, so I bought it for the rose pattern and then realized not only did Poiret LOVE textiles of this sort, but his signature rose was similar in design to the one on my dupatta.  Serendipity!  Meant to be!  And it’s coming together SO quickly.  Love when that happens.


Poiret Dress from FIT (found via Pinterest)

One of my main inspirations are the “lampshade” dresses that Paul Poiret was incredibly well known for.  This one is a classic.  Katherine of The Fashionable Past actually made a great 19-teens evening gown inspired by the existing black and white version of this dress.


I started with an original vintage pattern, circa 1912, but changed it quite a bit in the muslin mock up stage to accommodate a bodice that would cross in front and in back and have a slightly different sleeve than the original, which was tighter fitting and had gussets.


I pinned the bodice and skirt to the dress form to get an idea of the length of the lampshade skirt.  I did end up shortening it, and decided I wanted it to have a slightly longer length in back than in front.


The dress it’s over is the dress I made for the Cordelia skirt pattern sample of the evening train.  I have never worn it, so chopped off the sleeves, removed the trim, and am making it work as an underdress for this outfit.  I also will have to let out some of the seams, since I’m not the same size I was a few years ago.  But still, better than starting from scratch!

I have decided to make the underdress and overdress separate, so that I have the option to make harem trousers for this at a later time.


After I cut the right length, I assembled the underarm seams, the back seam, and decided on a center back closure.  The original was most likely a front closure, as is normal with period gowns, but I decided the back closure would be easier to construct (though it means I’ll need help getting into it).  After a little thinking, and remembering how period dresses are made that I have, I decided on the inner waistband, with the skirt and bodice gathered to it.  All seams are now encased between the inner waistband and the rayon seam tape.  It will lap over at center back and fasten with hooks and bars and snaps.

IMG_4059 And on the form, ready for the next step!  I will have a waist sash cover the waist where the tape is visible, and I have to sew the inside casing for the hoop wire next.  It’s coming together quite quickly, considering I only started it yesterday afternoon!

I have a board on Pinterest I started as inspiration for this project, with Poiret images, examples from the Ballet Russes, and other period inspirations.

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Finished Projects: Edwardian S-Curve Corset + “Improvers”

If you’re following me on Instragram, you may have seen my progress posts on my Edwardian corset and bust improvers.  The corset project was a UFO from last year’s Historical Sew Fortnightly from the same challenge.  This year I was determined to finish it.  It’s just in at the deadline, barely, but I finished it!

I have a few entries for this challenge, since I decided to make Edwardian bust improvers to go with the corset.  Each project is listed separately, but I’ll include them both in this post.

It was much too small, so I had to add 2″ panels to each side.  Luckily, with the other seaming, it’s not terribly obvious.  I had accidentally cut this WAY too small, and had forgotten I had added extra seam allowance to my mock up but didn’t transfer it to my pattern.  Thank goodness I had *just* enough coutil and fashion fabric to cut panels!

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The Challenge: #4- Under it All

Fabric:  Cotton coutil, silk broade

Pattern: Truly Victorian TVE01- 1903 S-Curve Corset

Year: 1903

Notions:  Metal boning, busk, eyelets, ribbon, vintage laces, corset lace, bone casing, twill tape for loops for detachable garters (garters were made for a previous corset, but work for this one as well).

How historically accurate is it?  Pretty close, but I serged the inside seams instead of leaving them raw or flat felling them.  The garters are not really period correct, as they would have been constructed differently.

Hours to complete: Way too many

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost:  Pretty expensive.  I didn’t keep track, but I’d guess in the $50-$60 range.  Most of the materials were bought either last year or several years before, so I didn’t need to buy any new products to complete this during this year.

paddingAlso made were the padding.  I made the “hip pad” from the Truly Victorian pattern that was included with the corset.  For the bust pads, however, I decided I wanted ones similar to those in the LACMA museum, that I had seen in the “Fashioning Fashion” exhibit.


Woman’s Bust Improver (Falsies), England, circa 1900, image from LACMA
I drafted up a quick pattern based on these.  First I made ones that were 16″ across, but they were kind of big and more “Barbie”ish.  Today I whipped up another pair that are 14″ across, and they suit better.
To compare, here’s the larger ones, and the smaller ones.  They’re both somewhat ridiculous, but so period correct!
I actually ended up sticking this up on my site as an e-pattern.  Since I went to the trouble, I thought others might want to make some, too.
e102COVERwebFair warning/disclaimer.   These were based on those in the collection of LACMA, but the pattern I made is in no way affiliated with LACMA, or endorsed by them.  It was just a fun, quick project, using an existing period example as inspiration.
In any case…
For kicks, I took pictures of my corset with a dress I had made a few years ago with padding and without padding, to get an idea of how it changes the silhouette.
improversdress improversdress2
How interesting!  It reminds me so much of this ad:

The Challenge: #4- Under it All

Fabric:  Cotton muslin, cotton shirting

Pattern: Truly Victorian TVE01- 1903 S-Curve Corset, + Wearing History E102- Edwardian Bust Improver

Year: 1900-1908

Notions:  For hip pad: Cotton wadding, twill tape.  For bust improvers: cotton wadding, double fold bias tape, flat lace that was gathered, lace beading, silk ribbon.

How historically accurate is it?  Pretty close.  I think the TV pattern is dead on for the period.  Bust improvers of the time varied greatly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some exactly like this existed.  The museum examples were constructed open at the back, so they could be stuffed and unstuffed.  For ease, and because I will very seldom actually wear these, I just stuffed them and seamed it in, so they have  closed back.

Hours to complete: These were quick. Probably under an hour for each item.

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost:  Everything was from the stash.  Actual cost of each was probably under $5.  The cotton batting was free, and everything else was constructed of scraps of inexpensive cotton.  The lace was probably the most expensive part, since it was all vintage.  The silk ribbon was maybe a few dollars a yard and under a yard was used on each bust improver.

1910s Suit A Long- Original Fashion Illustration + Badge


Today I’m hoping to get some good pattern work done on the 1910s Suit Pattern, so we can start the sew-a-long sooner rather than later.  To keep me motivated I needed a little artistic inspiration.

I just so happen to have the original magazine the 1910s Suit Pattern was featured in!  It appeared in the April, 1916 issue of McCall’s Magazine!


I made us a few little images.  If you wish to participate, you can add these icons to your blog or page, if you wish.  Feel free to save them.



or if you prefer, you can add this one and link to our Facebook group.

1910fbgroupI really hope we can get started in the  next few weeks.  I do have some corrections I need to make to the original pattern before we can get to grading.  I’m hoping to have those corrections finished up this week, with another week or so in production after that before I can offer the pattern up.

Thanks for joining along!


Finished Project: Early 1920′s Combinations.

At first I wasn’t sure if it would be done by the Historical Sew Fortnightly deadline, but I made it!  The finishing touches were done last night.

If you missed the prior post, with more details on the process, you can find it here.IMG_0830 IMG_0831 IMG_0832 IMG_0833 IMG_0834 IMG_0835

The Challenge: Historical Sew Fortnightly “Pink” Challenge

Fabric: Vintage silk crepe

Pattern: Butterick 3201

Year: 1921

Notions: Vintage lace edging and insertion, vintage “imitation silk” embroidery threads, silk ribbons for embroidery, pearlized off white beads, hook and eye tape, and a few little ombre ribbon flowers.

How historically accurate is it?  Very.  I used all period correct techniques, including french seams and insertion methods.  The modern things would be of polyester, including the ombre ribbon flowers used at the sides and the straps, polyester thread, and the hook and eye tape is most likely polyester, with the hooks and eyes having some sort of white plastic coating.  Otherwise, it’s all authentic, with period correct techniques and materials.

Hours to complete:  A lot.  I spent a good amount of time on embellishment.  Otherwise it would have gone together quickly.

First worn:  Not yet!

Total cost: I’m not sure.  The fabric was bought at an estate sale a long while ago, and I don’t remember the cost, but it was probably $5-$10.  The lace and trims probably total somewhere around $5.  I don’t remember the cost of the pattern.  So we’ll say, probably $30 or so.

It hangs a little funny on my dress form, because she is not biforcated. ;)

I’m pretty proud of this one!  I spent time of doing French seams and embellishment.  I think it looks pretty close to some of the period ones I have seen, and, because of the fabric, even feels like a real one!  Yay!

In progress: Early 1920′s Combinations

I’m not a one of those girls that’s really into the color pink.  I tolerate it more than I used to, and I occasionally do buy something pink, which is a long way from where I was in my high school and college days, where I blatantly refused to put anything pink on my body.  Now, I actually kind of like certain tones of pink, but I am very particular.

When the Historical Sew Fortnightly “Pink” challenged was announced I instantly knew what I would do.  I have found I have an affinity for the color pink when it’s used in vintage undergarments, or on vintage “boudoir” items- like little rosettes for decoration, etc.  I even have a pinterest board for these items that I pink to on occasion, and others things of the pink vareity are on my “pretty things” board.

Since I had so much fun with my 1929 pajamas, I decided to go with something 1920s again!


I decided on Butterick 3201, and a little detective work shows it was probably from 1921, since the pattern sequence number appeared in Delineator magazines of that year.  I love that it still has a late 19-teens vibe, so I could probably wear it for both.


The construction is quite odd.  Here’s my muslin with markings drawn in sharpie.  That longish dart actually hits at the waist.  The line you can see at the back waist in the image isn’t a belt- it’s the dart seam.  The little fish eye dart hits under the armpit.  Luckily I had almost no alterations.  My friend Beth was kind enough to fit me in the muslin when she was down visiting.


The fit is very loose at the bottom, and very long.  It hits knee length of me.  Both Beth and my husband thought I was pretty amusing, especially when it was made up in unmovable muslin with my awesome fluffy slippers and big white socks!  LOL!

I did play with the idea of shortening it, then decided, what the heck… I’m just going with it.  Unflattering they may be, but they’re period, and once I add trims I bet they’ll be more fun.


My original trim idea of wide lace didn’t work, since I chose to do the version with the curved hem.  It would have made the lace stick out funny at the sides, or have to be gathered in, and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.  I broke out period catalogs from the late 1910s through early 1920s for design inspiration and settled on a narrow lace at the hem and decorations instead.


Most of the period examples in my catalogs were really plain on the lower portion, but I decided to do bows!  I had wanted to try lace insertion bows for quite some time- ever since I saw them in a period sewing book of the late 1910s.  My kitty is helping.

20scombos3 First bow nearly done!  I drew this one freehand, out of my own imagination, with a pencil, then attached the lace.


Then I transferred it to the other side with a light box.


Right now I’m taking a break from lace work and making little french knot embroidered flowers on the front.  Part way through I realized I should have used a more flat type of embroidery if I’m really going to wear these as 1920s underwear, or else the texture will show through.  Oops?  Maybe they’ll just be for cute, instead of for practical.  But French knots are SO period!  I just had to do them.

I’m moving right along with these, so I hope to have them finished by the due date on Monday!  I’m pretty proud of myself for attempting embroidery AND lace insertion on a Historical Sew Fortnightly project!  It’s only because the garment itself is so simple that this has a possibility of being finished on time!

1910s Suit Sew-A-Long- Answering a Few Preliminary Questions

Today I’m going to answer a few questions that came up with the preliminary posts asking about interest for the 1910s Suit Sew-A-Long.


What is the Original Pattern Size?

The original pattern this is based on is for a 36″ bust, 26″ waist, 39″ hip.  The coat is cut full, with a belt to cinch in.  A different belt size will accommodate for a larger or smaller waist with the coat.  You may choose to cut the skirt from a different size than the coat was originally published with, if you need the waist size larger or smaller.

Will the Pattern Be Original Size or Multi-Size? 

The pattern will be multi-size.  As of right now, I anticipate the sizing to be from 34″ to 46″ bust.  This was the original sizing of this pattern, so I feel it is best drafted in this size range without distortion to the larger sizes.

Will This Pattern Be in Plus Sizes?

The short answer: No, I’m sorry, it won’t be.  The original pattern was drafted in vintage ladies sizing.  This means it is suitable for more mature figures (lower bust point, etc), and will fit misses sizing with little difficulty.  Plus size patterns are created from an entirely different base and have different proportions than misses or ladies patterns of the past.  Unfortunately, I was not professionally trained in plus size patterns (both creating blocks and grading), and, because of this, I will not offer plus sizes in any of my patterns at present.  Plus sized individuals have different areas of target fit issues, and, as such, it is best for those who fall into plus sizes to make the adjustments for their figure where they will need them most, rather than me offering a pattern which is of lower quality because of my unfamiliarity with plus size blocks and fit.  The larger sizes I offer of all of my patterns are enlarged from misses or ladies size patterns, based on grading for those sizing types.  Larger sizes are not plus sized.

This pattern, however, will most likely be easier to adjust than a more fitted pattern, as the jacket is unfitted,and simply hugs the body by the belt cinching in the waist to fit the figure.  It will accommodate a variety of shapes.  The sleeves, shoulders, and armscye will probably require alterations for fit.

Should I make a Corset?

Yes, if you are going to wear this in the period way, or plan to wear this with a corset in the future, you should make a corset.  I recommend Jen of Festive Attyre’s free corset pattern on her blog.  I recommend this pattern highly.  It is the corset I plan to wear with my suit.  If you’re interested, you can see my corset made from this pattern here.  If you have a corset you made for Titanic eras, this will work for this project.  S Curve corsets will NOT work for this.  This pattern was drafted for the more linear lines of the 1910s.  If you need a corset, I suggest starting it now.

If you do not want to wear a corset with your final garment, you don’t need to make a corset.  Since this was drafted in the period in which corsets were worn, you may need to make alterations for your shape.

Will there be a Facebook Group?

Yes!  I just created it.  It is a closed group, to protect our privacy from outside eyes and discourage spam.  You can find the Facebook group here.  Use this a place to dialogue with other sew-a-long participants.  This way we can help each other with fit, construction, etc.  I know I won’t be able to always answer quicky, so this will be a great way for us to keep moving forward.  I encourage others to share their knowledge and experience, and help answer questions.

What if I Can’t Finish My Corset In Time, or Am Too Busy to Keep Up?

The sew-a-long is designed so you can work at your own pace.  I will be moving at a decently quick speed, so I can get this pattern finished and move on to future patterns, but you can work at a speed that works best for you.  The posts will remain up on my blog if you fall behind on sewing, so you can refer back to them later.  I do suggest we try to keep at a similar pace, in order to keep our group on the same page, and address questions that come up at similar stages of construction.  I am open to when to post- be it weekly, or bi-weekly (though I may have mine finished, hopefully, before all the sew-a-long posts are finished!  I will record all the info I use while I construct, and keep posting at a steady pace for participants.)

How Much Will The Pattern Be?

No one has asked this yet, but I thought it best to address it now that I’m making mock ups to test pieces and construction, so have a better idea.  The pieces of this pattern are VERY LARGE.  Because my printer charger per square foot, this pattern will most likely be pretty pricey (I’m guessing $30+ for the printed, mailed version, before shipping).  There will, however, be e-pattern versions of this if you want to print it yourself and save on costs.  In fact, I’m planning on the first sew-a-long posts being how to print the e-pattern and assemble it. The e-pattern will probably be about half of the cost of the printed pattern.  Of course, this means you need the tape, paper, and ink to print it out on your end, or to pay a local print shop to print it for you, so don’t forget to factor in those costs.  There will be a LOT of sheets of paper!

For those wanting to sew only the coat or only the skirt, I will have the pieces available separately, so you need not buy the whole suit.

What Version Are You Sewing?

I’m planning on sewing the version at the upper right, in a linen or linen blend, and unlined. For the purpose of this sew-a-long, I’m keeping it simple and doing the basic construction, so I can get my project done quickly.  You can add all the bells and whistles you want to!   If you want to go all for tailoring and wool with lining, or a different view, you’re more than welcome to.

How much yardage do I need?

I can’t give accurate yardage until I grade the pattern, but I do have the original yardages given on the envelope.

Coat with plain collar and 38″ long skirt:
34-36 bust- 5 yards of 44″ fabric, 4 yards of 54″
38-42 bust- 5 5/8 yds of 44″, 4 3/4 yds of 54″
44-46 bust- 5 7/8 yds of 44″, 4 7/8 yds of 54″

With 42″ Length Skirt
34-36″ Waist- 5 1/4 yds of 44″ fabric, 4 3/4 yards of 54″ fabric
38-42″ Waist- 6 yds ” “, 5 1/4 yds ” ”
44-46″ Waist- 6 1/4 yds ” “, 5 1/8 yds ” ”

For contrast cuff and facing, 1 1/4 yds, 30″ wide.

Pleated Collar coat with Pockets & 42″ length skirt.
34-36″ Waist- 5 1/2 yds of 44″ fabric, 4 3/4 yards of 54″ fabric
38-42″ Waist- 6 yds ” “, 5 1/4 yds ” ”
44-46″ Waist- 6 5/8 yds ” “, 5 7/8 yds ” ”

Lining material for Coat:
34-36″ Waist- 3 1/4 yds of 36″ fabric
38-42″ Waist- 3 3/4 yds ” “
44-46″ Waist- 4 yds ” “

You will need more if you’re doing napped fabrics, or fabrics with a pattern that needs matching. I would buy extra in any case, just to be on the safe side.

Of course, buy the same in an inexpensive fabric for a mock up.  I use muslin.  We’ll do our mock ups together before we start on the finished garments.

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll answer as best I’m able!


Finished Project: 1929 Pajamas!

I’m so excited these are finished!

I was so excited, I did a flapper dance.

pjs4 pjs5 pjs6

And then I had silly time with my boudoir doll!





And then did ridiculous self portraits.

flapper4 flapper7 flapper2 flapper

^this is my “I survived the pajamas without going (too) crazy” face!

Seriously, I started today with a super low self confidence.  But sometimes pep talks from your best friend and crazy silly dress up time do wonders for morale.

These were a pain in the butt to make, because I was having a bad sewing streak where you’re unmotivated and do dumb things.  And I gave myself a pretty nasty iron burn that’s about 6 inches long that’s still healing.  But if you want more info, check out my previous post about these with more details.

The Challenge: Innovation (using rayon fabric, pajamas for women, and art deco as influence)

Fabric: Rayon print, and coordinating lightweight rayon twill

Pattern: Butterick 2657

Year: 1929

Notions: Two buttons, elastic

How historically accurate is it? Pretty darn close!

Hours to complete: About 6-8ish.  But spread out, because I was having C.A.D.D. and didn’t want to work on them.

First worn: Today for photos!

Total cost:  I think I paid a pretty penny for the pattern, but I don’t remember how much.  The fabric was super cheap- about $9 total.

Those old Butterick patterns are a pain sometimes!  I ignored all my best advice for other seamstresses and didn’t mock up and didn’t do flat measurements of the pattern pieces, so these ended up WAY too big!  Oh well, they’re just pjs.  They’ll be comfy.  I also found the illustration kind of deceptive.  There were other quirks that come with working with old patterns.  But they’re done and wearable!  Yay!

I totally want to make all the 1920s things now.  I’m addicted.