Friday, February 10, 2012

1912 Project Challenge Pattern: Princess Slip

I was so excited to get my first pattern for the 1912 project. I had been waiting a month for the first one to come, so when I got word that we could do the challenge pattern, I jumped at the chance. I printed out the instructions, read them, and then promptly skipped the part where it says to print out the scale box page first and make sure the printer is printing it at the right size. I got right down to printing out the whole pattern and then spent upwards of 2 hours taping and cutting out pattern pieces. Then I measured the scale box:
It was 5 5/8 inches on a side. If it's supposed to be 6 inches on a side, this is not good. The printer had rescaled the pattern so that I lost 1/16 " for every inch shown. While this may not sound like much by itself, it adds up. I calculated that I was missing about 2 3/4 inches in height and almost 3 inches from the girth, measured at the bottom of the hem. So, I spent another 2 hours trying to split out the pattern and add to it without having to reprint the whole thing. Lesson: do the practice thing first. Yes, I could have simply reprinted the entire thing after checking to see if it was the right scale, but since I had already used so much paper, I figured that I should just suck it up and do the split-and-tape thing. And I know that the scale won't be quite right after I've finished, but I'd have had to scale it up to fit me anyway.
I'll need some time to make the actual one, which I don't have. I do want to do this in the future, and I have a little over 3 yards of 100% cotton Italian batiste that was quite expensive but will make a lovely slip, and I still have some lovely Thai silk for the ruffle, and I don't want to mess them up. So, I will content myself with making a mockup of the main body and focus on finishing the neck and armholes nicely, and figure out how I want to pleat the ruffle. I bought some white muslin for $.99/yd the other day, which will do nicely. I also want some time to find a nice insertion lace I like, preferably vintage, but it could be simply vintage-looking.
Sew the front panel to the side front panels, and the back panels to the side back panels. Sew the side seams together. The shoulder seams will need to be clean finished on the inside: this means sewing some sort of french or flat-fell seam, or otherwise binding over the raw edges. Not going to bother with that now.
Stay stitch corner 34 on both back pieces I had been thinking of how to work the back closure. I cut the placket off the body right side, leaving a 3/8 inch seam allowance. I then traced out facings for each side, a total of 2 inches wide (which includes seam allowance). Fold under the seam allowance that will point toward the side seams, stitch the facings onto the back pieces (right sides together), then edgestitch the other edge of the plackets down.
Stitch the back seam from point 34 to point 35, then lap the right side over the left side and topstitch the bottom edge of the placket to the underside of the body. Not sure whether to use hooks-and-eyes or buttons on the placket. Buttonholes can be done on the machine at the moment, so I will do that, about every 2.5 inches. Buttons are also slightly more secure in my book.
I used commercial bias binding in a hideous color that came from an estate sale to bind the neck and armhole edges, before sewing the side seams. For the actual garment I will cut bias from the body material and stretch-and-press before I apply it.
I've tried it on for a picture. I'm wearing an old sports bra under the chemise, then some bloomers I made for a civil war era dress. Over that I have the corset I made for use in the project. My wonderful husband has laced me in and buttoned up the back, and took some pictures.
I'm sure I made it too big, as it gapes at the neck and falls off my shoulders. I'll probably end up taking 1.5 inches out of the front, and the same out of the center back. I'm not sure I like the idea of the side-front seams moving so far out, though. I think I want the seams to fall over the points of my hip bones, so I have marked them on the slip. I may just want to live with it for a few weeks and see how I feel. I may end up doing nothing at all.
The size of the armscye was a little close, but not uncomfortable, therefore I don't want to take the shoulders up. When I'm wearing the slip, it is about 14 inches from the stitch line at the bottom to 1" above the floor, where I would want the hem of the pleats to sit, depending on the intended finished length of the dress over it. If I take out the proposed amount from the width of the slip, it should take up enough of the excess ease in the body to keep the slip from being bulky. Let's face it: the corset keeps you from moving naturally anyway, so having lots of ease in the slip is not necessary, and could look very bulky under the finished dress, depending on what it is. The slip would still have some ease, just less than it has now. The instructions call for making the accordian-pleated ruffle out of strips of fabric, and specifies size the strips should be. When I make the actual slip I will measure the hem and then put in an accordian pleat (or maybe a box pleat?) in something like a 3:1 ratio. I don't like the idea of simply cutting strips without measuring my hemline first. I might end up short, and then where would I be?