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Tag: toile

Homework 29: Setting in the sleeve and gathering the overskirt

Today I set the calico sleeve in the bodice shoulder. This toile was based on the basic sleeve block we had cut in January. I wanted to see how it fit and what adjustments I would need to make.

Setting the sleeve

To make the period shape, there needs to be two pleats on the back of the join. I tried very hard to make the pleatsline up with the seams joining the bodice pieces.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Unlike most sleeves today which are usually straight tubes or funnels, 18th century sleeves that went below the elbow had tucks or seams to bend the sleeve in to a gentle L shape. Often they would also have large cuffs.

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

I played around to see if I could get the ‘look’ as the toile had a fair amount of fabric to play with. If I had cut the sleeve differently, or used a separate piece of material, I could have made the cuff bigger, but I was planning to have slightly gathered lawn cuffs showing from the sleeve too.

Gathering the overskirt

Previously I had agreed with Claire that I would gather rather than pleat the overkirt. At this point I was  happy to do it this way as it was quite quick, and as the fabric is fairly light, it ruffled up well. As the left and right vertical edges were on the selvege edge, I was able to turn over 15mm and then 15cm to make a self facing and tacked them in place before gathering the waistband.

Front edges turned in to make facing

Front edges turned in to make facing and tacked in place

The overskirt was starting to fray heavily, so I zig-zag stitched the bottom to try and keep it under control until I could get around to hemming it by hand.

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

As with the under petticoat, I gathered in sections to help avoid the threads breaking and then I machine stitched on to a petersham waistband  which was the waist measurement plus 70mm extra on each side, so that the overskirt could be fitted.  In the picture below you can see how much the fabric is fraying.

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

Class 17: Period bodice continued

Unfortunately Claire was off ill today, so I continued with drafting and fitting my period bodice shape, especially as I hadn’t got it quite right the last week.

Fitting last weeks period bodice - front

Fitting last weeks period bodice - front

Fitting last weeks period bodice - back

Fitting last weeks period bodice - back

You can see I had to add some strips to be able to get the it to close, and the neckline needed to be altered at the back.

My next attempt seemed to fit much better (although at this point I didn’t realise that you should always have the opening at the back for fitting as it makes it easier to do up and see the lines).

Second attempt at the period bodice - front

Second attempt at the period bodice - front

Second attempt a period bodice - side

Second attempt a period bodice - side

Second attempt a period bodice - back

Second attempt a period bodice - back

You can see compared to a basic bodice block that the shoulder and side seams are much further back.

Class 15: Fitted bodice toile

Today we continued to work on our basic bodice toile in calico.

  1. fit over corset
  2. add alteration markings to the pattern
  3. copy altered pattern
  4. add seam allowances
  5. make up and fit again

We will fit a basic block shape over corset shape. This is so we can practice fitting, and so is not meant to be the same as our final bodice design. Once we have fitted the basic block, we will draft a period bodice using the new measurements, fit again, and then draft a period pattern based on our design. The final bodice may need to be mounted on another fabric and will be boned

Making up the toile

  • Add seam allowances to the block. Add 15mm seam allowances around and 25mm on the opening edge.
  • Put the opening at the back. This usually makes it easier to pin up than at the front, especially if the model is curvy.

Fitting the bodice

  • Put seams on the inside (unlike my pictures below) as you can see the lines/shape better
  • Snip in to seam allowance around neck, waist and arm holes
  • Make sure the centre back lines meet. If they do not, they should be pinned parallel to each other.

If the bodice is too large at the top, you should arrange round the shoulders. Too large at the bottom, take in at the side seams or darts.

Corset on for fitting

Corset on for fitting

Basic block fitting - front

Basic block fitting - front

Basic block fitting - back

Basic block fitting - back

Adjustment to the shoulder

Adjustment to the shoulder

adjustment put on the pattern

Adjustments put on the pattern

Once we had finished fitting the basic block, we moved on todrafting a period bodice.

Class 14: Basic bodice block

Quite a few people were not in class today as there is still snow on the ground and transport system is not running smoothly. I arrived after lunch on the down side of an adrenaline rush as I had a job interview in the morning – more about that when I get some news.

Today we start on Unit 8: Developing Sewing Skills for Fashion, which basically means creating the outer layers – the dress. Initially we will be making the dress in a calico toile, so we can learn pattern cutting, try out different things, and make sure it all fits before we cut in to the expensive fabric.

I haven’t done much pattern cutting before, so this is all quite interesting. We are starting out with the bodice, so we have to:

  • Copy a basic dress block – dress or corset block provided.
  • Add 25mm seam allowance
  • Make a toile out of calico with opening at CB
  • Fit it over the corset
  • Put adjustments on to the original block.
  • Copy block with adjustments.

At some point we will also have to attach a sleeve or two.

I ended up choosing a size 10 as an 8 would be too small compared to my natural measurements.

Size 10 block My natural measurement
Front Back Total
Bust 23.5 cm 23.5 cm 96 cm 91 cm
Waist 19.5 cm 22 cm 78 cm 70 cm

Once the block was copied with seam allowance added, I cut out the pieces in calico. I forgot to bring my carbon paper, so I transferred the outline and the marking for the darts using blue water soluble pen. Unfortunately, due to my lateness, this is as far as got in the class.

Basic bodice front, cut on the double

Basic bodice front, cut on the double

Basic sleeve block

Basic sleeve block

Things to remember when using the blocks:

  • Get the front and match back piece.
  • Dress blocks have ease, corset blocks do not.
  • Blocks do not have seam allowance.
  • Measure the bust and the waist to check which is nearest size  – remember to deduct any darts
  • Block only needs to be copied from the waist up.

Handout:

  • Bodice and sleeve – 18th Century

Homework:

  • finish log book
  • sew up side seams on corset
  • add bias binding to bottom
  • sew up bodice toile for fitting

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