Sunday 28 February 2016

Tucks and Pleating

Eek! It's the end of February, time to get another Historical Sew Monthly submission done. The challenge is Tucks and Pleating; "Make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration", and you can see the other entries here.

Because I was so late finishing January's Procrastination challenge, there was no way I could complete my planned project for February in time. Fortunately it fits into a later challenge, so won't get lost altogether. I needed something quick and easy for this month however, and inspiration came from last month's entry.

I decided to try on my new 1909 princess line slip with the Edwardian chemise I made last year but when I did so, I didn't like the end result one bit. When I made the chemise I'd had to take it up at the shoulder seams to get the bottom of the yoke in the right place. However it was only when I wore the chemise and slip together that I realized how ludicrously high this had made the top of the yoke.

The original, woefully high, yoke

Then I had a brainwave. When I was researching different styles of Edwardian petticoat, I'd read somewhere that tucks around the hem were an easy way of altering length for different wearers. I could do the same with the yoke!

I carefully unpicked the side seams.

Ready to start pintucking

Then I worked out what size I wanted the altered yoke to be, and how many tucks this would need. Experiments with machine-sewn tucks on some leftover cotton weren't a success, so I hand sewed then instead. Then I sewed the shortened yoke back in place.

Much better (dimensions-wise, at least)

This made the overall shape of the chemise much better, but I must admit that I'm not entirely happy with it. Quite simply, I learned so much making the slip, that this now feels really clunky. Plus, it's just Far Too White; it's so obviously modern bleached cotton. Still, one of the goals of the Historical Sew Monthly is, "to improve our standards of historical accuracy, and to expand our historical sewing skills", and comparing my January 2015 project to my January 2016 project, I'm definitely achieving that!

The small print:
The Challenge: Tucks and Pleating
Fabric: Cotton
Pattern: None, just altering an existing garment
Notions: None
How historically accurate is it? Using a period-appropriate technique, so I'd say 100% for this one
Hours to complete: About 3, mainly because when I sew something, it takes a lot of unpicking!
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: None

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