Sunday, 5 May 2019

Making Grace - part 2, doing things differently

Aargh! Another week gone by, and still nothing to show for it. Even though the reality is that there are a lot of calls on my time right now, leaving me with very little opportunity to sew, it still feels as though the Grace dress is taking forever to make.

As I explained in my first post (which feels like months ago!), this is my first time using an indie pattern, and some of the techniques are different from what I'm used to. The bodice shape, with its yoke and stand collar, is similar to Butterick 5997, and it's interesting to see how the constructions compare.

First of all, the yoke. The method used by the Butterick pattern is the method I have always used, since I made this blouse, ahem, 40 years ago.

Style 2580, 1979

In this method the outer yoke piece is sewn to the blouse fronts and back, then the inner piece is sewn to the fonts, the seam allowance at the back is pressed under, and the inner yoke is slip-stitched into place along the back seam.

On the Grace pattern however all the yoke seams are machine sewn, with the bodice front and back rolled up into a 'parcel' of the two yoke pieces, and then pulled through the neck. I must admit that I was so dubious about this that I actually had to pin it together and do a trial run before I was convinced that a) I was doing it right and b) it would work!

Yes it looks odd - but it works

The other thing which is different so far is the collar. Usually I would expect to sew the collar front and back together, turn it right side out, and then try to wrangle it to the neckine of the bodice. Instead the pattern instructs you to sew the outer collar piece to the bodice, and then attach the inner piece. Genius - so much easier to handle! The cuffs are made the same way.

The outer collar attached to the bodice

Anyone who has read the comments on last week's post will already know that I wonder who this pattern is aimed at. The instructions run to 17 A4 pages (so I have to have my laptop to hand when I sew, as I can't bring myself to use that much paper), and are far more detailed than those on a Big-4 pattern. This would suggest that the intended audience is fairly new to sewing. However the ⅜" seam allowance, while making curved seams like the collar and sleeves a doddle, doesn't allow much wiggle room for the novice seamstress. But this minor query aside, there's no denying that it is fascinating to be introduced to new construction methods.

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