Tuesday, 27 December 2016

First, fix the problems

I've already made most of a complete outfit for my Basket Project, even though I never posted about it. Sorry about that. We'll talk about the foundation garments another day, but there were four major issues with the outer frock. Conveniently, they're all visible in this photo:
Courtesy of Lord Richard of Salesburie
The first is that I had a fairly spectacular geometry failure when I was putting in the gores. I wanted to use up all my fabric and have plenty of swish, so I made three-panel gores instead of two. As gores are right-angle triangles, this meant that I ended up with panels that were different lengths on both sides. That's why the bottom hem has those funky corners.

Two options here. One, I could piece on more fabric to fill in the gaps. Two, I could trim the bottom edge all the way around to even it up. I decided to trim it, since I had used up every scrap of the fabric when I originally made the frock. End result is a shorter frock, but some of the ladies in the manuscript have shorter overfrocks that reveal the contrast colour underneath.

Inevitably, this fix led to another problem - the underfrock I'm wearing is pieced. Shortening the overfrock as much as I needed to meant that the join became visible, so I had to take that apart and shorten it, too.

Second problem is less visible - the neckline. It's supposed to be almost like a boat neck. What I ended up with was more of a scoop.

It's not a good look. Also, it falls off my shoulders. This is a pretty easy fix - I've just shortened the shoulders to create a neck opening that's a much shallower curve, little more than a slit across the top.

Third problem is those sleeves. They are not supposed to be loose and baggy, but very tightly fitted. Also, they're too long. Easily fixed - take them off, cut them to be fractionally larger than the sleeves of the underfrock  (which I managed to get just right), rehem, reattach.

Incidentally, issues like this are one of the best things about the "hem then assemble" school of garment construction. If I'd seamed the sleeves, I would have had to unpick the felling the whole way around the armscye and down the side seam, undo the hem, fix the sleeves, reseam and then fell the whole thing again. This way I just had to snip one stitch and pull out the single thread. Reassembly just means whipping it back into place and shortening the side seam.

Final problem wasn't so much a construction failure as it was a timetabling failure. All of the frocks in the manuscript that have these short fitted sleeves also have fur-lined tippets. I got as far as sewing the fur onto the backing fabric (largely due to the assistance of my mother!) but never sewed them on.

And the whole fixed outfit, looking rather more respectable!

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