Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been plugging away on the Wearing History 1916 Suit. It’s going pretty slowly, because I’ve got a lot else on, but progress is being made.
For one thing, the skirt is done!
Actually, it’s been done for over a week, but I’ve been too busy/sick to blog about it, and haven’t managed to wear it or take proper photos yet.
If you are making the full suit, the Wearing History pattern prints out at a whopping 100 A4 pages of pattern pieces – plus instructions.
Worth it though: look how fabulous it is!
For my fabric, I polled people on The Dreamstress FB page on fabric choices, and settled on a lightweight worsted wool in black with charcoal stripes (the other options were a black & white rayon check and a brown linen).
Then I settled down to tape pages together. And tape. And tape.
I rather like taping print-at-home patterns. It’s quite meditative, and you get into a rhythm. Here is how I do it, if you are interested.
Felicity was also interested:
She sat on a chair and watched the whole process very intently. And then chased all the balls of scraps that I made at the end with great delight.
Then it was time for cutting, which required lots of concentration thanks to the rather elaborate stripe pattern in the fabric:
Felicity also assisted with cutting out, because she’s a good cat like that:
And besides, what black wool suit wouldn’t be complete without a liberal helping of cat hairs?
I started on the skirt first, because I knew that would go quicker, and it’s always nice to feel that you’ve finished something.
Plus, if only the skirt got done, at least I could wear it with a blouse and have a full outfit!
The skirt construction was pretty basic, though (as the pattern warns) you do need to be experienced, be familiar with period sewing techniques, and use a bit of creative thinking.
The only really interesting part is the interior belt, which allows the skirt to sit 3 inches above the natural waist. It sort-of gets sewn to the completely finished skirt, to hold it up.
To make mine stiff enough, I supported it with a horsehair backing, and a length of vintage belting.
Then the only thing to do was to make the curved decorative outer belt – also supported with horsehair for a bit of body.
Does anyone else get excited about notching? I love doing it and always want to make it SO perfect.
And it’s done!
And while it hasn’t been worn by me, it has been worn, by a lovely model at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea’s ‘The Home Front’ night.
(with, I must confess, a wacking great pleat taken in at the back, because all the models were tiny 16 year olds!)
I’m hoping to do a proper photoshoot with the skirt this weekend. Quite fitting, as it’s Anzac weekend.
And there are more photos of the event coming soon!