I hope you are doing well and enjoying the lovely winter weather. I , personally love winter, it’s one of my favorite seasons. Anyway, I have been slowly plugging away on my stays and I’m pretty happy with the progress thus far. Although, I haven’t had as much time to work on them as I would like and have only managed to get two days of sewing them so far. Next week will probably be just as busy, so I doubt I will finish them in the time I prefer. Luckily, I don’t have a deadline to complete them, so I can take my time on them.
I also thought I would walk you through a bit of my own process for adjusting patterns. I’ve been getting a lot of questions, lately, on how I go about fitting patterns. I hope this gives you a bit of insight on how I do things. Enjoy!
I always make at least one mockup. This is the most important step for me. If I can get it to fit in muslin, then I know it will work in my fashion fabric. I usually pin the pieces together and adjusted them to fit my form, as best as I can.
I can tell, based on where the top of the back piece hits, that it will need to be cut down a bit. I also know that the shoulder straps are too wide. I know this because I have sewn enough garments to judge where the straps and back should fall.
I like to use my sheerest gown to test the stays. It allows me to see where the stays will fall beneath the dress and easily adjust the pattern. (Note the bust cups are not part of the stays, they’re just extra padding for my dress form.
It may be hard to see, but the stays stick out of the dress about 3 inches in the back. The straps also stick out. So, it’s time to cut the pattern down so the stays are not shown outside of my gowns.
I basically take a pencil and draw where the seams should fall on the neck line. I like to do it to only 1/2 of the pattern. That way I know the other half will be identical when I redraft it.
I then take my traced pattern and lay it over the muslin and transfer or cut the changes. Sometimes I need to do a full redraft because things need to be added or taken away, ect. This time, the original pattern fit so well, I only had to take the back and straps neckline down.
So, that, in a nutshell, is how I draft and fit my patterns.
Here are the stays so far. I have bound the bottom taps, sewn the boning channel, and started the eyelets. I wanted to hold off on binding the top edges until the eyelets are sewn, just in case I have any last minute adjustments that are needed.
Here you can see a close up of the binding. As always, everything is done by hand. I prefer it that way and I find that my pre-sewing machine era projects go together more quickly and precisely by hand than by machine. Plus, it keeps the dying art of 18th century clothing construction alive.
Gratuitous Pet Portion
On a totally non-related note, I have a few gratuitous pet pics that I’ve been needing to post. Enjoy!
Mrs. Cartwright and I playing horse soccer with Bob and Jazz yesterday. They loooove this game and Jazz is quite good at it! Mrs. Cartwright and Jazz totally beat Bob and I 3 to 1. Although, Bob is only 5 and still very new at this game. Jazz is a seasoned veteran and is quite competitive.
Aaron on Jazz for his first riding lesson last week. He did very, very well and I’m thrilled I finally got my man on a horse :) He will eventually be riding English, but we don’t have stirrup leathers long enough for him. So, he’ll be riding in a Western saddle with an English bit until the stirrups come in.
My big baby, Bob, and me. He’s doing so well and learning so much, as am I. He surprisingly jumped over a cone and the soccer ball this week, which was exciting and unexpected. So, we’ve decided it’s time to teach him how to jump. I’m very excited about it.
And finally, a picture of Leila and Gico konked out on the couch together. Gico and Leila have a history of teasing each other and Leila has a healthy fear of this little bird. She doesn’t usually let him sit with her. However, lately, they have been sleeping like this for an hour or two in the afternoons while I sew. It’s just too cute!
Well, m’dears, I am off to the barn to work with a new pair of rescues we brought in last night. They are both in their twenties and are in pretty bad shape. Today is going to be shaving and cleaning rain rot sores, cleaning hooves, de-worming, vaccinating, and a little ground work for the new kids. I hope to have pictures up soon.