Historical Fashion

Clothing that makes history

Custom clothing and costuming for cosplayers, dancers and anyone who wants to be able to move in their clothes - and still look great. Want the style but can't make it or find it? Tired of clothes that don't fit or fall apart? Historical Fashion will work with you to design and sew the garments you imagine.

We specialize in imaginative clothing & costumes for hard to fit women. Special occasion dresses. Historical costumes. Cosplay. Dancewear. Everything is sewn in the USA and custom made to fit YOU!

Vacation Challenge - Week One complete

It took until 11 PM Monday, but the top is finished - almost. I discovered when I tried it on that the ruffle is heavy and wants to pull the back neckline down. This makes the back opening gape. I'll be adding a second closure to the back to help that problem a bit. I also need to sew the waistline elastic. At the moment it's using the yo-yo dieter's best friend - the safety pin.

I don't have a lot of in-process photos of the top to share. I was too eager to get it finished on time. Before I started, I traced the size pattern I was using onto tissue. I knew I'd be making alterations and didn't want to ruin the original pattern. That way I can always go back to the drawing board.

I used Lynda Maynard's alteration technique. It was a bit confusing at first, but once I got the idea, the adjustments went well. One thing I did differently was laying my tissue pattern on top of my moulange. I think it's much easier than lifting up the plastic moulange to make changes. Careful measurement showed me I needed to lengthen the pattern above the waist by 1/2 inch and change the angle of the shoulders.Once I did that, I didn't need to move the darts at all. The  most common complaint about this pattern on Sewing Pattern Review is that the darts are too low. My length adjustment took care of that. The pattern has different front pieces for "B," "C" and "D" cups, so I didn't need to increase the bust at all.

With the adjustments made, I cut a trial top from similar fabric that had been in my stash forever, possibly inherited from my mom. Whipping it up quickly showed me I needed to narrow the shoulders by about 1/4 inch. They passed my shoulder point by enough that it might have looked like a cut on cap sleeve. I also discovered a case of the dreaded "butt Velcro." My top was hiking up in the back and would have settled itself somewhere around my waist eventually. I pinched out a tuck at center back, increasing the size until the back hung freely, and pinned that in.

To transfer the change to my pattern, I split the tissue horizontally just below the waist from center back to the sideseam, being careful not to cut through the seamline. Then I measured the size of the tuck and raised the center back by that much, making a triangle that tapered to the seamline. It throws the center back off grain below the waist, but that little bit of bias adds some extra swing.

Because I shortened the back, I added the length back at the hemline by measuring down the tucked distance and making a gentle arc that tapered to the sideseam.

I took a bit of time placing the pattern on the fabric. I wanted the pattern to line up horizontally at the hemline. Because it's an all over pattern and quite busy, I didn't worry about trying to match center back. The match across the hemline came out as I anticipated it. The diamonds are not drifting up or down in relation to the hem. If your fabric has a definite geometric aspect, keeping the pattern straight around the hem will be most visually appealing.

As far as sewing goes, I mostly followed the pattern directions. I was skeptical of the armhole finish, but I did it the way the pattern recommended. I won't repeat that. Their directions make for a very bulky finish. I tried to remedy it by topstitching twice, but the edges still want to curl outwards. I will change that finish the next time I  make this top. It's a simple, versatile pattern - a wardrobe basic.

The End Result

©2007-2016 Historical Fashion by Barbara Anne