Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1912 Project: #E0200 Skirt Finished!

Ignore the lackluster hair. I didn't feel like trying an Edwardian updo.
Here is my first finished garment from the 1912 project! This pattern is from February 4, 1912. I wrote about the construction of it yesterday, and as promised, here I am wearing it. I tried this skirt with my vaguely Edwardian thrift store blouse...and the verdict is that I look like an old maid schoolteacher with not a lot of money to spend on clothes. My cotton was a little too stiff to drape the way that I think this skirt is supposed to, unfortunately, and the color is too dark for the trim to really pop.

Front

Side

Back

Because the fabric is so dark, though, I was able to wear one of my tiered, ruffly bohemian skirts underneath as a faux petticoat. It worked nicely to keep the skirt from sticking to me, although the whole outfit got quite warm! I guess it would've been fine for England, but it was oh, 80 degrees out while I was quickly snapping these photos. In the process of walking around, I discovered that the inner waistband really doesn't do much to hold up the skirt; it tends to slide down in the back and cause awkward bunching over my butt. That might just be due to my swayback, though.

Bunching! Also, I cut my left side piece wrong side out. I didn't notice until too late,
since I was working on this at night, but it looks really obvious here. Yuck.

Trying my best to get the same angle as the pattern drawing.
Summary:
Fabric: dark blue, 100% cotton, thick, attracts Walnut's hair like no other. I need a lady's maid just to follow me with a lint roller. 
Notions: 14 black plastic La Mode buttons, narrow black bias tape, snaps, hook and eye
Techniques used: I don't know that I had a technique for the bias binding, so much as I just manhandled it into place...I did like the canvas bias strip interfacing on the waistband, though! Also, my first time catch-stitching.
Hours: Eight. Pretty good, considering.
Will you make this again? Despite all my issues, I actually really like this pattern! I think that without the scallops, it'll make the perfect skirt for this gown (or even this utilitarian skirt) of Lady Mary's. Especially now that I've gotten it sized to mostly fit me.
Total cost: $13. One dollar for each scallop? The fabric only cost me $3, but the buttons and bias tape cost me $10! That seems unfair.
Final thoughts: Not bad, for my first century-old pattern? I don't even know what to think about it. My husband didn't either, opting out of making any dangerous comments by saying that he didn't know anything about fashions from this era. I don't know when I would ever wear this particular combination of top+skirt, but I feel like I should have a parasol or something. Also, I can't wait for my Astorias to come so that I can at least have proper shoes!


Black round-toed wedges really don't cut it. I suppose I should invest in some black stockings, too.

Update: VPLL Checklist!
  1. Pattern Name: #E0200, Scalloped skirt
  2. Sewer’s Skill Level: Intermediate (~2 years of serious sewing under my belt)
  3. Pattern Rating: I like the scallop detail and it does look fantastic with the trim and buttons, but I think the waistband facing could use some work to get it to hug above the waist properly. Still, that's pretty minor and all my lines matched up and everything. I give it a 4.5/5.
  4. What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? I think a beginner would be just fine on this pattern. There aren't many pieces and most of the seams are straight lines. Binding the scallops was trickier, but not impossible if you're willing to take the time to pin and iron.
  5. Were the instructions easy to follow? If not, what needs to be changed? The pattern instructions were generally easy to figure out, although I did read them a few times through just to make sure I knew what to do. I do wish that it was a little more clear on how to finish up the opening, though. Markings for where to put snaps/hooks and eyes would be helpful, but not necessary.
  6. How was the fit/sizing? Did it correspond to what you thought? When I initially measured the pattern, it seemed that it would end up with a final measurement of a 36" waist. I sized mine down accordingly (see construction post for details on how I did so). I expected there to be a little more "hourglass" shaping to help the dress stay above the natural waist, but instead it was more of a pyramid. If I hadn't been trying to make up the pattern as is, I would have changed up the facing pattern to give it more structure and tapered toward the bottom. That said, I was also wearing this without a corset because it didn't seem entirely necessary. I think with those minor changes it actually would be possible to wear this skirt uncorsetted.
  7. Did you make any pattern alterations? If so, what alterations did you make? Were they fit or design alterations? Again, see my notes on sizing down the pattern so it would fit me in the waist. I also opted not to stitch the scalloped edge down in a straight line, as I felt that would distract from the scallops. Instead, I stitched it down closely following the actual scallop line, which not only was more subtle, but also meant I didn't need to do anything to secure the scallop points. I also had to fold up one of the scallops when hemming so that my skirt ended up at instep-length.
  8. Other notes: A decent pattern, and a good starting point for exploring vintage patterns as it was pretty simple. The scallop trim is just enough of a design interest, but not too hard to actually sew. The overall effect is quite nice, and I imagine it would be lovely in a drape-y wool, although this cotton worked out surprisingly well, considering. 
I'll also be reviewing this over on Pattern Review with their checklist.

29 comments:

  1. I'd say that's a pretty good riff on an Edwardian silhouette---as close as you're likely to get without the corsets, anyway. I really, really like how the skirt looks, at least in the pictures. Though I can appreciate how it may not be the most practical unless you're volunteering at a historical village...

    Modern patterns for high-waisted skirts usually have a lot of structure in the waist, extra interfacing and even boning, to keep them up---I suspect in Edwardian days this structure would've been provided by the corset and so the skirt would just sit overtop.

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    1. Thank you! Now I need to find a historical village to volunteer at.

      I think if I make this again, I'm going to redraw the inner waistband and add boning (I have plenty of short pieces left from my corset).

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  2. I think it looks fantastic - colour me impressed! I actually love the eggplant and black - its a very period combination, even if it doesn't show that well in photographs. A little bit more of a swayback/modern bum adjustment might help with the back wrinkling.

    I'm still waiting on my first 1912 pattern - I can't wait to get started on one! I don't even know which pattern I'm going to get. This ones pretty darn cute.

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    1. Oh, good to know my choices accidentally turned out well! I need to look into swayback adjustments now; I haven't had to make one before. I'm excited to see what pattern you get and make; I'm sure yours will look amazing, knowing your work!

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  3. I love this, I think it's really stunning and very subtle, yet quite appropriate for the period. Really nice. I have no idea where you could WEAR it, except all the time and everywhere, but still, I think you've done a gorgeous job and if I was your employer in 1912, I would try to slip you a raise.

    I have awarded you with a Liebster Blog award, because you are lovely.
    strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

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    1. Aww, thank you! I would love to work for you in 1912, Leah! From your hilarious blog and comments on mine, I suspect it would be even better than hanging around Lady Violet all the time.

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  4. i completely agree with tanit-isis about the waistband issues you're describing--and also totally agree that it's a great shape overall that definitely has potential, both for more historic skirts and experiments with a modern silhouette. definitely something to be proud of!

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, there's a lot of potential in this pattern, especially considering the slightly different distribution of panels/seams than modern skirt patterns.

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  5. This looks great, I have been trying to decide between this skirt and the panel front style for my model. I think the scallops look very sweet so this one is quickly pulling ahead! My model is small like you so she should look good in this one too. The corset is next :) Congratulations - F.R.R. Mallory

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    1. Can't wait to see your version! The panel front skirt looked exciting too, but this was my assigned pattern...and I don't really need more impractically long skirts from 1912 :)

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  6. It looks very elegant - and very 1912. Well done!

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    1. Thanks! I feel very 1912 when I wear it!

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  7. I can just imagine [Eric] coming by your [sweltering] little country school in his [Fit] to drive you all the way back to [your apartment] while you're all covered in [Walnut] furs in this outfit. Or would you be more like Mary modeling her new school clothes in the middle of summer while Ma says you look like you stepped out of a fashion plate? Either way, it's very impressive.

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    1. Why, thank you! Actually, I did think about Mary and her school clothes when I was all dressed up in our stuffy apartment, waiting for Eric to finish his toast so that we could take pictures. Although this is only four layers of cotton, not several layers of wool...

      Totally didn't think of Almanzo and Laura though.

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  8. Your husband should be a diplomat, and I don't think you look like an old maid! I'm still definitely seeing Lady Mary.

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    1. Haha he is not always so successful at diplomacy...but he's pretty good at it most of the time! Thanks for reassuring me that I can be Lady Mary and not Isobel Crawley.

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  9. Wow that looks so beautiful and elegant! It's so well made and I love the front! You are amazing! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you! Those scallops really make the front, don't they? Just don't look too closely at the stitching...

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  10. Wow, the trim is beautiful and the skirt has a lovely silhouette. Should we call you "Lady Cation"?

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    1. Haha I'll accept the "Lady" title when I live in a house with a turret :) In the meantime, thank you for your kind words!

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  11. I love this skirt, Cindy! I love the colors and trim! You look quite nice in it, too! I can't wait to see it with your new shoes!! Great work!

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    1. Thank you, Shayna! I'll wear it with my new shoes for you when they arrive!

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  12. FABULOUS! I got this skirt pattern too but haven't managed to get to it yet! I was thinking of doing it in purple too...YAY..now I can't wait to tackle this pattern!

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  13. Just found your blog, and I love it! You do some awesome stuff. Your skirt came out terrific and looks perfect on you.

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  14. How did you back/face or reinforce the raised waistband area? I'm trying to make a final decision for my skirt (the other one offered so far).

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    1. I didn't reinforce it at all; just used the canvas-backed facing that the pattern called for. In retrospect, I should have cut this facing piece a little narrower so that it would hold up the raised waistline. Hope that answers your question!

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  15. Oh cool - I just stumbled over to your blog and left you a comment on your Star Wars dress and then noticed you're part of the 1912 project too! Looks great and you can always keep it in the closet for a Halloween costume. =)

    (btw, I'm in Group 4.)

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  16. Super job! The butt bunching bit wouldn't have been such a problem for the time as it would have been sewn for a woman wearing a corset. The waist to hip ratio would be greater thus keeping it up. I know that in the 1890's some ladies padded the butt area but I'm not sure if they did in the 1900s. Not my era of interest.

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  17. I love this! I saw this skirt in your raglan sleeve swing top post, and I just had to find it. Now I want to make one, but I already have 20 or so projects lined up. =)

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.