Saturday, June 29, 2019

Cutting into the Fabric

And now it's time to cut into the actual fabric.  As I mentioned before, this is an Ellen Tracey fabric from Elliott Berman Textiles that I purchased during a wonderful trip to New York.  At the time, I only purchased two and a half yards.  Well, I decided soon thereafter that I wanted some kind of 1940s full length gown, and the two plus yards was clearly not going to be enough.  Lucky for me, a few months later when I looked at their online selection, the fabric was still available.

Using my muslin, I cut all the pieces out of the brocade.

I am not exactly sure about the content of this particular textile, but I know there is some polyester in there.  I love the brocade, the colors, and the pattern.  It does take an iron nicely, but it is very lightweight.  It also likes to fray.

So there was a lot of reinforcement to be done on all the corners.  A bit of silk organza and this technique makes all the difference.

This particular design closes up the back with buttons which is somewhat unusual for a 1940s design.  Most of what I have seen has a draped back with a side opening/closure.  I couldn't find any buttons to match, so covered buttons were the obvious choice.

In between making a ton of covered buttons, I hand basted my lapped seams in place.  I always used to be afraid of this vintage technique because of the top stitching.  However, once I realized how easily silk thread can be removed without marring a fabric, I have not fear of basting things in place in areas that will be visible on the finished garment.

It takes some extra effort and time, but in the end, it is worth it!

And that is the front bodice.

This garment also gave me quite a few opportunities to hand stitch to my hearts content!  The edges of the front drape are hand rolled.

And you didn't think I was going to get through an entire project without using HugSnug seam binding, did you?!

There were also a few spots where I had to guess my way through construction.  The drape is pieced through the skirt front inset.

The other half goes through and out the front waist seam.  At least, that is as best as I could figure!  And it seems to work, which is the most important thing.


  1. That trip was nearly 5 years ago!!!!!

  2. Can't wait to see the finished garment, love your fabric choice.

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