Unnoticeable Closings


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Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1921). The Younger Generation. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-f010-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

It’s July and the middle of summer so today is cold, damp and foggy here in coastal Northwest California. I am still thinking about the slip drape from last post, and trying to figure out how much fabric to cut. The draping begins with the fold at the center back and wraps around the figure to about the princess line of the front of the bodice. Even though I am using a half scale mannequin, I don’t want to use too much fabric. My other great idea is to drape a Barbie doll using paper towels instead of fabric. My initial attempt to visualize the pattern involved scrap paper and no model. I can see how it should come together, but am definitely going to need a 3-D model to work out the details. I would want the slip at about chest level, about 3/4 inch under the underarm, so I would need to mark that on the model. I think I would have the wrap come to the high hip level in the front because I want to see if I can put in pockets at that location so would need to mark that line on the model also.

I’ve been thinking about closures for loosely fitted pullover type bodices that don’t involve the need for a zipper. I found a couple of ideas this morning in a Weldon’s magazine from 1924. I made a scan because for me it is a two person job to use the camera and I don’t have time for that right now. I certainly don’t recommend scanning old books, magazines, or patterns because so much can go wrong, including breaking the spine. The print is very fine in this magazine so I’ve transcribed some of the important parts. On this page are three free patterns from Weldon’s: The Dress, The Washing Frock and The Petticoat Underslip. The Petticoat appears to be cut low enough at the back neckline and the low U neckline in front allows it to be pulled over the head.

Here are the basic sewing instruction that are not included in this scan, but are important:

“Mark material by pattern edges, using tailor’s chalk or coloured cotton as a guide for tacking up. Allow 1 1/2-inch turning on under-arm and shoulder edges, 3/4-inch turnings elsewhere, also allow hems.”

Here is the full page, separate scans of each dress are below.


Hooks and Loops Closure: The Washing Frock has a short sleeved kimono bodice. “Stitch seams, leaving a 2-inch opening at neck of each shoulder seam; face in edges of opening and fasten with hooks and loops.”

The Washing Frock also has contrast fabric trim at neckline and sleeve edges. “Open out 30-inch trimming material and cut into 2-inch wide crossway strips for binding. Join the crossway strips of trimming material into one length, place right side down against right side of garment and run the two edges together; turn the strip over to wrong side, fold in opposite edge and fell down over running-stitches.” According to Weldon’s basic sewing instructions, I think the crosswise binding might be sewn along the marked 3/4 seam line taking up only a scant 1/4″ of the binding, then turned to the inside and turned under another scant 1/4″. It’s always a good idea to make a sample first; turn-of-the-cloth always presents surprises.

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Press Studs (Snaps) on Vest Insert Closure: The Dress has a deep V neckline with a vest insert. “Turn in edges of V-opening and face with a crossway strip of the material. Hem edges of vest; stitch within right front and fasten under left front edge with press studs.”

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Here are a couple scans from Paris Frocks At Home that show other ways to finish neck openings. I would like to try the corded facing one day.

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