Monday, October 29, 2012

1940's Woman's suit progress report

Here's another Hello Dolly Boutique pattern, this time for a woman's suit: blouse, skirt, pants, and jacket. I've made an attempt (or attempts) at all four garments. The blouse I hit it after the second try, the skirt needs a good mark 2, the pants are now on mark 3 and still hosed, and the jacket is not bad after mark 1 but needs another try.

The first pants and skirt prototype were in a very lightweight cotton voile, and the blouse in a heavy (for a blouse) cotton quilting print.

I tried the skirt again in a wool fabric and altered the pleats with no regard to how pleats actually work and it was not a go. So I binned it with no photos. I will revert to the pattern shown above, with narrow pleats and just a little bit more room in the hips. I may also try a side zipper, since I've ordered a selection of doll-scale zippers from Zipperthatdoll.

The blouse's second try was a success, although the material (a poly lining material salvaged from a thrift store garment) was a pain to work with. I will look for similar fabric since it drapes very well and really looks good in doll-scale.

I've been fighting the pants since that first prototype. I altered them to be a bit bigger in the hips and smaller in the waist, and to be long enough for cuffs. Apparently I can't measure well, since they were too short for cuffs, and too small in the waist for the Impldoll I intended them for. So they are uncuffed and on the Resinsoul instead.

And, if you'll notice, the seams on the grey twill are NOT EVEN. The inseam twists to the front although the outseam is OK. This is a flaw in the pattern. So I redrew the front and back inseams for the third (and I'd hoped) final draft, widening the legs at the same time. 
Now the seams are still not balanced (in the beige version below), although I did make enough alteration for the cuffs. Somehow the waist ended up a bit loose. I know how to fix this, which is to make a Petersham ribbon to fit the waist and incorporate it into the pants.

Next time for sure ...

Now, check out that nice jacket. It is very close to perfect: the fit is great, the bound buttonholes worked well.

These are two piece sleeves, with an upper sleeve and lower (or under) sleeve. This type of sleeve fits well, since the sleeve is shaped to the slight curve arms have (who, except dolls, stands around w/ perfectly straight arms, anyway?) The curve of this sleeve is not in the right place, so the next version will see the sleeve seams rotated just a bit in so the seams lie in the right place (no markings on the pattern so I took a SWAG as to where the seams should be and I missed by a bit) and the curve matches bend of the elbow.

The sleeve opening is also very very close to the same size as my doll's hands, so I need to either widen the sleeve at the bottom or add a non-closed vent. I had to put temporary pieces of heavy thread through the blouse cuffs, stuff the threads though the jacket sleeves, and keep a hold of the threads to keep the blouse sleeves from riding up as the jacket went on. Yikes.

I was sure the jacket did not fit well since there seemed to be a lot of extra material in the upper back. But that extra material (also present in the blouse and created by darts extending from the back of the shoulder seam) allows free movement. The middle upper photo in the composite shows just a little bit of pulling across the back. 
I will adapt this jacket to sports wear (why not go skiing or snowshoeing?) with an Action Back cut, moving that excess fabric into pleats at the sides of the upper back and maybe also making an Eisenhower type short jacket.

The fabric is a bit heavy for this suit, so the next pants and skirt will be in the rose wool I used for Regina's coat (the Resinsoul).  I might make a jacket in the rose also, or I might look for a nice brown for the jacket. I can handle only so much matchy-matchy.

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