Monday, April 3, 2017

My Edwardian plaid outfit Truly Victorian patterns TVE30 and TVE45

This last weekend was the Port Townsend Victorian Heritage Festival. There was much fun having!

I must admit to being completely and totally inspired to make this when I stumbled across The Antique Sewist's blog. She made a plaid version of TVE30 and TVE45 and I fell in LOVE! I knew at that very moment I needed a plaid Edwardian outfit. Nothing would stop me, even the lack of plaid fabric in my stash. I already had both the patterns and just needed some kind of fabric to fulfill my plaid dreams. A few days later I was at one of the local fabric watering holes and stumbled across this somewhat bright turquoise and purple plaid. It was love at first sight! It was on sale too!! So I quickly bought some and lovingly cuddled it all the way home.

I will start with TVE30, the skirt.

Sizing and alterations:
I cut a straight size I (36 waist). In my Edwardian stays I measure 43 bust, 37 high waist, 36 waist and 43 hips. You really want to pay close attention to your high waist, the is your jumping off point at fitting this skirt. Now as you can plainly see from my measurements I am not concerned about my hips. If you have a nice hip spring you would cut your hip size and blend it to your waist size, or you can play with the darts for adjustment. Also if you are taller than 5ft 4in you will want to lengthen the skirt. My alteration was fairly simple since I only needed a bit of extra waist room. I made the skirt darts a tad bit smaller (about 1/4 off each dart side at the top) and then blended it back into the rest of the dart. That gave me about an extra inch. For the inner waistband I just made it a bit longer and folded in the ends to make the belt fit my high waist. There are very small darts on the inner waistband and they are so teeny I didn't want to mess with them. That was it. The length was perfect for me and my 2 inch heels.

Yeah, I loved that plaid until I realized how uneven it was...I am somewhat impatient. Even plaids and even stripes are not super difficult to work with. However, when you toss the word "uneven" into the mixture things get dicey. So turning to my trusty Vogue sewing book I read about uneven plaids. Hmmmm...Not for the plaid novice. Great! It takes a lot to discourage me. And I was going to have that damn plaid dress, even if it killed me. Vogue says on the uneven plaids you have to pick a focus point on the plaid and just run with it. That is what I did.

 I patiently cut out my pieces in a single layer trying to keep it matched on my chosen focus point as I could. I knew with the lapped seams the plaid wouldn't be a perfect match but I managed to get close enough. It's certainly not perfect but I am pleased with my effort.

My fabric was some kind of mystery blend not quite mid weight suiting. I underlined my skirt with quilting cotton. Please, underline your garments. They hang so much better and you can just transfer your marks to the underlining. So easy. I used petersham ribbon for my belting. I found some on Etsy and bought several yards. It's light blue, but no one can see it anyways.

Not difficult. On my underlining I marked ALL THE THINGS. Every seam line, every dot and dart. Read the instructions carefully and follow them. The skirt came together like a dream. The placket seaming instructions seem strange, just follow them. It will be ok. I chose to use buttons as my main closure. I would rather make buttonholes than sew on a million hooks and bars.

Final thoughts:
I love this skirt! I even made another in dark navy wool suiting. It goes together much quicker when you aren't worried about matching plaid. A very satisfying project. TV gives great fitting info with the pattern.

TVE45 Narrow Panel Blouse

Really quick and easy to make. Since my bust is 43 I decided to use size H (44), view A with 3/4 sleeves. I did no alterations.
My fabric was not a bordered fabric but I went with view A anyway. I decided to cut my center panels on the bias so I wouldn't have to worry about plaid matching. I accidentally gave my blouse shoulder seams because I wasn't paying attention to the fact you have to tape both pattern pieces together at the shoulder to make it a single piece. (duh). Sewed up like a dream.

Final thoughts:
Easy. Great for a beginner. Instant gratification. I will make more of these.

Underneath it all:
Combination underwear, corset, stockings, a single petticoat. My under blouse is a lucky vintage find (because it is a larger size). Time wise it is WWI era but I didn't care because I didn't have to make it. I also loathe high collars. So this was a nice compromise. The blouse is completely hand sewn. It is labeled The Butterfly Blouse, size 42. It has a few minor flaws but that is to be expected. I will make a proper blouse to wear under this top, someday.

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