A crazy comfortable sleeve in a small armhole.

I traced the weird thing I draped yesterday and cut a new sleeve from it. That’s one weird looking sleeve pattern:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
With the sideseams closed it is distorted:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This is because I matched the points where the ends of the sleeve cap should meet each other, at the underarm. And sleeve seams are perpendicular to the vertical centre line running down from High Point (which is no longer the highest point in my sleeve cap). Width at biceps is 35 cm, at elbow 30 cm.

(I’ll have to do second trial after this one with horizontal lines running horizontal. Letting the guide line around the biceps meet itself at the seam. Or change the direction from the central vertical line, based on where the sleeve cap edges now meet. But first run this trial.)

Into the bodice and onto the mannequin. It fits into the armhole like a glove. It’s nice not having to ease in extra fabric. Still using lots of pins and sewing over them slowly.
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

On me:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Lots of crumpled fabric in the armpit. Uncomfortable. But very easy to lift my arm. The ease of wearing is amazing.

Front shows vertical line running down from High Point (shoulder) to the front. This sleeve is rotating around my arm:

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I pin away the extra fabric at the arm pit and mark where the biceps guide line now is. Also where the sleeve thinks the vertical line from High Point should run, where it to run straight down instead of coming to the front.

Picture of the sleeve cap with the pinned fabric, the new vertical line coming in diagonally and my biceps guide line which is half moon shaped. Crazy sleeve.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Opening it up again and drafting a new cap sleeve based on the pinning. Take away fabric in the left “mouse ear”, the cap part that meets the arm hole at the front:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

I keep the rest the same. There’s the vertical guide line from High Point (HP) at a diagonal angle.

Trying to match the seam points of the sleeve cap for sewing the side seam:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This will be sleeve one (1), based on the pinnings from the previous fit. Throwing grain and common sense into the wind.

I’ll make another one (2) based on the draft from the start but now with new sideseams based on how the new vertical line running from the Highest Point runs:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 2: I’ve cut fabric away at the left part of the sleeve, adding it to the right. So width of sleeve is 35 cm at (strange half moon shaped) biceps guide line and 30 cm at elbow guide line. At a right angle to the vertical guide line from HP. If this fits at all this pattern should be redrawn on a new piece of cloth, obeying the grain of the fabric.

Fitting:

Sleeve 2, it’s on my right:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 1, based on previous fit, it’s on my left:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Crazy amount of movement possible! It doesn’t drag up the shirt. I like it!

Fitting conclusions:
Sleeve 2 sits awful. Lots of fabric in my arm pit yet still there’s tightness there. My wrist doesn’t level out.
Sleeve 1, distorted as it may be, actually sits really nice. So much movement possible!
Still a few tweaks needed though. (is there more ease because it’s a bit on the bias?)

I’ll cut a new sleeve, on the grain, and put it in the bodice of my fashion fabric shirt. Just cleaning up the lines a bit, having high point and its line in check with grain.
The little tweaks I had to do where in the sleeve cap (just a little less drama in the wave at the front and just a little less flair near the end point back). They cause the perimeter of the sleeve cap to be the exact dimension of the arm hole. 20 cm from front to High Point, 21,6 cm from High Point to back.
This fills me with excitement! This sleeve will fit this arm hole perfectly. Have I drafted a sleeve that, while looking ridiculous, might work?

I’m sewing up my new version into the fashion shirt. (My muslin has been so tortured that it won’t hold another sleeve.)

Premature conclusions:
1. I may have DRAPED a sleeve, not drafted on. This method may work for me.
2. I may have forced myself into this ridiculous need because my arm hole is a bit weird (too tight).

Last fit, on the fashion fabric: nice. I can rotate my arm all around without distorting the bodice fabric.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Needs less width on the biceps. I can live with a sleeve like this and be seen in public. I’m sure sewists will cringe when they see how my seam rotates around the sleeve.

Ideas for next time: lower the arm hole at the underside with 0,5 cm. Also 0,5 cm more inward at the front. I need a little more space to tuck all the sleeve folds away.

Last play for the day: just a little more cutting and pasting at that ridiculous shape. Try and put it into a grain grid.
3 versions of the same sleeve.
1. the sleeve I found, with the rotating sleeve seam.
2. the same but straight on the grain. Versie “A”
3. version “B” that has everything transferred onto a proper grain grid.

The found pattern, crazy and comfortable:
crazy sleeve pattern with maximum wearing comfort

Version A = previous version but cut on grain:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Version B, trying to match the side seams in length. Having som sort of straight line going from sleeve cap to wrist; cleaning up more lines:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

end result version B::
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

What do yo know, version B doesn’t look that unlike a conventional sleeve pattern after all. A sleeve block with a fairly squarish sleeve cap. (Back is left, Front is at the right of the picture).

Will have to sew these three up and try them for (final) fit. And then dare to sport crazy sleeves on my fabric shirt.

 

 

some residual notes in dutch for me:
3 versies:
1- m’n gevonden vorm. Met verdraaide achternaad. “versie krulletje”
2. deze vorm maar dan recht op de grain met z’n naad en de voornaad reechtgemaat van pols naar oksel. Wat weggeknipt is is aan de zijkant/andere naad erbij geleged en een beetje opgeschoond en ervoor gezorgd dat beide naden 59 cm lang zijn, net als de rechtgeknipte naad. “versie A”
3 “versie B” heeft de HP-polslijn recht op de grain liggen en een grid dat de grain volgt. Het voorpunt v d oksel is recht naar beneden/de pols geknipt en aan de achternaad is ruimte bijgemaakt zodat de ellebeoog 30 cm breedte krijgt en de pols 25 cm. Dit is een papieren oplossing waarvan je nog maar moet zien of het in 3D mooi wordt.

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Self drafted pattern for a blouse, with close fitting arm hole and two sleeves, one of them oblong.

A few muslins further and now I’ve got one that works and that I’d actually call a pattern:

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sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

I’ve been playing with sleeves a bit.
I’ve drafted and fitted on that I’m going to use. It’s on the left arm hole of this muslin. It has a biceps width of 35 cm and a sleeve cap matching the armhole exactly at 42,3 cm. It has little gussets at the sides.

On the right shoulder is an oblong sleeve. Just a straight piece of cloth, 42,3 cm in width and some 25 cm high. I wanted to learn how much arm movement it gives. I’ve been reading and rereading Ikatbag’s explanation of sleeves and I wanted to experience it.

Just a rectangle sewn into arm hole:

sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
Excellent movement! Nice flair…

One day I’d like to take this sleeve (cap) and play with it. See if I can eliminate the flair, reduce the bulk at the underarm but still keep most of that nice room for movement. But not today. (I did start. I sewed some lines into the sleeve, as it was still attached, and see how that influenced fit. And I started to read up on medieval smocks and skirtles. But really, I should sew a blouse now.)

This is the sleeve I’ve drafted. It sits nice. But in unwashed cotton it’s still a bit restrictive. I’m hoping it will be alright in the lighter fashion fabric. If not it’ll be a learning experience.
Muslin looks nice though. See how close to the body the arm hole is. It’s not uncomfortable at all!
And it gives better movement than any other sleeve I’ve made before, in any of my grey blouses.
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

Here’s the pattern of this sleeve cap, with the dark thread indicating the sleeve cap but without gusset flares at both ends:
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

I also drafted front panel facings; a collar and a collar stand and plackets for the sleeves.

Now I’m ready to transfer markings to fashion fabric I think…

This is the fabric:

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Muslin bodice V8766 Sew the Perfect Fit

This week I watched the Craftsy course Sewing the Perfect Fit, by Lynda Maynard.
On Friday I went back to the cabin, where my sewing machine is, and that afternoon I made a muslin for the bodice of Vogue 8766.
And then I hacked the muslin to pieces, just like the teacher ordered.

I started with the pattern as is. I just traced a size 12 Petite and cut it from muslin cloth. I marked the seams in pen. Staystitched in white. Basted in black.
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

I did a little trick for basting the darts: in pen I marked the wrong side so I could put the two marks together more easily.
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

The tip of the dart was marked on the wrong side too: I stuck a pin through it from the right side and could mark the hole in the fabric easily from the wrong side.
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

I sewed the shoulder seams and the side seams together and pinned the back seam. I knew the bodice wouldn’t fit but it’s interesting to see how a Vogue pattern size 12 sits on my body:
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit
Oompf it’s tight. Breathing is a luxury.

Pattern sizes are made for cup size B. I’m an F. (or FF)
Still: this is my size. This is the size my frame needs, my shoulders need. It’s just that my boobs don’t fit. And that I might be shorter than size Petite.

The side shows how much my boobs don’t fit; apart from it looking very tight the side seam does not hang vertical.
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

Can’t close the center back (CB) properly. Those vertical stripes are supposed to be vertical. It’s too tight and hangs below my natural waist.
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

So here’s what you do to amend the pattern:
*CHOP CHOP!*
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit
This is a FBA, Full Bust Adjustment, Lynda Maynard style. Instant breathing opportunities.

Suddenly the side seam hangs a whole lot more vertical:
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

Hey, the back closes!
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit
It’s not too tight anymore. But it’s way way too long. Where the horizontal creases are is where my natural waist is.

I also needed my two darts at the top of the back pieces.

Transferring the things the muslin showed onto the pattern. Shortening the bodice/ raising the waist line:
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit
This requires redrawing of the darts because even if I shorten them, they still need to take in the same amount of width.
Another muslin will show me if this will work in real life or that I should swivel part of the dart around to another place.

I put in the other changes: the FBA, the little darts at the top of the back en widening the sideseams (both at the bust and at the armhole. That last one has to do with my broad back. I need to remember this if I’m going to put in sleeves, they will need an addition 2 x 0,5 cm in width)
Muslin Sewing The Perfect Fit

Tomorrow I hope to sew a new muslin, preferably in fashion fabric.
The crafty course is really worth it. All the tricks and how to look for things and how to put them into the paper pattern piece. I really like it. And I’m surprised I only needed length in my FBA, not so much width.

All this in one afternoon! And if this bodice works for me I can put it together with my go to skirt pattern and then I have a dress pattern I can use over and over again.

Gnome Couture Dress lesson 1 and 2: pattern to muslin pieces

Determined to make this dress according to the Craftsy Course The Couture Dress by Susan Khalje but also benefit from the sloper I’ve made I spend a day tinkering with the pattern pieces of Vogue 8648 and my sloper:
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I put them on top of each other, looked for clues, tried to marry their lines, inserting the ease I had chosen.

Here I try to determine how much the pieces should overlap when the midriff pieces rest on my waistline but the bossom pieces honour my apex. Those midriff pieces have to be shortened, the bust piece must come down. But what to do with the shoulder?
Also I brought in the Center Front line (CF), I made the mid piece less wide.

A scary process as I really have not much of a clue yet. However I know the sloper is correct, I know commercial patterns add way too much ease and I have Susan Khalje’s course The Couture Dress as an example and guide.

I did a lot of things to the pattern…
for one I did shorten the midriff section. The original is 9 cm high, I opted for 8 cm.
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Here you see the new line in pencil, at the top. At the bottom the waistline coincides with the seam allowance of this pattern. As I am only interested in seam lines and not in cutting lines this serves me well.

Then there’s that horizontal slice of fabric that has to come out because I’m a bit bend. You can see it noted on the sloper. It will get a place above or below this midriff section as the midriff section is an eyecatcher and should not vary in height. I’m thinking below, in the skirt pieces.

Another thing I did was because my apex is more near to my waistline than it is in the Vogue pattern. I cut the paper piece and folded it so that it matched the sloper better. Then I altered the bust piece even more:
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I let the curved line follow the princess line of my sloper. It automatically ended up being a Full Bust Adjustment.

I had so many doubts about all of this, redrawing these lines, adding ease and choosing sites to do so! In the end I watched the video lesson 2 from the Craftsy Course The Couture Dress and I was reminded that the lines do not matter that much. It will all come together when fitting the muslin.

It gave me the boldness to push through. I just drew what I thought was good. Always keeping in mind the waistline, CF, CB and grain. And letting the sloper be leading (that is: my sloper + added ease). The Vogue pattern was following.

Because I brought the pattern apex closer to the waistline (not only in the bodice side sections but also in the bodice front midsection) it brought the neckline too low so that has to rise.
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I reserved a bit of extra fabric in the muslin to determine how high I want to have it later, while fitting. How to do this and many more little and big tricks I learned from Susan Khalje, it really is a good course.

In the end I was confident enough to pin all the pieces to my muslin (again with lots of nifty tricks) and cut the muslin. (I am such a mental cheap skate. I had to actively give myself permission to “destroy” this piece of cheap muslin and just try it and see where it will lead. I’d rather not venture than run the risk of a waisted effort. Really, I’m squirrel poo.)
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a nice pile of pieces, ready to trace. I use waxed paper. Again, watch the course.
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Raising the back. Making notes on all the pieces before laying them aside.
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This is the skirt mid back:
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On the left you can see how I altered the lines. I put the ease (decrease) for the back mostly in the princess lines and not in the side seams. Because I have such a curved back (and not much of a waist)

On the lower right you see that I added a vent. Using this tutorial and my experience with the Wriggle Dress that had a vent too. It is very easy and looks good.

All pieces cut, traced and noted it was time to put away the paper.
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Tracing paper and pattern paper are now snug in their envelopes again. Usually I run away mid project and forget to tidy up. This time I am regarding tidying up as part of the process. And it feels good!

Gnomes in progress: insecurities

– I ironed the cotton. Ready to cut my muslin now.

– figured out the ease from this previous post. I’ll do 2,5cm on the waist, 5 cm on the hip and 7,5 cm on the bust but will cut wider so it may even end up with up to 7 cm around the hip. I want to wear this dress over a longsleeve and tights so I may add a little bit of extra ease. However, I wore the Anemone Dress today, it has no ease, and it was too loose around the hips. Apart from when I sat down, then it was good. So I guess minimum ease works for me.

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– figured out how to adjust for the extra fabric to be taken out at the side and back. I cannot make the taille detail less high, I think it has to come out from the bodice parts and the skirt part. Probably divide between the two. Perhaps sneak in a little bit of decrease in height into the waist band.

– before cutting: insert vent instead of slit in the skirt

– watch the video course on crafsty.com by Susan Khalje and follow the steps.

Then I got really insecure….  my body sloper is not very good I think. It fits well but sections may not be straight. Not if I have fitted it all by myself. Fitting should be done by someone else.

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I put the waistline of Vogue on the waistline of my sloper and the apex on the apex. It seems I should make the waist band less high…

Then I really had my doubts about the paper I cut. I cut without ease and wanted to add the ease whilst transferring it to the muslin. This is difficult. So I threw away to papers and redrew the pieces onto another piece of tracing paper.

Then I got insecure because my pieces are not very well balanced. Although the princess lines run right through the apex I fear the mid block section will not appear of equal width on both sides of the Centre Front.

Then I fot the papers from the waste basket. If I were to buy another piece of stretchy cotton I could use them to make another sheath dress….

Then I laid the pattern pieces of Vogue 8648 on top of my pieces. I grew very insecure. These pieces had their left and right mirrored, they would be of equal width, But there was so much more ease on these than I planned.

Right now I’m leaning toward just doing the course as is, from the Vogue pattern. Forget my sloper.

But with a little shortening of the top part since my back is shorter. My front too, come to think of it. I’d have to do a Full Bust Adjustment (or in this case, adjust the waiste)

all in all, gnomes are very insecure today.

Sewing: a basting kind a gal

Today I discovered I am fond of basting a garment!
With the sewing machine set on 2mm or 3mm stitching I just whip up the garment (no seam treatment, just baste together the defining seams: side seams, bustdarts) and try it on.
Ideal for trying out the fit!

With the wide stitches I can take the seams apart fast after I’m done pinning the adjustments.
Or, as I did with the Wriggle Dress -my second dress ever- today: baste together and try it on and pin the adjustments and take the basting apart and baste it again and try it on again and pin some more adjustments and take the basting apart and baste it again and try it on again. I am a beginner.

It was especially the darts that needed the most repinning and when I found them to be good I pressed them, while they were still basted. Then I took all the basting out and resewed the seams in the apropriate, smaller stitch. Easy peasy since the baste line was still visible.
(I do stitch slow and with ridiculous attention so YMMV (Your Milage May Vary))

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One dart, ready to be sewed. These are diamond shaped darts. They are to be sewed starting in the middle towards a point, reducing stitch width as you approach the end of the fabric. Try “falling off” the fabric gradually, in a very small stitch width. This reduces puckering. Then you turn your dress around and do the other point of the dart in the same way.

I plan to do this basting thing with a few more dresses that I am trying out, I love it! No toile needed.
Of course, the fashion fabric must allow for all this basting and taking apart. Probably shouldn’t do this with satin, silk or high end linen… and should work from too wide to a good fit. Not from too tight to more ease, that basting line might remain visible.

And: there should be a nice cup or holder to collect the threads while you work.
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this is mine, it belonged to my grandmother who was a great seamstress (I didn’t know untill after she passed) and she and I both love birds.

Oh! Last tip to myself: use a contrasting colour thread for basting! This makes it easier to unpick. And it won’t tempt me to leave it in because “it’s already the right line”. 2 or 3mm stitches is not a good width for many fabrics, it will stretch and tear in the seams. Take it out. Yes, use contrasting thread. Good tip. You know you.

altering the toile 2

before:
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after:
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before:
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after:
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I took in the waist dramatically. Then I used the darts in the bodice to fix the difference in width between the skirt and the bodice. This is easily done by sewing the horizontal seam from one side to the (torned loose) dart and then from the other side. The flap of extra fabric will be the dart. In this case the darts have not been sewn and are loose on the inside. Making for the boxy folds that are especially noticeable from the side. Once sewed shut and to one side THe lines will flow effortless.

In the front view you can see how well it is fitted now. There is plenty suggestion of a waist now.

I sewed the darts in the skirt by eye and I was a little too peeved enthousiastic. There’s not enough room for lining or breathing. In the real design I will give an inch or a little more of extra width.

(don’t worry about the uneven height in the side seam. I put in a zipper for better fitting and I sewed it quickly. I would have taken a photo from the other side if I were smarter at balancing iPads and trying to take photo’s with it.)

I took a bit of the seam below the bust to incorporate it in the dress, I need a bit more length now that the bodice has to cave in under the bust to meet the dress. In the real design I’ll probably give it even a little bit of extra length.

I made sure the middle lines matched up. From there I match the other lines. In the real dress I will not sew up the skirt separate from the bodice, I’m more tempted to follow the lead of the vertical lines and make sure they line up first.

What now? take apart the toile and make it into real pattern pieces?

I don’t feel confident enough to start cutting into the dress fabric yet. I think I want a practice dress first. The question is: do I go out and buy cheap fabric or do I cut out the view A and use that flowery sheet? hm. I need to go to the fabric shop to get a zipper anyway …. o wait. New fabric means washing and waiting for it to dry. eh….I’ll think about it.

Oh, one thing:

I’ll never buy a bloody pattern again! I can just as well copy pieces from a dress I have already and make alterations. What a scam, sizing in patterns!

trial run, mock up, prototype, muslin, toile

yay, my patterns are acceptable according to US Postal Service! They are know for their style, I’m sure.

Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility

April 18, 2013, 10:52 pm

MANHATTAN, KS 66502

Before sewing a good fitting pattern it is a good idea to make a mock-up. Mock-ups are like a quick draft in fabric. A prototype. You make it in cheap cloth and you use it to check fit.

In sewing they are called Toile or Muslin. Ah, names that sing the hope of future elegance loudly!

I found a fantastic tutorial about them, on Frabjous Couture:

With lots of explanations and reasons why you do things a certain way (I live for understanding things!)

NB to me:

  • take a royal seam allowance (if you’re going to fit the mock-up to your body) 5 cm is no luxury!
  • learn early the habit to let length wise grain run from head to toe in everything you sew, including toile
  • wash (and press) your fabric up front. including all tidbits and lining etc.
  • don’t go for silk just yet. It’s better for experienced sewers.

I don’t understand: you put tracing paper unto the fabric and unto that the pattern and than you first trace the pattern unto the tracing paper? With one of those ‘spur wheel’ (I’m going for jargon here, obviously)

This picture is from/by April1930s, a USA based shop selling old antique Singer sewing machines with another hundred years desire to sew in them. I have an old foot threadle (not from them) and it is reliable, well engineered piece of machinery. I love it! I oil it and I admire the well executed bits and how they work together. Love it!

April1930s has a wonderful atmosphere on the site. This is a card they carry:

Well, perhaps a bit too Holly Hobby when I see it out here, away from their site… but sewing clothes and working on an old machine that will give any modern piece of plastic a run for its money does give a sense of belonging to a place in history.

This is precisely how I feel, now that I’m preparing to sew on my antique foot threadle. I feel like I’ll be joining in a long queue of skilled artisans. Starting with my mother who made expressive garments in the ’70s and my grandmother in the ’30s who sewed spiritual dresses for her dance performances in colonial clubs in the East Indies, accompanied on the piano by the love of her life whom she met on the voyage getting there.

On to the centuries of farm women who knew their measurements and made everything from scratch while abiding and expressing social messages in their Dutch traditional clothes. They knew how to make cloth from a sheep, from a plant or from leather. They learned how to make well fitting clothes from that cloth. It was as common and great a skill as making fire from a tinder. Just because modern people haven’t been exposed to it doesn’t mean we don’t have a knack for it.

Dutch traditional dress from various regions, all distinctively different and all hand made. Within a region or village each woman could express individuality within the set of rules for the dress. A little bit of different seaming, a little bit of different colour.

I’m rambling, aren’t I? Yes I am.

It was supposed to be about tracing a paper pattern on another piece of paper…and not getting near cloth or sowing needle any time soon. Why trace paper on paper?

aha, some people love to keep their patterns intact. For later use and in different sizes. I’m guessing that’s the reason they trace it on tracing paper. To keep the main template. Makes sense. Also, in tracing paper you can make alterations and set it on fire without loosing the original.

oh.

duh.

these American patterns come with a seam allowance. European patterns typically only show the lines along which you are supposed to stitch. You cut as much extra fabric as you think you need. The tracing is done to indicate these stitching lines as they are not marked on the pattern. With customizing the fit you need to know the intended stitching lines. That’s why you trace them. With a ‘tracing wheel’. Not a ‘spur wheel’.

Right. Well. A mock up, muslin, toile, is a method of getting from a generic pattern (which is garanteed not to fit you because you are an individual) to a personal pattern. You alter it. You fit it. You alter it some more. If you’re able to end up with a 3D pattern (in muslin or other cheap cloth) that fits you splendid, you take the 3D mock up apart, trace the cloth pieces on another piece of paper. And that will be your personal template, to be used from now on. You can burn the commercial pattern. Is my guess.

generic form, ready to be burned.

ps. one more word about the traditional clothes you see above. The reason there is so much black is that black was added to a costume to indicate sorrow or grief. There are various rules for this: how long you had to wear black, how subdued the overall colours had to be. All depending on who died and how close related you were to them.

As these traditional ways of dressing were dying out only the elder people were still wearing it, with lots of reasons to wear black. Their spouse might have died. Or an adult child. That’s why the memory that still remains in our culture of these dresses is that they are often black or dark coloured. But they are not, in their origine. When everybody in the village was wearing them.

They were brightly coloured and very elaborate. Colour indicated richness. (although dark coloured woolen skirts are very practical in use, I must admit)

Marken dress from around 1910, via wikipedia. The girl in the back is grieving for a distant relative, her sleeves have more dark in them and her hat and bodice darker/more subdued too.

Spakenburg, photograph by Guus Herbschleb.

dress from Hindeloopen, by dagjeuit.nl

lets end with a print by Paul Berthon, 1872-1909 (artist); L. Prang & Co. (publisher)

Did you know tulips aren’t original from Holland? We just got smitten with them, back in the 17th century.