Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shifty Business Part 2--Piecing and Stitching

Homer the Cat of Enormous Bulk ultimately decided that it was more comfortable to sleep on the sofa without me prodding him than to remain on the sewing machine with me nudging his flanks. So I got to start sewing. The first seams were attaching the side gores (the triangle-bits that were cut from the top of the shift). You can see in the photo below how the top of the shift angles in, and the triangles pinned to the bottom, ready to be sewn on.

And what, you may ask, is the dinner plate doing on the table? Excellent question--thanks for posing it. The plate is there as a guide to cut the neckline. I traced the half the plate, then cut slightly wider and flatter than the semi-circle it created. Expedient, no?

After the gores were in place, I pieced the sleeve gussets. The gussets are squares of fabric that keep the arm holes roomy. After they were attached to the sleeves, I attached the sleeves to the body.

And this is where I made Ye Oldeste Error in Ye Booke. While concentrating on piecing the gussets precisely (and on a vital scene of Them, streaming on Netflix), I managed to join the sleeve to the body wrong-side out. D'oh!

You can kinda see the rough edges of the sleeve poking out the bottom. Will have to fix that, won't I? The gusset shows nicely on this photo as the triangle-shape between the body and the sleeve.

And another gusset shot.

And here's the fully assembled shift, having fallen in a swoon onto my guest bed. I still need to do all the finishing work, so final stage still to come!

And onto something completely different--I've ordered this lovely silk charmeuse. But for what...? Any guesses? Will share soon!


Leah Marie Brown said...


I am sorry I have not been to your blog lately. I am in the process of moving to Alaska. I won't be online a lot in the next few weeks but once I am settled I will catch up.

I am amazed at your abilities. Well done on the shift.

Now, regarding the silk charmeuse...the color is striking. Isn't it one of the more difficult fabrics to sew?

I am guessing you are making a ballgown - a la Marie Antoinette. :)

Rowenna said...

Alaska! How exciting! And ironic...a friend of mine is currently moving there, too :)

I'm super excited about the color...and can't wait to show the plans for what it's going to become :)

Connie said...

Oh, I feel for you. There nothing I hate more than ripping out seams.

GentlewomanThief said...

Oh oh oh!!! I think I know what it might be - something bird-related, perchance? ;) It looks beautiful.

Rowenna said...

Connie--I know, seam-ripping is the worst. I've been known to leave projects for weeks just because I had to take out a seam. Blech.

GWT--hehe, is a perfect color, isn't it? Or perchance I've got something else in the works... :)

Miss Rosemary said...

You've been hard at work! Glad the cat finally came to his senses. This project is really turning out nicely. I can't wait to see what the silk one will be :)

Rowenna said...

Thanks! The silk has me really excited...can't wait for it to arrive!

Ax said...

A 4H sewing project once left me with a vest that had no arm holes. Scarred for life on seam ripping after that. Of course ripping knitting ranks right up there. Oh to unknit or rip and lose your place? Agony! Beautiful work by the way. Love hearing about how the project is going!

Just out of curiosity, do you have any recommendations for books or websites on clothing in Britain between late 1700s and 1810? Part of my WIP. Women's undergarments around then are proving elusive, or maybe I don't know where to look. :p

Rowenna said...

Nothing more depressing than having to rip seams. Except losing twenty pages of revision work when you accidentally close the wrong window in Word--which I did last night. Oh, hamburgers.

Sent you a message on FB, Ax--feel free to pick my brain on that topic :)