I have finished Ladies Skirt 0162, and offer my comments with the checklist, followed by notes. This skirt was fun! I plan to wear it with Ladies Blouse 0191.
1. Ladies Skirt 1062, waist 25”
2. My sewing level is advanced
3. This is a 5! It is a lovely example of the era, has wonderfully simple construction, and looked like the illustration even without the soutache.
4. This could be made by a beginning sewer, especially if a few hints are included about what to expect from the style (like room for a bustle!). The instructions and construction are straightforward.
5. I liked the simplicity of the construction and the lovely and effective detail it produced. I have a few comments/suggestions for adjustments to the instructions listed below (in italics).
6. The fit was a surprise, given that my waist is 4” larger than the pattern designation. In spite of measuring and determining the need for more ease, I did not require any more at all! This was made with an unbleached medium weight linen, and sewn with cotton thread. The buttons are 1” mother of pearl – a bit heavy, but worked well.
7. I took a tuck at each back side seam, for an overall decrease of 2” (since I did not want a bustle…). I also cut the pattern 2” shorter, given that I am 5”4”. I did not add soutache, as I could not find an appropriate braid. Lastly, I hemmed the back 1” shorter than the pattern; it is still longer than the front, but only 2” rather than 3”.
8. I would definitely recommend this pattern to others! It is lovely and simple, and looks good.
Suggested adjustments to instructions (in italics):
pg. 4, col. 2, para 5, line 6: There may be no need to “Press seams open, etc…” I pressed them closed. If it is important for the seam to be opened so that the hem won’t affect it, that could be noted for clarification.
pg. 4, col. 2, para 7, line 2: Suggest add after “…crease the Skirt Back along the indicated Pleat Line, fold pleat under back, and ….. (I found myself a bit confused…)
pg. 5, col. 2, paras 3, 4: Suggest insert beginning of para. 4 “Finish raw edges of seam between numbers 25 and 26 on the left hand side” into line 1 of para. 3, so that reads: “On left side of Skirt Front, finish raw edges of seam, between numbers 25 and 26 on the left hand side, then join in the same manner….” End para. with “Attach hooks, eyes and snaps for closure.”
pg. 5, col. 2, para6: Suggest add at end of line 1: “…, sewing it to the top of the waistband, and adding…”
Notes as I went along:
July 18, 2012 This will be made up in an unbleached white linen. I’m choosing not to add the soutache trim for a couple of reasons: the only soutache I can find is very shiny rayon, and the skirt is intended to complement ladies blouse 0191 made up in a white cotton batiste with harvested embroidery. The older soutache I’ve seen on garments is matte. This soutache also had a pinkish hue; I ran it through a yellow tinted dye bath, and that helped. However, it still fights the decoration on the blouse. I may add some harvested embroidery later, if that seems desirable. The front overlap detail on the skirt echoes the blouse trim.
After measuring the waist of the pattern, added 1” to each side (my waist is 29 1/2”), then found in fitting the muslin the extra needed removing! The pattern has so much ease that the skirt won’t stay up…
July 19, 2012 The instructions are wonderfully clear, and the linen sews together nicely. I am only stitching 3/8th inch on the front panel (not edge stitching), and will hand stitch close to the edge from the back, so that the front will look more like it has a bound edge.
July 22, 2012 The skirt looks good, but has quite a pouch in the back. Consulting “The Dressmaker” by Butterick (1911), I found the following:
“The present style of making skirts without linings has considerably simplified the work of the dressmaker. These unlined skirts, however, unless made of very heavy material, call for well-fitting underskirts as a foundation, and on them largely depends the fit of the overskirt.
The foundation skirt may or may not be joined in the same belt with the overskirt, as preferred. In either case, both the overskirt and the foundation are made and finished separately, with the exception of the inside belt. The foundation skirt is made first. China silk, India silk, taffeta, and satin are good materials for this purpose, though for wearing qualities some of the lining materials, mixtures of silk and cotton, or the better grades of percalines, sateens, etc., are preferred…
…A Small Light Bustle that will not interfere with the wearer’s comfort adds much to the set of the skirt. It can be made of the same materials as the foundation skirt. Cut a piece of the lining material the size and shape desired for a foundation, and hem or pink the edges. Make ruffles four inches wide, and treat their edges in the same way. Sew several rows of these ruffles across the foundation piece, and one all around the edge except at the top. The completed bustle may be attached inside the skirt, or it may be hung around the waist under the corset by means of a narrow tape sewed at each side.”
If one wants to wear this skirt in today’s world, and prefers not to make a bustle (!), one might wish to take the skirt in at the back side seams by reducing the curve at the back of the side pieces. I decided to make a tuck along the back side seams and tack it down invisibly. This way I may choose in future to either make a bustle or make the tuck permanent. For the time being, the skirt won’t be so blousy over the backside…
Used 2” grosgrain ribbon at the waist, sewn onto a band of cotton seam tape on the waist hem. Added feather weight boning to the grosgrain ribbon opposite each seam, dart and middle of the back for stability, and the skirt now sits comfortably above the waist as intended, and drapes well. The grosgrain ribbon closes with three #2 hooks and flat eyes, and the remaining skirt closes with six #2 snaps.
I did not line the skirt (in spite of the recommendation from “The Dressmaker” for a good ‘foundation skirt’)!
July 24, 2012 I used ten (mother-of-pearl) buttons on the front as the top two will be covered by a soft sash-like belt, and I wanted eight to show. I also placed one button at the top of each kick pleat at the back (thanks to costumedeeva for that idea!). I hemmed the back one inch shorter than the pattern indicates relative to the front, as there is no bustle to take up space and raise it otherwise.
The skirt is finished! And what’s more, it fits well, and I really like it! It works well with blouse #0191, and the soft belt (borrowed from another garment) completes the outfit.