Monday, January 28, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #2

Moving right along with the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge brings me to Challenge #2, the UFO, or UnFinished Object.

Several years ago I made up a nice striped linen Edwardian period suit for a small DFWCG outing at Lone Star Park for Kentucky Derby day.  Shortly thereafter I gained a little weight and the suit no longer fit.  So I put it away.  A year or so later the DFWCG hosted its first Spring tea party.  I didn't have time to make a whole new outfit and I still loved my linen suit, so I let out the seams and wore it again.  Unfortunately, when I let out the seams, I did so rather sloppily and several of the seams were too close to the linen fabric edges causing the frayed fabric ends to poke out.  The cotton backing was still in tact, so the suit held up, but it just looked awful.  At the end of the party I put the suit away again and vowed not to wear it again until I could take it back in and fix the seams.  Since that declaration, I have worn the skirt many times.  The skirt has always been fine and it works wonderfully with a shirtwaist for a more casual look.  But I longed to be able to wear the whole ensemble again.

When the DFWCG announced their outing to the travelling Titanic artifact exhibit this year, I wanted a whole new outfit.  Knowing full well that I was short on time, I purchased a new pattern and plotted out fabrics in hopes that I could make a pretty new kimono dress.  But with that knowledge of the time crunch in the back of my mind, I also pulled out the linen suit for a back up measure.  You see, I've lost, and finally been able to keep off, that 10 lbs I gained years ago.  I was pretty excited that I was finally at a point where I could take the suit in and put it out for a good back up for the event, not to mention put it back in the rotation for other events.

I'm glad I made the decision to have a back up outfit ready for repairs because I still adore this suit and once I Finally got off my butt to do the repairs, it was well commented upon by the Guild folk at the event.  And you know, that kind of positive attention on our pretty dresses is SO the reason why love my costuming hobby!
So, enough babbling about the back story, here are the details:

The Challenge:  Challenge #2 UFO

Fabric:  100% striped linen from

Pattern:  Rocking Horse Farms Ladies' Coat Suit

Year:  1909

Notions:  None

How historically accurate is it?  As far as I know it is pretty accurate.  I machine sewed the whole suit, but I used cotton and linen fabrics and period appropriate buttons when I made it the first time around.  I didn't alter the pattern at all.

Hours to complete:  It took me about 30 minutes to take in the waist where appropriate.  Then I tackled the issue of re-seaming the places where the fabric ends were showing through.
Before fixing the seams
After fixing the seams
Pressing the fabric even and re-seaming the entire coat from hem to waist took me about 2 hours.  Finishing all the jacket seams with a mock french seam (which I hadn't done before because I didn't know anything about seam finishes) took me another hour.
My little mock french seams
 Since that picture was taken, I also moved that top button to it's proper place so that the jacket doesn't gap anymore.  Moving the button also fixed the slightly askew collar.

Total cost: $0