~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Tale of Two Backs… !#$%

While working on this project I had only TWO complete moments of frustration, this being the first.  My issue resulted from the creation of back facings and not totally paying attention to what I was doing!   As I was “merrily” moving along with my princess slip # 0336 for the 1912 sewing project I ran into a minor snag which almost made me want to run to a corner and cry.  Everything had gone so well on the front of the slip and I was progressing nicely on the back.  Following are the steps that were taken in the progression of the back along with some pictures:

Back Facings 

Back facing showing a serged hem. In viewing some of the completed princess slip projects on the VPLL website I concluded that I did not like how the back opening was handled and created back facings by going off the center back of the pattern and making a facing pattern.  I cut two facings and serged the upper and lower edges then serged/trimmed 1/4” off the raw edge of the hem.  This could be handled with a traditional hem treatment by turning under 1/4” and stitching the hem but I wanted less bulk.  The edge that would match up to the center back seam was left untreated being as it would be trimmed later.  With right sides together I stitched each facing to the center back pieces taking a 3/8” seam allowance along the back and neck edge.  The seam was pressed towards the facing and edge stitched from approximately 3” up from the base to as close as you can get at the top of the facing, trimmed along the center back and diagonally at the corner, turned and pressed.

Back facing finished off, the hem was catch-stitched down and buttonholes were sewn in.

As stated previously, I did not like how the back gapped and placed darts starting at the neckline to one inch below the waistline on each center back piece.  Here is where I further tweaked the dart on each side based upon my scoliosis.  More was taken in on my left side then my right due to excess fabric associated with the scoliosis.  The hem was then catch stitched down to approximately one inch above the placket point.  The piece was pressed again and a row of topstitching was run 1/8” from the edge on both center back pieces.The left center back piece with the buttonholes.  The button holes were marked on the left center back piece.  My finished facing piece is 1 1/2” wide so I located my buttons holes 3/4” in from the edge and evenly spaced out for 10 buttons and stitched.  I applied fray check to each button hole and left that to dry prior to cutting the holes open.  I was so thrilled with how nicely everything had come out. 

Fate Rears It’s Ugly Head

Now…here is where my “mistake” with the back opening was discovered and I was crushed knowing how much time had been committed to the back.  I went to sew the center back seam on the placket and realized I hadn’t adjusted my placket on the left side.  I had cut both pieces the same and was missing the fabric necessary to close the placket properly.  Oh…how dejected I was to know I had “screwed” up and this screw up would cause me to have to wash, dry, and press additional yardage in order to cut this piece over with the corrected pattern.  Yikes…all of that nice work gone to waste!!!!  Ten o’clock in the evening is not the time to discover these little mess ups.  My goodness…I was besides myself at having done this!!!  Well…sewing is always a learning experience and I was “schooled” with this little faux pas.

Well, needless to say I got over myself and remade the left center back piece.  Below are pictures of the remarked button holes.  The center picture I am finishing the back seam by serging the raw edge and the right is the finished seam with the tail which is then woven back in.

The "second" Left, center back piece with button hole markings.   Serging the raw edge on the center back piece.  The finished serged raw edge.

Weaving the tails back in.

Here is the “second” left, center back piece all finished and the center back pieces side by side.  You can see at the lower placket how the left back piece was adjusted for a lapped placket.

The finished "second" left, center back piece.  princess slip-20

Once complete I then stitched the center back pieces together.  The center back seams were matched up and stitched until the placket point.  The left, center back piece was lapped over the right, center back piece matching up the center points on the plackets.  I pinned the placket closed to the neckline to stabilize the area and stop the pieces from shifting.  It did require a little maneuvering, some fray check and clipping but the results turned out rather nicely and I definitely liked how the center back turned out; so much better than the original directions on the pattern.  I used vintage buttons from my Great-Grandma Nettie’s button tin. I stitched the buttons on using my machine but I left off the top button knowing I’d need room for the presser foot when stitching on the eyelet trim.   The right picture shows the lower placket with the reinforcement stitching to maintain the placket closure.

Sewing the center back seam prior to lapping the placket.  Reinforcement stitching on the lower placket.

Here is the completed back with the side backs sewn on.  All is now right with the world!!!

Ta Da....the finished back!

Thus ends my “Tale of Two Backs”….

Mimi O_2

1 comment:

  1. Hello! If you are interested in fully developed Edwardian era patterns, many in multi-size ranges, with step-by-step instructions in English, please take a look at my eBay store (link is on my website - URL below).

    I've been following VPLL's blog on this project over the past few months and I think many participants might have been unaware that there is someone else in North America producing patterns from La Mode Illustrée sources that would make their work so much easier (I speak/read French fluently and have many years of dressmaking experience, so can actually make it clear what all those French designs were about!) Take a look at my website -- thefashionarchaeologist.org -- for the link to my eBay store for my "Edwardian Rose" Titanic-era patterns -- and more coming soon, including a multi-size version of this particular slip. Also check my "Me" page on eBay for details on my background. Cheers!


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