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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Here is the completed back with the side backs sewn on. All is now right with the world!!!
Thus ends my “Tale of Two Backs”….