October 30, 2007

Stewart Girl's Dress pt. 4

This may be my last or second-to-last post on this subject. I may post some sketches of design ideas that I may want to try this design element - that is if I can work out the construction. Here are some sewn samples from my pattern that may illustrate more clearly my difficulties...

In this first picture you can see how the sample sews up. I am unsure if the dimple at the end of the dart is from my poor sewing or if the dart needs more shaping. I used a poly-cotton broadcloth. The gathers were made by pulling up the bobbin thread.

Here is the pattern with the seam allowances added.

It didn't occur to me until after I sewed up the sample that the skirt below the dart would now have a bias grain and the area above straight. I think a softer fabric, like a rayon, would gather up beautifully. But sewing the bias of the front skirt to the straight grain of the back skirt would cause all kinds of difficulties. I suppose some of the difficulty could be overcome by putting the entire style on the bias - which would fit the style period of the 1910's. The style requires a skilled pattern maker familiar with working on the bias.

As I said before, I would like to meet the original designer to see how she put this dress together.


  1. sfriedberg7:50 PM

    I haven't had the time to try this experiment, but you might consider cutting the lower edge of the dart/gather straight rather than curved. That would keep the angle between the grainlines above and below the dart the same along the seam, instead of increasing toward the bias as you move toward the side seam.

    The reason I suggest this is that the resulting greater angle at the dart/gather tip would have an effect on the dimple/flat spot. But my intuition isn't good enough to say whether it's a good or a bad effect without stitching up a sample.

  2. I wish I had a copy of the Hillhouse pattern book. There are numerous examples of this type of design element in there. Unfortunately, I have other looming projects and this may get filed away for future experimentation.