Oh I’m so grateful for a decent audio book to listen to, the hours pass much more quickly when you’re working on one of these tedious finishing tasks.
Here’s my list from the last post:
I need to do the hand sewing on my breeches.
I need to pin up and sew the draping on my evening skirt.
I need to do a fitting on the lilac bodice.
I need to sew the lace beading onto the white camisole, then thread the ribbon into it. I need to do the waist casing, hand finishing and fastenings on the black blouse.
Not too bad I suppose. I faffed a bit when deciding on the waist and back fastening on the blouse: first I cut a ribbon tie for the waist, then changed my mind partway through threading it. [Plus I actually read the instructions, which suggested the option of elastic in the waist and advised against using a satin ribbon. Doh.] I took the satin ribbon out [ahem] and replaced it with elastic. Much more straightforward. I played about for a bit with the back- I held a length of elastic looping against it, liked the effect, cut and pinned it, then changed my mind.
I re-read the instructions, which said to avoid buttonholes if the fabric is delicate or sheer, which of course it is. It advised using hooks and eyes. I winced, as they never seem like a very secure option for a fastening, plus the back looked very plain after all the lovely lace on the front. I got out the button box, tipped out all my white/cream/ivory buttons, and got very distracted by sorting them into sets and threading them together. I ended up [of course] choosing the first buttons that I’d picked out, which are more of the leftover pearl buttons from my daughter’s wedding dress. I then dithered about the fact that I’ll have a little lumpy row of buttons down my spine.
I did a quick try on, with the back pinned shut, and realised I can pull it on over my head…problem solved. I’ve stitched the buttons on through all thicknesses, just as trim.
I polished off the white lace top in 5 minutes flat, despite needing to remove the top button to give me room to sew the lace on. I’m chuffed with it, it looks frightfully fancy m’dears, and was dead easy.
I like the way the waist looks elasticated, but is gathered to a stay, it’s nice and tidy.
Then on to the task I’ve been delaying for..er..quite a while- finishing off the riding breeches.The wool fabric is very lofty and very frayable. It doesn’t feel unduly itchy, in fact it’s very soft and nice, but I know how wool against the skin can itch like crazy, so after some deliberation and glaring, I’d decided that all the seam allowances needed to be completely encased, not just bound or otherwise neatened. Bum.
I got out my trusty scraps of lovely green bemberg/cupro lining fabric, which I bought a few years ago on a whim. It feels wonderful, and has been previously used for various tasks including a rather nice slip. I cut some wide bias strips, pieced them, and set to. What a job. I started by whipstitching the ends of the belt loops on the inside, to prevent fraying. Then I did a bit of tidying, catching the darts down to the underlining. So far so good, but still delaying!
I bound the turnings around the zip, easy peasy, done in no time. I went on to the hems, and was reminded of a bit of a mess down there…where I’d decided to dodge the leg openings, and make the calves just a bit wider, the underlining [originally the toile] doesn’t quite get as far as the new seams, making a bit of a palaver to cover the seam allowances neatly. I persevered, and with a bit of swearing [OK quite a lot] got everything in place, pinned, and looking tidy. Ish.
Then the hand sewing. As the things are fully assembled, this was a right pain- the bottoms of the trousers are very narrow, the tops very voluminous. Everything bunches up, the pins jab, etc etc. Up and down each leg, around the hems and back, up and down the crotch seams, that’s a lot of mileage and a lot of pins.
By the time I finished, it was about 11pm, and the wife was already fast asleep. I called it a day without sewing those buttons on, but that’s just a five minute job, first on today’s list.
There will be shots later on of all the most recent makes being worn, I thought I might as well wait and do all my corset-y business at once. In any case, I’ve had a rather disastrous hair colouring experience this week, and want to do some improving before I record the results for all the world to see!
One more note to add- I contacted Helen Howes Sewing Machines, [ highly recommended for any and all bits and bobs to do with these old beauties.] I explained the troubles we had with the screw on the buttonholer, she gave some great advice for dealing with the problem, and is sending me some replacement screws free of charge. Fab service. Wifey got out some scarey looking items from the Toolbox of Destiny, and got the broken screw out of the baseplate. I’m itching to play with the buttonholer, but it’s sitting waiting for me for just a bit longer- here’s a quick look at the START of the first buttonhole, pre broken needle.