Saturday, 12 September 2015

Pierrot bodice and sleeves

The work on the pierrot goes on. After I had finished the muslin I decided that I was going to make the pierrot as accurate as possible, meaning fully by hand. I have done handsewn garments before, but this is the first really fitted garment where the seams will be under some strain.

This is what the finished pattern looks like. The one major thng I did was to shorten it with around 3 cm, so that the peplum will be at the proper waistline.

I started with the bodice, and it went together quite easily. I'm using the method in Costume Close-up where you sew the two outer layers and one lining together from the outside, and then then fold the second lining over the raw edges.

The bodice was quite perfect over the bust, but I need to take it in a bit at the waist when I finish the front edges.

With a nice bodice it was time for the sleeves. I've never managed to make a sleeve that I've been happy with. They've always been both poofy and restrictive at the same time. I've said that one of y challenges this year is to create an actual working sleeve pattern. I've spent quite a lot of time googling for sleeve trouble shooting, and the one tutorial that comes back, and is linked back to from various other sites is ikatbag's. Then The Dreamstress linked to a tutorial on medieval sleeves from The completely dressed anachronist. And even if was a medieval sleeve I read through it and there were a couple of things that I got out it.

From ikatbag I took, among other things, the notice that the armscye needs to be snug, you don't get more mobility by making a bigger armscye. From the other tutorial it was the realisation the upper arm's is usually widest a bit down from the sleevehead, meaning that you need to make allowance for that. Looking at the sleeves I've tried to draft it was clear that they were way too narrow in the sleevehead. I wasn't sure on how to start making a new sleeve, but then I realise that I do have a working sleeve pattern that I could adjust. looking at the shape of the sleeve from TV493 it had the same basic shape as a the two piece sleeve in Creating Historical Clothes, just wider. So I traced the smallest size of that pattern and cut a muslin of it. The sleevehead was still bigger than the armscye, but I kept cutting it down until they fit each other.

My new sleeve pattern is in blue, and you can see what a difference it is compared to the previously drafted sleeve pattern. The old sleeve pattern also had a giant dart at the elbow, since with a better fitting sleeve I could make it more snug even without the dart.

The sleeve isn't perfect. Ther are some issues I need to work with when it comes to the fit around the elbow, it's actually bit too big and bunchy there. It's still the best sleeve I've ver made though, and I have gotten rid of the poofyness around the shoulder.

I set the sleeve according to the instructions from American Duchess. I have not finished the neck edge though, so the strap is only attached over the sleeve. For the net time I would like to make the strap longer as well.

I finished the sleeves by covering the raw edges with tape. Not necessary, since the edges were quite often left raw, but I think it looks so much better.

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