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Here we go with the Vintage Pattern Lending Library’s 1912 Project!

There are over 400 sewists that are participating. We’ve been put into groups and are slowly (to us, at least) getting patterns to start working on. There’s an awesome Facebook group for the project and it’s pretty busy over there. It has seriously become the only reason I check FB anymore.

For those of us who are part of a group who hasn’t received a pattern (and there are plenty of us), we can now special request a pattern, in case the wait is too much. I was one of these people and asked for the challenge pattern that started us all off.

It was this slip pattern you see above. It’s perfect because I actually want to wear some of these garments and as my costumer friend says: Always start with the necessary undergarments.

The first thing I noticed when I got my pattern was that the bust measurement was 36 inches. If you follow my blog, you might remember that I always need an FBA. Pattern alterations are my thing and I want things I make to fit. The nice part of this pattern is that it’s princess seams which are great for adjusting for a larger bust.

I did cheat, though. Only by using a fitting shell with princess seams. All I had to do was check the critical points: bust and waist, after which I traced the needed adjustments and started on my slip. One of the nice things about making such a quick adjustment was that I could spend more of my time on the details of this 1912 slip.

I haven’t made my corset so this slip might be a little loose when I wear it with all my undergarments. I found some light cotton (lawn?) in my stash which made me so happy. I love using up the stash.

I did have to decide on which lace to use. I have some in my stash that I got from an estate sale last summer. Some of it is long, but most of it is short; too short for me to use all the same lace on the slip. So, I chose pieces of lace and did a little mixing and matching. While some of us in the project were mixing and matching, others bought gorgeous laces for this project from places like this one which was recommended by one of the participants. You can even pull out a wing needle and attach your lace with a zig zag and create a lovely heirloom look with the holes the needle creates.

Here I’m trying to figure out where to put what. Which way do you like best?

If you’ve never done lace insertion, please go and practice some just for fun. This is not a difficult technique and you can do it with your sewing machine. Of course, you can do it all by hand but if you just want the look and not the heirloom quality, machine sew it. Here’s a tutorial Sarai shared on Gertie’s blog. Insertion lace is really just lace that is straight on both edges. As you can see, I used edging lace for my insertion and it worked out fine. Here’s another tutorial I found on SewNso’s Sewing Journal. You’ve got to see what she does with her lace insertion before she inserts it into the fabric. It’s a little different than Sarai shows but it’s good to see how many people do one technique.

The vintage pattern I was working with had limited directions, which I’m fine with. The lace insertion was clear, though the instructions call for you to sew the lace on top of the uncut fabric, then slash behind the lace and then roll the raw edges away from the lace. I played with both styles of insertion.

After working lace insertions, I had to try it on again. I adjusted the shoulder seams but that was to be expected because I added more length to the shoulders just in case I needed it.

I hung it up and stared at it for a day while I got up the energy to work on the flounce. It’s a simple, yet time consuming (though not as time consuming as you’d think) accordion pleat. I’ve also heard it called a knife pleat. I don’t know the difference and any google search I did used the two terms interchangeably.

That picture above shows a pretty wrinkled slip. I did address this before adding the flounce and thanks again to my fellow 1912 project people on Facebook, took some serious steam to the wrinkles and they came out! Go figure, right?

After working two lengths sewn together for the flounce, as called for in the pattern, I pin basted it on only to see that I was short. I added another length of flounce until I had the necessary length. I did measure everything out and while I thought I was doing 1″ pleats, some of them are more like 1 and 1/16th. It makes a difference when you’re pleating 4 plus yards of fabric.

Here we go. All sewn together. I’m still missing the neck and sleeve eyelet as well as the lace that’s supposed to go over the flounce seam.

I love this slip. I’m also going to love wearing it beneath my Titanic era costume. Due to a development in my “schedule”, I’m now attending an event for which I will get to wear this costume. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Next time I post on this project, I hope to have a corset under this slip. The eyelet is going on in the next two days.

You might be entertained to read what other project participants are saying about this slip. Lots of pictures for you to see how everyone else is interpreting this pattern. Some are very modern! Very amazing work being done.

P.S. That is a Read poster with Tim Gunn on it. My Librarian husband was at a conference and got it for me. I think it’s fun.

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