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I am so thrilled I got the mantle done for my dress-up weekend. I went with a friend and we dressed in our day wear. I actually finished stitching down the lining and other hand sewing on the bus ride up to Chicago. I need to rest before starting on anything… though I’ve said that before and I usually last only a couple of days before I start plotting the next project. We’ll see how long my week of rest lasts.

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And with my whole day costume.

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Pattern Review Checklist:

  1.  Pattern Description: A Ladies Mantle (# 0189) with trim.
  2.  Pattern Sizing: 36″ bust
  3.  Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing  it? Overall, I think it did, but I added more to the front so it would close more than the illustration shows.
  4. Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part they were easy to follow- except for the gusset and the trim. Had to scratch my brain on that one. I added a tutorial on inserting the gusset.  Also, the instructions say to make a tube that’s 2.5″ wide by folding it in half lengthwise. I thought I did that but ended up with a much thinner ruffle for my trim. If the trim is meant to be a finished width of 2.5″, the instructions should say to cut 5″ (plus desired seam allowance) wide strips, put them together, then make the tube so you can end up with the right width. I didn’t follow the instructions on the lining. I just made up the lining and then catch-stitched the seam allowances on the wrong side, understitched the lining to the fashion fabric and then slip stitched the sleeves together. I did a lot of the handwork on the 4 hour bus ride up to where I was going to wear my costume. I might have done it different had I been at home.
  5. What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the drape of the mantle. I love that it’s two pattern pieces I worked with and I love the 3/4 length sleeves. I also love the trim, even though I didn’t do the trim exactly as the pattern called for. I only did one gathered side, creating a simple ruffle.
  6. Fabric Used: I used a nice poly lining and a cotton suiting, which I loved working with.
  7. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Check out my post on grading the mantle. I graded it to fit my 42″ bust and my 37″ high bust. I now wish I had lowered the waist curve in the back. One thing to keep in mind about this pattern is that it assumes a straight back, as if you’re wearing a corset. When i stand with a super straight and almost s-curved corset-like body posture, the mantle fits a lot better. Without the contorting, it swings in the back in a way I’m not crazy about. I still love it.
  8. Would you recommend this pattern to others? I definitely recommend this pattern to others. It’s such a versatile pattern. You can make it in a light weight fabric for a drapier look, or like in mine, I added a light flannel to interline it, making it perfect for cool Spring mornings and evenings.
  9. Conclusion This mantle could easily be made period or modern, and the gussets make for a very nice drape both in front and in back. What makes this mantle is the fabric. It’s a very versatile pattern.

VPLL Checklist

  1.  Pattern Name Mantle #0189
  2. Sewer’s Skill Level: Fearless Intermediate
  3. Pattern Rating:5-I LOVED IT! and why? I think it’s very versatile as a pattern. You can go plain, or super embellished. It’s drapey loveliness.
  4. What skill level would someone need to sew this pattern and why? I think any fearless advanced beginner or intermediate sewist would do fine. I stress the fearless part.
  5. Were the instructions easy to follow? If not, what needs to be changed? More detail about how the gussets should be included as well as more for the trim. I think the trim should start at 5″ plus seam allowance then be made into a 2.5″ tube. I actually like the numbers on the pattern and the instructions saying, stitch from this number to this number. It just works in my head.
  6. How was the fit/sizing?  Did it correspond to what you thought? I did a muslin of half of the mantle to confirm that I couldn’t fit into the original. I left the sleeves the original size and they fit fine but I only really needed room for my back and my bust. I also wanted it to close more than the illustration showed. I do think that for a modern fit, I should have lowered where the waist hits on the back of the mantle. It’s really high, even for my high waist.
  7. Did you make any pattern alterations? If so, what alterations did you make? Where they fit or design alterations? I only graded the mantle. It’s a gentle fit so I didn’t need to do a full bust adjustment. Check out my blog post of the alterations I made.
  8. Other notes: I’ve said it before but the fabric really makes this mantle. You can make it into an elegant evening mantle as easily as you can make it for day wear. It’s really flexible. The trim may be time consuming but I like the look.
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