Last night I repositioned the collar, ripped out the stitching on one side of the pleats about half-way up from the bottom, and attached the sleeves. Skip the next paragraph to go straight to the blouse.
I also received a package from fabric.com! One of my purchases was many yards of a deeply discounted, beautiful silk suiting that is very lightly striped (I may or may not dye it with Kool-Aid. Actually, I wonder if I could dye it with something natural like beets? Probably not, but I must look that up.). It was ridiculously priced on sale at less than $4/yd for pure silk! How could I pass it up? It feels luxurious & has a nice weight to it. Since the 1912 project will be going on for some months, I suspect I’ll be getting a pattern for a dress or suit at some point. I think this will work well for that.
Now back to the blouse. I put the collar higher up. I like this height too, although it did feel like it was cutting into my neck just a little bit when I would bend over. That might be helped a little bit though if it were bound in bias tape (like the pattern calls for) instead of with a regular, non-stretchy hem. The directions say to attach the neck trim “as shown in the illustration.” I think the illustration is a bit off. If I made it so that the edges of the trim butted up against the pleats, the buttoned, triangular section just below the neck would line up like in the illustration. If I pull the two halves of the trim apart a little (but still over lapping), that triangular bit doesn’t go as far across the neckline as in the picture, but the trim edges have space between them and the pleats, which I think looks better. That sounds a bit complicated, but I hope looking at the pictures helps. Here’s a link to the pattern picture & below is how I positioned the collar. The wrinkles are from having not yet pressed the blouse. Let me know what you think.
I also tried the blouse on with a high-waisted skirt to see how the pleats behaved. You’ll notice on the picture that the left & right sides pouf out differently from each other. On the left side I removed the stitching from the pleats below the bodice; on the right I kept the stitching in for comparison. The instructions just said to top stitch the pleats & don’t indicate how far down you should go, so I stitched all the way down. However, over on the 1912 Project blog LISAANDROBIN clued me in on the fact that the picture only shows the pleat stitching going half way down the bodice. I think removing the stitching gives a more accurate look for the period. The side with the stitching just didn’t gather as nicely. However, I also fiddled around with darting the blouse so that it’s more form-fitting, just to see if I liked that better for an anachronistic everyday look. I haven’t decided which I prefer.
The sleeves. Oh the sleeves! I’m going to make the arm holes bigger. It’s just not working. I had previously attempted to put in the sleeves and ran into trouble. This time I put in the sleeve on the right with the seam lines lined up as I did last time (but last time I had done so with the sleeve insideout). The left sleeve I positioned so that the sewing lines attached to the sleeve how modern sleeves do, with the part the curves out more at the top of the sleeve. Otherwise, the curve is off to the side. Lining up the sleeve in a more modern way made the fit more comfortable & made the sleeve look less wrinkly. However, it’s still really wrinkly! I think the problem is that the sleeve as sewn to the bodice sticks out too far to the side instead of pointing down to the ground. I’m hoping that taking a bit off the bottom of the hole will help it hang more straight. It should be noted that the pattern doesn’t indicate which sleeve goes in which side. The do, however, have a slight bend in them, so I matched them according to which side they bended & where the top of the arm hole was.
Also, as requested, here’s a view of the back. I didn’t realize the fabric pulled so much. Finding & fixing these little problems would be so much easier I finished making my mannequin.
Let me know what you guys think about alterations. Thanks!