Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lavender Capris and Shorts for my Daughter from an 18th Century Petticoat-Butterick 5044

I've been quite focused lately on mending clothing, cleaning out the fabric stash, trying out my pattern stash...all in the name of improving my sewing skills and filling in our bare wardrobe. My daughter and I have clothes that are so old they are wearing out! Bit by bit they've been ending up in the trash. So now is the time to focus on daily sewing so we can have something to wear. My daughter's number one request for this summer was capri pants. As she watched me spring clean, in between sewing projects, she got into the spirit of parting with the old to provide for the new. She volunteered an old 18th century lavender petticoat for capri pants. Although I think the lavender linen petticoat is historically accurate, the jacket that accompanied it was sewn from floral fabric back when she wasn't too keen on historical prints. Now that she has a few historically accurate outfits she actually likes, like this blue gown, this pink gown, and this jacket/petticoat combination, she's willing to give new life to the petticoat (and abandon the jacket made from a modern print). This was a bit sad to me, because it's such a nice petticoat, but I do think it was quite a practical idea. My daughter has more 18th century clothes than she has opportunities to wear them, so this was a smart choice. Plus we have photos of great memories!

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Colonial Williamsburg


This pattern, Butterick 5044 was in the pattern stash for the last year or two. It was the best of what I could find, although personally I'd like a more fitted pair of capri pants. However my daughter liked the style.

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Butterick 5044


A toile proved that her measurements do not accurately match the pattern recommendations. She was sized for a large, but that just seemed too huge. I held the pattern up to her and she was close to either a medium or small. I opted for the medium and the result was huge. Actually, this was the actual lavender linen that I had sewn. I was so certain that the medium would be perfect, but it wasn't. I dug out some toile fabric, cut the pattern down to a small (which was quite easy to do because of how the pattern lines were laid out), and made a small pair of capris for her. Perfect fit!


Honestly...I should have made the toile to begin with. After all I want to improve my sewing skills and become more of a couture seamstress. The hallmark of couture sewing is to make a toile. I am reformed. So anyway, I ripped out the medium lavender capris, relaid the smaller pattern (which was easy to do because of the cut of the pattern), and cut out a small. The only problem is that if I had made the toile to begin with, I would have had more lavender linen to make other projects with. But not to fear! I have enough to make a new skirt and shorts! So stay tuned for those!

Anyway here are close-ups of a bit of couture work. Couture houses now provide machine sewing for inside seams to lessen the expense for clients. After all time is money. Works for me! Here is some of my machine sewn work. This is the crotch seam, for which I used my special triple stitch setting on my Pfaff Expression 2.0. Then I finished off the seams with a zig-zag stitch. Couture work does finish off seams.   

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Triple Stitch Setting with the Pfaff



Handsewn eyelets, a couture technique, are so easy to do, while keeping me in practice for my 18th century sewing.

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Hand sewn eyelets


I inserted lavender grosgrain ribbon into the casing. Then I had my daughter try them on so I could fit the length of ribbon properly and get her approval. The ends of the ribbon will be finished off with fray check.
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Grosgrain ribbon


She's quite happy with them! She's wearing her cotton blouse, Butterick 6175 with the capris.

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There was enough fabric to also sew shorts! I used the same pattern. In fact, this pattern is just that...one pattern. There is no seam on the outside leg. There is no attached waistband. It's super easy and quick to put together. I whipped them up yesterday afternoon.

I put my pfaff to work with various stitches whenever I sew pants. I use stitch 1 for a regular stitch for all the seams. Then stitch 3 for the triple stitch function when I sew the crotch. Finally stitch 5 to zig zag the edges.  

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These have an elastic waistband, which is my daughter's favorite.

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They'll look cute. No photo of her wearing them yet, though. I'll add one later.



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