|Victoria & Albert Museum|
|Black lines are seams, blue lines are folds|
This helped me see how the grain lines lay on each piece. I drafted my own pattern, using the swallowtail jacket pattern I used for my Green Swallowtail Jacket as a guide. I added a seam to the back to make it two pieces with an extra pleat to the tail. I also lengthened the center points of the tail.
|On the right is the original back pattern piece, on the left are my newly-drafted back pieces.|
Once I had all my pieces, I tested the layout on the white cotton muslin I was planning to print to make sure that it would be enough. I needed enough extra to make the ruffle around the neck (which I have yet to add).
At this point I printed the fabric. But before I cut it out, I used more plain cotton muslin to make a mockup:
(So I tried it on Anna the dress form with the stays, and tried it on myself without them - not sure why. I was probably too lazy to bother with taking them off the dress form and putting them on myself. :p)
The fit was pretty spot-on, but I did make some minor adjustments to the center front. I ended up using the mockup as the lining, as well. Then I cut out my printed fabric!
I adjusted the layout to avoid some of the flaws in the printing, but didn't bother with trying to match up the designs at the seams. I knew my printing was not nearly accurate enough to make that work, and I would just drive myself crazy trying.
Once I had the lining in the sleeves, I had to adjust the fit a couple times. First they were too loose and baggy, but then I took in the seams too much and they were too tight. Finally I had to settle for them looking (to me) a little too big at the elbows in favor of comfort. After all, my shift sleeves have to fit in there, too. I kept a 4" slit open at the bottom of both sleeves so my hands could fit through.
I stitched the lining to the fashion fabric all around the bottom and front edges, leaving the neckline open to turn it right side out. I also hemmed the sleeves by sewing the lining and fashion fabric edges right sides together with the bottom edge of the sleeve linings cut 1/2" shorter. With a 1/4" seam allowance, this turns up the hem of the fashion fabric 1/4" on the inside, and makes a really neat finished edge. Then I stitched the edges of the slits at the regular seam allowance.
After I finalized the fit, I stay-stitched the neckline edges together, then added a bias tape channel to the inside for the finished edge. I threaded a drawstring through this channel so I could tighten up the neckline a little to prevent gappage. I also put a couple of narrow reed bones in the front.
These pictures are from Halloween, after I wore the ensemble to work all day: