16th Century, Costumes, Grey Mockado Gown

Mockado Gown: Seam allowances and Ponderings

It feels pretty strange picking up a project that has sat to one side for so long. It is all bits and pieces, the skirt had been on my dress form for at least a month, waiting for me to hem it. The lining and the outer fabric dropped and the lining somehow got bigger than the outer fabric so I ripped open the back seam of the skirt and laid it out on the floor.

I basted the layers together and evened the lining out, then re-serged everything and sewed the skirt back up. The skirt then went back on the dressform to keep it out of trouble and cat hair.

Then I turned my attention to the bodice, I made a mock up of it and fitted it over my brown/green wool kirtle (really I still haven’t decided what color it is and most likely never will.) From the drawing the gown over laps in the front but I have no idea how it is actually held together. Pins might be one option, hooks and eyes another or even hidden lacing and pins.

These are the mysteries of the universe.

So I cut my bodice out with extra room at the center front, and a bit extra at the shoulder straps.

I realized over the course of fitting this over the kirtle, I need to tweak my bodice block when it comes to the shoulders. I have very sloping and forward shoulders and the fixes I’ve done in the past are not quite working. I’ll post more on that later with pictures to show what I mean.

The bodice cut out, I then cut out the interlining, muslin and lining, which is my least favorite part of sewing due to the number of pieces that need to be cut out, pressed and then everything bundled together so I don’t lose anything. (Dear sleeve lining, please come home soon.)

Basting the interlining in place
Basting the interlining in place

I basted the interlining to the muslin which I then basted to the fashion fabric. I could have just machined it but over the past year or so I’ve gotten to where I enjoy hand sewing.

That doesn’t mean I’m not using the machine on this project. But I don’t really have a deadline on this outfit and it isn’t a 100% reproduction. I’m using it as a test and I should try to enjoy what I’m making rather than racing toward the finish line.

On a technical level, as someone who likes to take things apart and put them back together. (I get that from my grandfather.) I like the idea that should this ever be taken to pieces by someone else they will see that some extra time was taken with it and they might learn a new trick. I might be over engineering things. (Which I am very guilty of.) But things should be interesting to look at inside and out.

My sewing philosophy aside, I then spent a day or two catch stitching the seam allowances down with silk thread. It keeps them flat, helps hold down the fraying and makes me use stitches I don’t use every day.

Catch stitching the seam allowances down
Catch stitching the seam allowances down.

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