I’ve made three English Fitted Gowns based on the Tudor Tailor’s pattern so far, and with each one I’ve tweaked how I’ve put them together.
Issue one: Sleeve Dimples
The black velvet gown and the worsted wool gown are both light weight fabrics, as a result when I gathered and set the sleeves I started to get “dimples” where the gathering stopped.
To fix that I loosely pad-stitched some quilt batting along the top of the sleeve head and feathered out the edge. This gives it just enough fluff to smooth out the transitions from the gathering.
Issue Two: Back Collar Wrinkles
When you omit a back seam in the fitted gown, you must have a good fit through the neck and shoulders. Even with making a mock-up it can be hard to get right if you don’t have someone else around to fit you. I got some great help from Mathew Gnagy at the Modern Maker to help fix this tricky issue.
We have two types of wrinkles going on, some are from the collar being too tall, shown circled in red. The others circled in green are from the center neck point to shoulder side point being too wide. The wrinkles from the collar being too tall are easy to fix, I cut down the collar an inch. To fix the wrinkles at the center neck point I had to do some deconstruction.
I took apart the shoulder seams, and unpicked the sleeves along the top of the sleeve head. I then pinched in at the shoulder seam, parallel with the center neck point. This works I promise! It is just hard to explain in pictures.
As a result my shoulder seam is longer than it was before. This excess fabric cannot be eased in so it gets taken out at the end of the shoulder.
Finally I added a layer of canvas and pad stitched the collar to ensure it would stand nicely.
After these fixes the fitted gown fits smoothly across my shoulder and neck which is a vast improvement from where it started.