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Princess Slip #E0336~ Reblog

Twenty plus years of sewing experience for Society for Creative Anachronism and Raks Sharqi (belly dance). Zero experience sewing vintage. Volunteer to sew for the 1912 Project. The patterns contain minimal instructions, include fabric selections, yardage requirements, notions, with a black and white picture on the cover of the envelope.

Receive first pattern February 24th and couldn’t help but ‘happy dance’. Hubby notes celebration and asked what the excitement was about. Showed him the ‘Ladies Princess Slip’ #0336. His response, “That’s a slip? Looks like an elegant dress. What time frame is this?” 1912, Titanic era.  Hubby, “Can’t wait to see what you do with it.”

Realize the flounce is pleated (new concept for me) order recommended tutorial.  Colette Wolff’s book “The Art of Manipulating Fabric”.   While waiting for the book to arrive, decide a trip to the fabric store is in order.  The staff was duly impressed, “It’s too pretty to be a slip; it must be a dress.” Thankfully shopping during off hours so the staff had time to admire and discuss the slip, Vintage Pattern Lending Library, and ‘oh the possibilities’.  

Fabric suggestions on envelope~ Silk, Batiste, or Voile. Silk retains heat; summers in New Mexico are very hot. Voile currently unavailable. Batiste selected, purchased more than suggested. I like to practice new techniques on scraps before touching required yardage. Pre-wash fabric on warm and dry on low.

Book arrives~ informative tutorial.  Cut a card strip the length and depth of the required pleat.  Use it as a guide ruler to measure and iron pleats into place. After two hours they look fantastic. Why did I think I couldn’t do this? Just requires patience and a movie ‘1996 Titanic’ starring Peter Gallagher.

Finished pleating in one direction; then the tutorial states ‘turn fabric over and set pleats in other direction’. (No thank you.) Could easily disrupt the pleats I just created.  Recommend~ machine setting each pleat 1mm from the edge of the fabric. This decreases the depth of each pleat, but the garment will be washable and retain the beauty of the flounce.  Now iron the reverse pleats.  Took fifteen minutes, and machine set those also. 

Flounce completed, time for the muslin mock-up for the slip’s body.  The pattern is designed for a 36″ ribcage, I am a 33″. First mock-up too large; swimming in fabric.  Perhaps it would fit older sister, but not me.  

For the second mock-up, decreased seam allowances by .5 inch. With an additional decrease of the shoulder seams by two inches.  Skip the body double and tried it on my frame.  It fit perfectly.  Place mock-up pattern on Batiste fabric and cut. 

Sew front four pieces together, so now the front is one piece.  Then sew the back four pieces together. (The pattern requests buttons and button holes.  Declare ‘individuality’ and skip that step.)  

Insertion lace~ there is actual lace called “insertion lace”.  None to be found in our fair city, but it can be purchased on the internet.  Has a beautiful ‘see through’ antique quality with parallel edges (no scallops).  Purchase available lace…with scallops. 

Machine sew lace onto front of garment.  Turn garment over.  On the back side of fabric, carefully cut a seam down the middle of the fabric right over the lace (careful not to nick the lace). Roll material edges away from center and whip stitch rolled fabric into place.  This takes time, but if you have a movie on, it’s finished before you know it. 

Surprising element~ the sheerness of fabric with twelve yards of strategically placed insertion lace is incredibly revealing. “1912 Victoria Secret” if you will.  That detail doesn’t stand out when looking at the black and white photo on pattern front.  With grandchildren running amok revealing lingerie isn’t happening.  Nix reveling portions of the lace and enjoyed learning the insertion lace concept.  

That finished, sew front and back panels together, then try on; the slip is too long.  Decrease hem line by seven inches (I’m 5’3” tall), add flounce. More insertion lace at the adjoining seam of slip and flounce. A touch around the neckline and declare it finished.  Granddaughter admired it during one of her calmer moments (oh good, she had clean hands).

(Note alterations on card and put in envelope with pattern for future use.) 

Looking forward to a slip sewn from viole fabric with true insertion lace.  Would recommend this pattern for those who enjoy an intermediate project with a wonderful outcome.   

VPLL Checklist

1)      E0336 Princess Slip

2)      Sewer’s Skill Level~ Advanced

3)      Loved this pattern~ can be sewn as a seriously sexy slip or a chaste dressing gown.

4)      Knowledge of increasing or decreasing seam allowances required, intermediate.

5)      Easy to follow instructions. 

6)      Decrease sizing to fit was straight forward.

7)      Did I make pattern alterations?  Yes.  Decreased seam allowances, removed seven inches from length of slip, and permanently sew pleats after ironing. 

8)      Will sew again in future.