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Forum > Vintage Sewing > Question re: Vintage (30's) sewing directions ( Moderated by JEF)

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Question re: Vintage (30's) sewing directions
Question re: Vintage sewing directions
mmcp
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Date: 9/15/13 12:45 PM

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I was reading through the directions for this pattern, which I just acquired, and saw that the skirt assembly instructions read as follows: Turn under seam allowance on center front and back pieces and stitch over the side pieces, matching notches. The skirt is also attached to the bodice this way--turning under the skirt seam allowance, and stitching it over the blouse.

In other words, instead of doing a "normal" seam, right side to right side, it has you lap these seams and topstitch.

I have done this with pins when I'm working on muslins because it makes adjusting, particularly at the waist, so much easier, but what would the advantage be to actually doing this when sewing the garment? If you regularly sew vintage patterns, would you do it this way, or just sew a "regular" seam?
Thanks!

Nikki S.
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In reply to mmcp <<


Date: 9/15/13 6:49 PM

Interesting. For what it's worth, I've worked with a few original patterns from the 20's and earlier, and I haven't run across this instruction in those older patterns. I wonder if it's just an idiosyncrasy of the pattern maker? In any case, I don't see where you could get into trouble as long as you follow the seam allowance.

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 9/15/13 8:32 PM

I think the advantage would be so you wouldn't have to go back and topstitch it all later. I'd do it the way as stated. Also, if you sewed it as a seam, with all the folds just under the bust, might get caught and then you'd have strange looking tucks. Also, I think because there's so much fullness and bias, the fullness would fall out if it didn't have something anchoring it to the rest of the skirt.

I made a Folkwear patterns slip, review is here that had me do something similar to what you are doing; near the bust pieces which were cut on the bias. I felt the reason was because there was so much stretch to the area, that topstitching it would hold it all in place. If I stitched it as a regular seam, the seam would "migrate".

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KiwiWendy
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In reply to Miss Fairchild <<
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Date: 9/15/13 8:41 PM

Quote: Miss Fairchild
near the bust pieces which were cut on the bias. I felt the reason was because there was so much stretch to the area, that topstitching it would hold it all in place. If I stitched it as a regular seam, the seam would "migrate".

I think it's for this reason, as this style of seaming is what I've had on vintage 1930s & 40s patterns I've made where there's seaming on the bias but the garment isn't bias cut.

It reduces the amount of stretching out and is very effective. I've also had it as the method of attaching skirt & bodice at the waist.

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beauturbo
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Date: 9/16/13 4:39 AM

I have seen that kind of seaming on a lot of 1920's and 30 patterns in certain places. I think advantage is often when you have a shaped inset piece, that you don't have to sew wrong side to wrong side, to a right angle, stop at just the right place, stop needle down, pivot and continue, and then try to trim something and turn right side out. so just you are more preparing first and sewing after instead. It really might be more accurate then sometimes. I don't know on that dress, but maybe if they are having you do the mid bodice where it goes up to the point there? I think the seams in the skirt could be done either way, but I can't see the back of it either, do they continue around to the back into some kind of shaped inset maybe?

If there is sort of shaped gathering in something, they will often also have you do it that way. In that if there is a partial gathered seam, but it's not made of two separate pieces of fabric, instead sometimes just one piece of fabric with a deep slash in it, and the bottom part of the slash is gathered to fit into a smaller edge of the slash. Probably advantage there of just turning one edge down, laying on the other, most times the one that is already gathered up, and stitching like that, is also you are just working from the right side of the fabric then and can see what you are doing in a tight place too.

Also if you do it the way they ask you to on the skirt pieces there, you actual would not have to even clip in the seam allowances of the side skirt to center skirt pieces and could leave them intact, would not even have to grade or trim them down either. Any clipping and notching and trimming of the seam allowance there could just be on the top layer of the first turned under and pressed and basted on, center front skirt piece. If it was kind of difficult to work with rayon crepe or such for the fabric, it probably would not get stretched out as easy, and might hold together in hanging shape better that way.
-- Edited on 9/16/13 4:56 AM --

mmcp
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Subject: Question re: Vintage (30s) sewing directions Date: 9/16/13 6:14 AM

Thanks so much, everyone, clearly the concensus is to sew as instructed!

Beauturbo, the blouse is cut as one piece, but it's connected at the back neck, so the front point is created by stitching the front sides together to the skirt. The edges of the front are cut on the selvedge, the selvedge edges are turned under in finishing. The back of the skirt is constructed exactly the way the front is.

I actually own a period dress with a top made like this, so I'm thrilled to have found this pattern. I did trace off the original (per King), but it's a little big, and this one is exactly my size (I hope--making the muslin next weekend!). I really appreciate everyone's input.

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