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Message Board > Vintage Sewing > Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold ( Moderated by JEF)

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Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold
amieola
amieola
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Date: 4/4/11 7:26 PM

Is anyone familiar with this book or tried making anything from it? I guess the patterns are very do-able if you have the skills as evidenced from this site: The Great Pattern Review

The one thing I was wondering about was why there are no seam allowances. Arnold writes as a note to her patterns: "No seam allowances. Leave adequate turnings." What does it mean to "leave adequate turnings" and also how much seam allowance would there be in a garment from say the 1800s or early 1900s?

andye
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Date: 4/4/11 8:39 PM

I think the essential difference is that when sewing with a pattern with seam allowances, you align the cut edge of the fabric with the 5/8 inch/15 mm mark. When sewing a pattern with turnings, the stitch line is marked, and the seam is sewn along that line. Because you're sewing along the stitch line, the turning doesn't need to be precisely parallel.

Turnings are usually wider (1--2 inches) than seam allowances, to allow for alterations and/or heavier materials.

But I could be mistaken.

-- Edited on 4/4/11 8:44 PM --

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froggiebecky
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Date: 4/8/11 3:17 PM

The reason the author left no seam allowances in the drafting of her patterns are two-fold I believe: first, the patterns are drafted from extant garments, so she measured from seam to seam when making these (with some exceptions where fabrics were narrower than the piece in question). Second, turnings (seam allowances) were historically MUCH deeper than 5/8" or less that we allow today. That's because fabric was much more precious, and gowns were often re-made as styles changed, or as the wearer changed sizes. Imagine: one gown might have to serve a woman from her wedding day through her ninth month of pregnancy. It actually shows up on a lot of her garments--if you look at "odd" or "unusual" closings or construction, they're frequently quite practical: the wearer wanted the ability to nurse without completely disrobing!

amieola
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Date: 4/9/11 8:19 PM

Thanks for the info!

3HoursPast
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Date: 5/1/11 4:39 AM

The Dreamstress made the Laurel Dress from that book. It's perfect. I have worked with the book in the past, and I don't recommend attempting the book without either possessing lots of time, exuberance and patience or a high level of skill.

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http://3hourspast.com- Vintage Style, Sewing, and Ethical Fashion

BlueLilacs
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In reply to 3HoursPast


Date: 5/27/11 0:51 AM

Quote: bellelass
The Dreamstress made the Laurel Dress from that book. It's perfect. I have worked with the book in the past, and I don't recommend attempting the book without either possessing lots of time, exuberance and patience or a high level of skill.


You!I saw some of your comments on her blog. And then when I looked at your blog, I also saw you mentioning PR. :)

I want that book. Very badly. I doubt I would be able to put it to use anytime soon, but still, I really want that book!

I hear that it is a very good book, though. Especially when you want to make it very accurate.
LDT2011
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Date: 11/28/11 4:53 AM

Ooh, You asked one of the questions that puzzled me. When it said no seams. I thought 'what? your not allowed seams how does that work?'
I'm also a bit confused by how you scale up the patterns? I cut out a 'toile' of the pattern 'as is' and the construction seemed simple enough.

(I've also got to read through again and try to find what size they will scale up to. The victorian patterns seem to be almost my size - my proportions are the same anyway- but not sure with the regency stuff?)

See pics here.
-- Edited on 11/28/11 4:54 AM --

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

hornlinechick
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Date: 11/28/11 9:31 AM

As far as size goes. These patterns werre taken from real garments, made to measure for many different people. Each dress will end up a different size. Making a Muslin is best and adding evenly ATWA to get it to the size needed.

The scale used for enlarging the patterns is 1/8" equals 1". I belive the squares are 1/8" as well.

I made the 1930's Zipper front dress for myself and it came out great. It helped that it has very few pieces and I used a stretch Pana velvet. I have also seen other patterns from that book used, but only for stage and only by experienced sewers. Mostly due to the lack of instructions and complexity of the garments.

-Michelle

LDT2011
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Date: 11/30/11 6:36 AM

Found a description of how to scale it up now.

I was looking at the snowshill half robe on page 44. As it looks like it doesn't have too many pieces. Just trying to figure out how much fabric I would need.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

JKimes
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Date: 11/30/11 12:51 PM

My mom recently found these books in her garage--we have no idea where they came from, but she's bringing them to me when she visits after Christmas.Can't wait to site with a glass of wine and study them!

Juliette

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Juliette near Austin, TX
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