Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tudor Chemise

Sigh. This pattern has not been going together as smoothly as it should.

Before I start to rant and rave, let me first say that the pattern pieces fit together very nicely, the pattern itself is very nice. Everything that I have finished looks very beautiful and historically accurate.

My problem with the pattern is the instructions. They have caused several moments of extreme sewing frustration. Examples: pattern pieces in the instructions that don't actually exist; instructions to cut the incorrect number of pattern pieces; interfacing that pops up in the instructions, but which I have not been instructed to cut out; complete lack of cuff assembly directions/illustrations. All this meant that the cuffs that should have taken an hour to assemble took me about 8 hours to complete. After FINALLY finishing the cuffs, I tried to insert the sleeves into the garment. The instructions said "match dots and then gather the sleeve to fit." So, I match the dots...and the dots lined up exactly...there was nothing to gather, because there was no extra fabric. What the **%@? AAARRGHH! I set it aside. I've had enough for today.

I'm concerned that the neck square may be too big. That's not the pattern's's mine for being too impatient to make a mock-up. The pattern even suggests it so you get the square sized correctly. I just didn't read that part until AFTER I'd cut out the pattern. Oops. Hopefully once I'm corseted it should fit with everything pushed up.

I have enough linen left to make a partlet, so that may be my next project. I'm still very tempted to make the corset...but these instructions have put me off. Maybe I should sign up for the pattern designer's yahoo account and see if others have had the same problems I have.


Dave said...

Did you say the instructions had caused several moments of extreme sewing or swearing frustration? I was here all weekend and I could have sworn that it was the latter.

Sandy said...

Depending on which way the neckline is too big there are some quick fixes. If it's the right width but hangs down too far, just put in a pleat on each side somewhere. Or you can always gather it if the whole thing is too big (I'm not sure if this would work - I don't know how the neckline is finished as I haven't used this pattern.)

I don't know why chemises are always the hardest part to get right but they are. I've made corsets with very little effort, but I have half a dozen chemises none of which I really love. I would go ahead and sign up for Margo's YahooGroup. Some people hate her patterns, but others swear by them, and I know one of the things people like the most is that there's a forum of other pattern users where you can ask questions...