Wearing History Test Pattern - Part II

I've started the construction process and mostly finished the bodice of the short sleeved version.

I like to think I'm a pretty accomplished sewist, but the instructions that accompany this pattern are not necessarily intuitive. That's to be understood, though, considering that these are the original instructions from the 1930s and haven't been updated to more modern sewing processes.

My notes on the bodice construction:
  • If you are making the short sleeved version, the instructions for the short sleeves are on the last page rather than near the front even though the sleeves are one of the first parts that you are supposed to make.
  • The bound buttonholes are a total pain in the neck. AND the facing doesn't allow for them to be done all at once. The instructions call for pretty much the entire bodice to be constructed THEN deal with the facing/buttonhole dilemma. In the future, my advice is to mark the buttonhole position on BOTH the facing and the bodice front FIRST. Then, make machine buttonholes on the facing and do the bound buttonholes on the front. When making the bound buttonholes, don't stitch them down completely until you turn the facing. THEN you stitch around the bound buttonhole and machine buttonholes and everything is neatly done and fully encased, etc. This eliminates the need to slip stitch around the slashed buttonhles in the facing. It's not period authentic, but hey, it's a cleaner finish and will save time/thread.
  • Dealing with the "Vestee" was also counter intuitive. The illustration shows the top buttonholes with nothing to attach the buttons to. And the attachment of the vestee to the bodice was slightly strange. What I did was to hem the facings all the way around before adding the vestee and then I hemmed the top edge of the vestee before attaching. If you want, you could blind hem the top so the stitches don't show and you then don't have to slip stitch. I'm NOT a huge fan of hand sewing, so I will do anything at all to avoid it.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I received this pattern for the express purpose of testing and I will be duly noting this in each subsequent post.

Next up: The skirt and attaching the bodice

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