Well Suited

For a very long time images of the elizabethan shirt as a pattern or garment have fascinated me.  I've always favoured patterns that use every bit of fabric as they speak of a time when textiles were considered to be of great value.  A time when your household was valued by the quality of the textiles produced in the home and worn by the family and often sold to generate income.
 

Inspo from Butterick 4486 - especially the lace-up front.

Fashion Corset v Historic Corset

There's a lot of talk around the negative aspects of wearing corsets but be assured that's not the whole story.  My experience with corsets is strictly fashion industry and what I share here in the blog and through the product I have listed on the website is all derived from that experience.  The articles and papers listed below will help you develop your own understanding of the debate around historic corsets if this issue is of interest.
History of Corsets:  the first wave of feminism - A reasonable introduction to the debate.
The Kurious Kase of Kim Kardashians Korset - A more thorough and academic investigation of debate around corsets.

Bust supporter and corsets. Copyright The Museum at FIT. Courtesy Google Arts and Culture.

One of the biggest pitfalls in being a designer/pattern maker is the making and testing of sewing patterns, and the continual accumulation of sample garments related to these patterns.  For the on-going operation of my business I have to make these samples to test my patterns.  But personally I don't really ever need more clothes, but many of these samples end up in my wardrobe.  Many designers have regular sample sales to pass on these items to a more useful end or send them to the local charity shop for resale.  Clearly I'm having trouble distinguishing between personal clothing needs and the output of my creative work.

Every now and then I like to put together a blog post that details some of the garment blocks and techniques I use when making patterns for my industry clients and my website.  This post is to highlight the features and potential of my knit block for all users and new pattern makers.  It may help you decide if it is in fact the block for you in your new design project.

To begin, a quick recap of previous posts for the Gil Brandao, Conjunto Pratico.  You can start with the first post, the self-draft instructions for this vintage bodice.  If you think you'd like more detail you can download my detailed worksheet - Vintage Style Pattern Making.  The instructions in the worksheet include information for drafting different sizes, from 6 to 22.  If you're unable to access the worksheet there is a post where I outline the grade rules to make the original draft in to other sizes - Grade Rules - Gil Brandao Conjunto PraticoTaking the vintage bodice further I have a post with the instructions for adding a skirt to the vintage bodice to make and wrap style dress -Vintage Bodice as Dress - Fist Sample.
Vintage Style Pattern Making

When you'e making your own clothes the first and most important bit of information is what size pattern you'll be using.  To work this out you need the Size Chart (body measurements used to make the patterns), your own basic body measurements (bust, waist and hips), and if possible the pattern measurements as provided by the pattern company.  My Pencil Skirt Sewing Pattern has been designed for woven cloth with no stretch and I've allowed 5cm garment ease in the fit of the hip on the skirt.  So once you know your own hip measurement it's important that the pattern you use is at least 5cm (2") larger in the hip.  This 5cm (2") is added to the pattern as garment ease for basic comfort and good fit.

The fabulous thing about this pattern is that for many it can be made in a woven or a knit fabric.  The Drape Back Tunic sewing pattern is available as a one-size only pattern with instructions to increase the size and length printed on the pattern.  These images are for the sewing instructions for woven fabrics but I will make notes regarding the sewing instructions you need for knit fabrics.  If you cut this pattern as it is in a woven fabric it'll fit up to Aus Size 12.  If you cut it in a two-way (four-way in the US) stretch knit fabric that has some elastane content it can fit up to a Aus Size 22.

It was over ten years ago that I designed and made this shirt for sale and I've had so many different versions of it in my wardrobe since.  The fit of this shirt is tailored and body conscious with a back yoke, panel seams front and back, a two-piece collar and tab, and a dinner shirt style bib in the front.  There is a short and long sleeve version with the option of cutting the sleeves on either the straight or bias grain.  The Dinner Shirt Sewing Pattern is so versatile in design as to be both a conservative work shirt and fun party shirt in the one pattern.
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