Saturday, March 6, 2010

Full Body Baby Frock Tutorial, Method 2

You know me, I have the tendency of trying everything at least once (ok, not everything). So when The Workwoman said there was "another mode" of making up the Infants' Frock, I just had to give it a try! She even said this way is the "neatest in appearance," so I couldn't wait.

The second mode is found on page 34 and corresponds with Plate 4 Figure 2, but the image didn't help me, so I'm not going to paste it here.

Just as in the first method of making up the dress, you have to cut it out:

Measurements for a child of 1 year:
Depth of body down the selvage: 4.5" (I made mine 5")
Length of body width-way of the cloth: 36"

Depth of arm-hole: 2.812"
Length of waistband, if wanted: 20.25"
Length of band for the hem at top, if wanted: 20.25"

Measurements are also given for: first size as well as children of 3, 5, and 8 years.

I made my arm-holes a little too big. They should have been more half-circle, rather than whatever shape that is!

Then, the 2nd method instructions say:

"The body is gathered at the top and set into a long narrow band, which forms the hem and the shoulder-straps."

"The bottom of the body is also firmly gathered, and sewn on. . ."

The instructions actually said to sew the body to the skirt, but since the scale gave measurements for a waistband, I sewed the body to a waistband. My gathers are a little messed up. I should have adjusted the bottom gathers toward the front of the bodice, not under my arm-holes. You can see how the gathers are going slanty.

I wanted to use draw-strings in the top and in the waistband, so I left the top band wide and the ends open.

The Workwoman says skirts should be 64 - 72" in circumference and 33(poor)"-40"(rich) in length for a first size. I meant to make mine 18" long (short coat length) like I had in the other baby frock, but my fabric was crooked and I had to take off at least another inch. Because I added a waistband, I think the length is okay. I like this length because it is similar to modern baby garments. I want the baby to be able to move around in these clothes.

I cut the skirt out in three panels as suggested by Elizabeth Stewart Clark in her Girl's Dresses patterns.

The Workwoman says to gather the skirt "so as to let the fulness lie principally in front."

After I sewed on the skirt, I added an inner waistband, with open ends for a drawstring.

My ties were 1.25" wide by 45" long (a few inches too long).

I used the same idea for sleeves as in the first method, but The Workwoman said that Figure 14 "is the most favourite shape" so I had to try it. With this sleeve, you cut 2.25" off the corner and it forms a little cape.

Here are the original instructions:
"This sleeve is the most favourite shape, and is cut out exactly like Fig. 13 ; after which the part A B, is sloped off at 1 nail from the end, C. A triangular piece of worked muslin is hemmed round ; the sleeve is then neatly put into the arm-hole, with mantua-maker's hem, or run and felled, after which the rest of the sleeve is whipped and sewed on to the triangular piece. These sleeves are generally made with a little frill very much fulled, which forms a cape behind, and also in front; the frill is therefore sewed on the sleeve neatly at the edge of the triangular bit."

Honestly, I understood only about half of that, so I did my best and this is what I came up with. I think it's pretty cute even if it's not right.

For baby's first size (sleeve) from the scale chart:
Measure of largest depth: 4.5"
Length of sleeve when open: 15.75" (In the written area of the instructions, it says something about 7.87", so that is what I did mine for a flat sleeve.)

Measure of smallest depth: .75" (In the written area of the instructions, it said make this 2.25", so that's what I did.)

Measurements are also given for children of 2 and 4 years.

Since my pattern is from the first size measurements, but my dress is for a 1 year old, I cut the sleeve out slightly bigger. I should have made the sleeve even bigger since my arm-holes were so big!

Taking off the 2.25".

Then I rounded it my corners a little. I don't know if I should have rounded out the top slant (top of the sleeve). The angle may have been beneficial when I sewed the sleeve to the shoulder strap.

Open view. I had to mark the top, since the top and bottom were so similar.

Then I folded it in half and stitched the under-arm seam.

I don't have a picture of putting the arm in the dress, but it was a little strange. I had to finish the top of the sleeve, stitch that to the shoulder strap, then stitch the rest of the sleeve to the body of the dress. I did it by hand so I could be more precise.

I then added a ruffle around the bottom edge of the sleeve.

Back of the dress.

Now I just need to put in a growth tuck or two.

So, I like this dress as I do the blue one where I used the first method. They both have their pros and cons. This second method (this one) is more like Elizabeth Stewart Clark's infant bodice, but constructed differently (I think. . . maybe I'm just doing it wrong). I like the first bodice method's shoulder straps because it is more what I'm familiar with and the sleeve insertion was easier. I do, however, like the drawstrings in this one (which I don't even know if they're right), but of course, the extra gathering in the bodice takes longer.

If I make this again, maybe I'll:
1. Hem the ends of the bodice.
2. Gather the top front of the bodice and finish.
3. Hem the top back of the bodice for drawstrings (one on each side).
4. Add arm straps.
5. Gather the bottom of the bodice into a waistband.
6. Attach a skirt.
7. Add an inner waistband.

We'll see.


Mary said...

I am so impressed with you! You are just a sewing queen.

Amanda said...

This is advanced sewing. I am impressed. Beautiful job.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to give you an idea. BTW....I've sent quite a few girls to your site and we all love it. My cousin who sews, made a hand pot holder for cast iron skillets. Fold a square potholder in half, like a hot dog bun and sew together....just describing without a picture. She added heat resistant fabric inside and used already quilted fabric. It should slip over the handle of a hot skillet. Sounded like your kind of thing. Happy sewing.


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