Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #2 - Tucks and Pleating

February – Tucks & Pleating – make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration

Can you even imagine how dull and boring most vintage clothing would be without the beautiful gathers, ruffles, smocking, tucks, and pleating that creates such interest?  I'm forever surprised about the way seamstresses have imagined and manipulated fabric into such awesome shapes.

For the Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #2 - Tucks and Pleating I used a pattern recreated from an original 1920's instructional article.

The original 1920's article was written by Ruth Wyeth Spears, considered one of the original founders of the Do-It-Yourself movement.  From the early 1900s through the 1950s she wrote and published articles for creative instruction and inspiration from fashion to household goods.  She published a magazine called Illustrated Home Sewing which contained many instructions for hat-making including the one I'm creating here.

The hat requires minimal fabric and I use some scrap cotton for the base hat and scrap taffeta for trim.  The instructions require that I cut a circular crown, side crown, brim, and fan.  I wanted the tucked area of the side crown to be made from the taffeta trim so I adjusted my fabrics accordingly.

All the base cotton pieces are sewn and pressed well according to the instructions.  The brim is sewn and then tucks created, sewn, and pressed open and flat.  The same is done for the trim piece on the side crown.  The fan required a piece double the height of the one I made, but I wanted something a bit more petite and that is what I made.  It is simply a long tube of fabric sewn on all four sides.  Then a slit is cut in the back so the piece can be turned inside out.  After pressing, I made pleats, put a pin through the pleats, and then fanned the pleats around the pin to create the half circle fan.  Here are all pieces ready for the final assembly.
Everything is sewn by machine except the crown and side crown seam.  The side crown is gathered and then hand-stitched to the crown.  In no time I have my very first 1920's cloche!
The three tucks on the brim and side crown trim and the pleated fan create all the interest for this iconic hat.
Since it's a hat, I have to take some photos outdoors where one would usually see the hat being worn and I love the fabric combination in the light.  This was meant to be a throw-away practice piece, but I think I will have to make a spring dress to go with it.  It's just too fun to toss!

Historical Sew Fortnightly
What It Is:  Fan Cloche
The Challenge:  #2 Tucks and Pleating
Fabric:  Cotton and taffeta
Pattern: Fan Cloche by Ruth Wyeth Spears Revised by Carol B. Davey as Lady Mary's Fan Cloche
Year:  1920s
Notions:  Thread
How historically accurate is it?  100%
Hours to complete?  2 hours
First Worn:  No plans, but I think I should make a dress to go with it!
Total Cost:  Requires less than a yard of fabric.  For this example $1.99.  Pattern was $9.99 for 8 different 1920s hat patterns.
Love always,

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