Saturday, June 11, 2011

Supportive kirtle, attempt 1

In a fit of stubborn productivity, I managed to get my supportive kirtle fitted on myself!  I think I got the sleeve/shoulder strap thing sorted out too.  As you can see from the pictures, I need to rotate the sleeve cap back a little bit and add a little bit of width at the bicep (my poor chubby arms), but other than than I am happy with how everything is looking.  And I can move my arm!  Yay!  This is a huge step up from the last (somewhat) supportive dress I did which had numerous sleeve problems.  It's very hard to get and out of that dress.  This one should be much better.

The diagonal stitching line at the neck edge is where the strap attaches and where the facing will be at top neck edge.  So far, the plan is to attach the facing directly to the bodice.  That should work better than having it stick up from the main body of the bodice, and be easier to put together.  Plus it will serve to reinforce the edge a bit, which is all for the good. A  little more structural integrity at that top edge will help hold the girls in place, not that they are trying to escape or anything  but I'm planning to cook and do work in this gown so the sturdier the better.

My only real issue the whole thing is that I'm still not getting the raglan-ish line under the arm.  I think this might be because my neckline is lower than it should be, but the painting don't seem to be a whole lot higher than I have this in relation to the bust line.  Maybe I need to get the bust higher up for that to work?  The general idea that the underarm seam is somehow extending into the facing seam does seem to play out, if you look at the picture above, the problem is just where the neckline is, which is putting the facing seam lower down.  The back looks right anyway (I couldn't get a good picture of that with me in it).

As far as actually putting the whole thing together goes, I think I will sew the sleeve into the underarm then attach the shoulder straps and facings.  That's going to involve more handsewing in that area than I wanted to do, but it will look neater in the end.  The whole thing is now cut out, complete with trapezoidal skirt pieces and lining.  The plan is get the interior seams on the bodice machine stitched today, tweak the fit, and flat fell the seams by hand before I attach the skirt.  I'll probably just machine french seam the skirt, flat felling seems like overkill.


  1. Based off the images you've posted as reference, your neckline doesn't seem to slope upwards as much as the Magdalenes' do from center to the shoulder strap seam. It does have a fantastic fit through the body.

  2. Yeah, I ended up making it go straight across rather than doing the sweetheart thing as it's going to go under a wide-necked Burgundian dress at some point in the future and the shaped neck would look weird. It turned out that I had to raise the neck a bit when I cut it out of the linen cuz it grew somehow (I think the linen just moves differently than the cotton I was using for the mockup), and when I took the body in the girls started heading over the top. The higher neck band solved the raglan angle thing perfectly though! I think I'm going to try the shaped neck on the next iteration of this pattern, now that I have the kinks mostly worked out. More pictures once I get the eyelets stitched and can lace this thing up!