Prior to purchasing this vintage pattern, I had never heard the name Ronald Paterson. I decided to do some investigative work and after a bit of digging, I found this. Apparently, he was a Scottish born designer, who headed a fashion house in London from 1950 to 1970. After this period, he worked as a costume designer in movies until his retirement. The examples of his work and the vintage patterns that were designed by him are gorgeous. I will certainly be looking for more patterns by Ronald Paterson.
As part of my SWAP, I wanted a top and skirt that had the same feel as this outfit worn by Jacqueline Kennedy to her husband's inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1961. This outfit was fashioned using beige wool crepe by Oleg Cassini. (This picture is from "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years", which is an exceptional resource for JK fans.)
Originally, I planned on using a sand coloured wool gabardine. However, as the SWAP deadline began to loom, I decided to switch to a sand coloured wool crepe, purchased during the wool blowout at Fabric Mart earlier this year. I figured I would do a true homage to the original inspiration garments, while at the same time making my life easier. Wool crepe is a much more forgiving fabric to sew than wool gabardine - with limited time this seemed like a wise substitution. I could not be happier that I decided to do this. My muslin for this outfit was done using wool gabardine and it just does not hang as nicely as the SWAP pieces done in wool crepe.
Both pieces are underlined in a cream coloured silk charmeuse, also from Fabric Mart. This underlining gives the pieces a wonderful weight and such a luxurious finish on the inside. Below is the outside of the skirt, which is basically a straight skirt. However, the side seams are shifted to the front side hip and topstitched (which can be seen in the small photo to the right) and there is a gathered section over the abdomen area. The back is shaped through the use of four darts (two on each side) - one set of darts acts as faux side seams. The skirt calls for a lapped zipper in back and I replaced it with an invisible zipper, for a smoother line.
On the inside you can see the silk underlining, to which the hem is attached to keep the hem area on the outside stitch free. The underlining was serged to the wool crepe in the beginning and the the two fabrics were then treated as one for the construction.
I had some problems with the waistband as the instructions called for belting. My local fabric stores do not carry this notion, so I improvised (if anyone has any internet leads on belting, I'd appreciate a heads up). The waistband was instead cut double and constructed as is typical.
Finally, a few questions.
*Marji, in reference to this post, asked, "Did you reduce any of the fullness or dart the batiste or did you gather it one-to-one with the silk?"
I just gathered it one to one with the silk. Both the batiste and the silk are so lightweight that the excess bulk at the waist is really not a problem.
*Carolyn, referring to this post, asked, "Ummm, my fabric came in and you are going to love these pieces! Did you get yours yet?"
Nope, it usually takes 1 to 4 weeks for a box of fabric to cross the border from the US to Canada. The last time I ordered from Melody, it took 1 week so I'm hoping the fabric gods are with me again and I'll have a quick delivery!
*Yesterday, Carolyn also wrote, "I am dying over here waiting to see the finished collection...could you pleeezzzeee just throw me a bone and take a picture of all the pieces AND then go back and tell us all about them!? I've been waiting since December/January and the stress is KILLIN' me!!!!"
Whoa, I would hate to be responsible for any SWAP related deaths. I'll see what I can do.
*With respect to yesterday's post, Nancy K. asked, "How did you do the lining up without a facing? When you get a chance maybe you could do a tutorial?"
It was actually quite easy, it's really no different than when facings are present - in this case, however, the lining takes the place of the facings. The jacket shell and the lining are cut and constructed exactly the same and then they are attached, right sides together, at each front opening and around the neckline, with a 5/8" seam. The bottom is left open to facilitate turning right side out after the corners are trimmed and the seams graded. Then all that is needed is a very careful pressing to be sure that the lining rolls to the inside of the jacket. You could understitch to ensure this, but with my jacket it was unnecessary. The bottom of the lining is finished by attaching it to the jacket body by hand. If this doesn't make sense, let me know and I will try to put together something visual.
ETA for Nancy K: I always insert the sleeve lining by hand - both at the armscye and at the cuff. I find I have so much more control over the lining placement this way.
Lastly, thank you to everyone that has visited lately. I appreciate it so much that you take an interest in what I post here. I apologize if I have missed answering any question over the last while - I've had a few whirlwind weeks and admittedly I'm not as organized as usual. Things are settling back down now, so I hope to stay on top of things better.