13 April 2008

Paterson Pattern - Part 1

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Shannon
Everything is just beautiful, I love that you use such wonderful wools and silks and yet make them seem so wearable. And I'm so pleased for you that you finished in time with your recent family stuff.

Love the pretty blue flowers! They look like anemones?

Off to read up on Ronald Paterson, my fellow Scot ;-)


Anonymous said...

I do appreciate you post because you are making garments that I rearly get a chance to see being done and posting the inspiration and background of them.
can't wait to see your final swap photos!

Anonymous said...

It looks lovely and as usual so beautifully constructed. Should be wonderful to wear with the silk charmeuse.
About the belting, since you say you cut the waistband double, I am assuming that the pattern called for the belting to face the waistband. I have made, and I have seen instructions for using petersham for the underside. It is the only thing I a can think of that would be comfortable. I also have instructions in an old Threads that uses silk charmeuse to face the waistband so that it is lighter and more comfortable to wear. Could be in Claire Schaeffer's article on Chanel. This was all done with hand felling, the petersham is sewn by machine. The petersham works quite well. I have bought it from thesewingplace.com .

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Thanks for answering both of my questions and paying attention to my whining! Last year I was actually rushing to sew to finish up and take my own pictures so I was totally absorbed in the process. This year since I'm not participating the waiting is killing me! I so want to see what everyone has come up with.

As for the fabric - you get fabric from the US like I get fabric from Julie at Timmel...it usually arrives in 2 or 3 weeks and then it sits in the post office for another week or two until I find time to go and retrieve it.

And this was a wonderful repo of the actual dress! Loving it!

Vicki said...

I always look forward to your posts. You make some great garments!! A photo shoot must be coming up soon.....

Eithne said...

I love the suit its very beautiful.Ronald paterson is one of my favourite designers from the old vogue couturiers.Sovintagepatterns have another of his patterns for sale it is $95 but oh so beautiful. http://www.sovintagepatterns.com/catalog/item/5425850/5543500.htm
Not sure if that link will work but its gorgeous.I'm really enjoying your swap items so far and can't wait to see you wearing them.Eithne

Anonymous said...

I'm with Carolyn, pleeeeassse show us the rest of the sway!


Dana said...

That Ron Paterson garment is beautiful, as is your skirt.

While working on some vintage patterns last fall I found that Greenberg-Hammer.com carry belting. (There's a message on their site that they are only set up to take orders by fax or phone.) Also, I agree with Nancy K. that belting may not be the most comfortable material to use. It's basically fabric covered plastic.

CraftRage said...

I love your new banner! Very spring-y! I also love the skirt; I'm allergic to wool, but I'd almost put up with the hives to wear that lovely piece!

Dawn said...

I am excited to see the outfits with you actually in them. Your pieces are so classic and beautiful.

(Love your new banner too! We are still waiting for spring.)

Anonymous said...

Regarding your lining technique, I assume you meant right sides together?
What about the sleeves? Did you sew the hems together by machine?

Meg said...

This really makes me want to sew vintage. The only problem is my lifestyle--really casual! But I love seeing what you're creating.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I can't wait to see the collection on you! As to the "belting", the dresses of the 50's and 60's (especially the shirtwaist ones) used to always show a self belt with a buckle and eyelets that was stiffened with a thin, but stiff belting that was close to what was seen in RTW. For the home sewer, it was available in packages that included the buckle (to be covered with self fabric), grommets for the holes, and the belting in different widths. My mom always liked a belt with her dresses and made these all the time. The belting was also sold by the yard, to be used with buckles that would not be covered. In a waistband, I would assume that you could substitute the Palmer Pletsch waistband product. Hope this helps!

Maggie said...

There are a couple of belting kits on Ebay right now.

angie.a said...

I can't believe you're finished!! What a woman! :D Can't wait to see all the pics. I hope you feel better soon, too!

lorrwill said...

I use heavy buckram for belting. Or not so heavy (available at Joann) and double it. hth.

Anonymous said...

I'm really jealous of those wool pieces. The color is perfection, but I can't use wool much here in Texas. It's never really cold in Austin.

Love the short sleeves on this suit! I remember back in the 80s that I demanded a short sleeved red suit after seeing a picture of Princess Diana in one.

Unknown said...

I was just going to comment on you skirt when I saw the previous post. The skirt is fabulous! I love it. I swear - this year I will sew with wool! great job, can't wait to see the entire JK inspired wardrobe. g

Marji said...

Great decision to use the wool crepe.
As far as belting, if you google Dritz Belting you'll come up with a number of sources, however, I have to wonder at using belting on a garment like that. I'm thinking Nancy's idea of Petersham would certainly be more comfortable.
Have you rec'd your order yet from Melody?
The pique is softer than I'd expected, but lovely nevertheless.

Tany said...

I love the lines of this skirt and the model is quite original! As always, the construction is flawless!