Vintage Sewing

The Curse of the Missing Instructions

By on April 5, 2012

Daily visitor and admirer/ occasional commenter/ first time poster… I’ve been smoked out of hiding to ask for your advice!

I was thrilled when this pattern arrived yesterday and quickly tucked into the envelope only to discover all the pattern pieces accounted for but no instructions! Typical, as I’d bought the pattern almost for its instructions alone – I have another shirtwaist pattern with a similar front placket also missing its instructions and I’d figured this might serve for both. Seems I’m going to have to work it out for myself after all… or not if you can help me out!

The seller was v. apologetic and dealt with it brilliantly, but… still no instructions. And the pattern pieces are of the unprinted variety with only holes small and large, triangles, etc. I’ve sewn with unprinted pattern pieces before, but never without the accompanying instructions to hold my hand every step of the way!

I’m OK with how to go about the shirt part and welt pockets, but I’m more hesitant with the lower bit of the front placket and back of the skirt. Re. the skirt, it’s described as a 3-piece skirt, and since the front is 2 pieces, that means the back will be one piece cut on the fold. It has a ‘released inverted pleat’ which appears to be sewn halfway down then released. My question is, what do you do with the fabric inside the pleat up top (where it isn’t released) – would you trim it all off and just open it like a big dart? My worry is that if I don’t trim, it might add bulk where I don’t want it and interfere with the actual darts either side of it, but I’m not quite sure how to go about it.

As for the front placket, it’s in two pieces (one piece for the bodice, another for the skirt; I feel one piece all the way down would look neater, but maybe there’s a reason for the two pieces I don’t know about). Anyhow, should these both be cut x2 or on the fold? I’m not sure how you attach the placket at the bottom (the pointy bit) and although I could find plenty about sewing plackets on the interweb, I couldn’t find anything about pointy-ended ones that don’t go all the way down…

I have checked the vintage pattern wiki et al. but couldn’t find any other mention of this pattern, so any advice would be most welcome, thank you!

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