Mock-up-ing-Along

The first step in constructing my 1760s Curtain-Along jacket was to draft up the pattern from Janet Arnold (you can read more about the pattern I chose in my Initial Curtain-Along Thoughts post). In my experience, sometimes the patterns work pretty well without a lot of tweaks, but sometimes you really do need to do some serious fitting to make them work. Given that knowledge, I decided to make a mock-up of the pattern without any adjustments to see how it would fit. The measurements weren’t too far off of my own, so I didn’t think I’d run into any really awful problems.

And here are the results! I put the mock-up together matching up all of the points that were indicated in the pattern.

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Initial state. It is pinned down at center front, but I haven’t made any other adjustments. Squishy is pretty close to my shape, so you can see that there are some adjustments that need to be made for the jacket to fit me.

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First problem: the gap at the shoulders. You can see on the left that I’ve pinned out the excess fabric, and on the right side nothing has been pinned.

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Second problem: the center back waist point is halfway up the back! I extended the center back seam above the waist so that the waist would sit lower and match the side fullness.

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I don’t think anyone has a back/hip area that would easily fit into this shape…

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Third problem: sleeves that are too far off of the shoulder and twisted around in a way that is odd looking and uncomfortable. I had to try this on to make those observations, but you can see the problems in the picture.

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The solution was to take the sleeve off, adjust the armsceye, and pin the sleeve back on without it being twisty. You can see on the left side that I’ve adjusted the sleeve, and on the right I didn’t do anything.

Oh, I also lengthened the sleeve pattern a bit, because it was a little short on me, and extended center front so it would actually close… After making the adjustments to the pattern, I took to the scissors and cut out the real fabric, mineral felicite and peach linen lining. Then it was on to the hand sewing…

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
This entry was posted in 1760s, 18th Century, Costume Construction, Curtain-Along, Mockups, Patterning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mock-up-ing-Along

  1. Donna Knower says:

    Yes, pre fitting a pattern really helps. As my budget is so tight, I don’t make cloth mock ups; instead I check my measurements to the pattern pieces. It’s a lot of mental gyrations, quartering (or more) my actual measurements for each of MANY points of measurements! But it’s worked pretty well for me. Tho I WILL do a mock up of the corset I’ll be making after the garden work’s finished–I want it to go both higher and lower than the pattern and don’t trust my usual method to get it done (right!)

    Again I say ‘thanks’ for this wonderful blog! I learn so much here; it’s a great help. Happy sewing!
    Donna

  2. Rebecca says:

    I have used that pattern before…ugh! The first time I made it it turned out very odd, with an extremely low neckline, uncomfortable sleeves, etc. The second one I changed a lot. It still “works” for me (it’s from my old kit, so it’s doesn’t represent my current skill level), but I’d think twice before using it again. It looks like you’re on a good course to avoid the problems I had. I think it should look great!

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences and kind encouragement! I’ve actually just finished writing a follow-up post to this one detailing all the problems I encountered after this mock up fitting. The jacket is currently in the “I’m frustrated at you!” pile. Ugh! I plan to post the next installment about the jacket soon, so maybe you’ll have some good ideas to help me along!

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