Sometimes A Shortcut

…is ok. This is a moment of shortcut-ing for me.

I was going to call this post ‘Sometimes A Cheat’, but then I realized that ‘cheat’ isn’t the right word. It’s too unfair and generally harsh. What I wanted to communicate is that it can be ok to start somewhere other than at the very beginning with uncut fabric waiting to be turned into a project.

You see, I need to have the 1896 cycling outfit I’ve been hinting at and sharing accessories for done by early February. This is a project that started at the very beginning. I made my own pattern and started with an uncut pile of fabric. I’ve already put a lot of time into tailoring the jacket (a progress photo is above–it fits!), making the bloomers, and making gaiters to accessorize the ensemble… all from the very beginning. One of the finishing touches that my ensemble needs is a shirt collar and some sort of neck tie to finish it off. I don’t need a full shirt under the jacket and I don’t want the bulk, so I debated about making a dickie (from the beginning…). I also thought about making a neck tie (from the beginning…).

After a bit of deliberation, I decided that I want a shortcut for these pieces and I’m ok with that. Accordingly, I’ve ordered a ready-made dickie on Amazon, re-confirmed that neckties look stupid on me (a thought I’ve had since I needed to wear one 13 years ago, though I thought that might have changed, haha), followed the necktie-looking-stupid-on-me thought with the decision to go with a bow tie, and ordered a knit bow tie, also on Amazon. (I’m hoping the quality of these items is acceptable. Thankfully they come via Prime and have free returns, so if I don’t like them there’s still time to come up with Plan B. If I’d thought of this a month ago I could have saved at least half the price and purchased these exact items on eBay. Now that I’ve made up my mind the shipping would take too long. Oh well!)

Do you ever take shortcuts like this? How do you feel about them? I feel rather relieved that I don’t need to cut, sew, and finish a collared dickie and a bow tie!

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6 thoughts on “Sometimes A Shortcut

  1. I do this all the time, especially with under-layers like this. I mean, yes, you could make a dickie from scratch, interfacing the collar and making buttonholes yourself, but sometimes it’s just easier to get one ready-made and adapt it to your needs.

  2. I like and use shortcuts! As much as possible! Though I enjoy the making of an outfit, my goal is the wearing. My favorite is Fray Check or such to stop raveling; so much faster than any sewing method! I wear costume while hosting at an Historic House; guests are generally ignorant of ‘era correct’, which allows me a lot of freedom in sewing. But I do use correct stitching (mostly! I sometimes need to err), but fudge on fabric content: budget likes poly blends, gulps a bit at 100% cotton and balks entirely at real silk and wool! But I try to be as era correct as possible for cut, trim styling and sewing methods. I’m after ‘the look’, not 100% ‘correct’. Also, although I rather enjoy ironing, I’d still rather have my dresses come out of the dryer ready to wear without a session at the board!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Donna! We all have different goals in mind for our projects and I think we should all appreciate our different perspectives. I tend to enjoy the process as much as the wearing, but I like to know where I can take sewing shortcuts, too. 🙂

  3. Although I’m not nearly in the same league as you, I have piddled around with a Glinda costume to hand out treats on Halloween. I made a skirt, but the top pattern was too complicated for the sheer fabric, so I ordered a leotard and have a stole to mimic the poufy sleeves, from the tulle. Accessorizing with butterfly necklaces and pins made it more Oz-like. PS — I’m still planning to make my Civil War dress, shawl and bonnet…this might be the year. You are an inspiration. Love your posts!

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