The Gigot Sleeve Dress

I don’t know why quilting comes so easily and any type of garment construction confounds me, but there you have it.

There is a pleated overlay on the bodice of the gigot sleeve dress, which I had to make twice, and only succeeded the second time by cheating!

The first time I sewed it, despite making certain my pleats were sewn with an accurate eight inch seam, the overlay was a good three quarters inch too short. The second time around, rather than cut the pattern piece and then pleat it, I pleated it and then traced and cut it to fit!

The bias cut bodice overlay band went on next. I was hoping my Singer 401a would do this nicely without me having to move over to the 403a and a walking foot (which is how I have chose to leave that machine setup, because I am used to a dual feed!) but it went perfectly. Miss Myrtle may have helped a bit. She gets a bit cheeky at times but her advice is well meant, I’m sure.

I chose to hand stitch the band down by hand with 100wt silk thread. My hand sewing will never win any awards, so the finer the thread, the better it looks.

On to the sleeves! Oh how I detest making gathers! I never do them well and find them such a pain. I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to sew the gathers by hand (which will likely take forever, as the sleeve puffs are huge and there’s three gathers per sleeve). I’m using wooly nylon as the thread, since it’s stretchy and I thought it might gather more evenly. That’s an experiment under way.

So far, I am thoroughly enjoying sewing on the vintage machines. It delights me that they are all older than I am. It irritates me that despite that, they are all in much better shape than I am. It’s too bad that I can’t simply apply some lubricate to my joints and be in tip top condition!

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Janine

    If I were making this dress, I would use a stitch length of about 4-5, and run 2 rows of stitching. The first would be about 1/8″ from the cut edge and the second, 3/8″ from the cut edge. pull the threads up to fit your space and sew your 1/4″ seam between the 2 rows of gathering stitches. I always do the gathering stitches in a contrasting color so I don’t mistakenly remove the real stitches. I usually make tucked bodices, sleeves, etc exactly the way you did the second one. So much easier. The dress looks lovely-nice choice of fabrics.

    1. tinksquared

      Thank you Janine, I have so much to learn, but I’m finding that much like quilting, I will probably have to find my own methods, as for whatever reason, I tend to struggle with the tried and true. Probably if I had someone sitting with me as a teacher it would make a world of difference. How I envy women who grew up sewing at their mother’s knee! It has been one of the most difficult things for me to learn.

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