Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pet en L'air Extraordinaire!

This post is a sewing pattern review.
A few years ago,  bought a bulk amount of silk in a sale which I thought would be perfect for a posh pet en l'air (there wasn't enough for a Robe a la Francaise), and last summer I bought a few meters of some striped cotton which was perfect for a 'scummy' pet en l'air.

The only problem I faced was the pattern. I have my own copy of Janet Arnold, but there was no way I was going to be able to size it up with all those pleats in it! So I did a search of historical patterns online and came across the American ones by J.P.Ryan. I chose this one as all their patterns are taken from the Janet Arnold book and all the sizing has been done for you! A note for UK people: I have only found these patterns on American websites, or the German one Nehelenia Patterns. I bought mine from the latter as I didn't want to risk paying customs. But from either country, they cost about £20 per pattern.

The pattern itself was a dream! It recommended to make the lining first and use it as a toile - it fitted first time! I would recommend reading the instructions through slowly and carefully as it can be a little confusing when using for the first time, but that might just be me...

Now, you may be wondering how I made the decoration on my posh pet en l'air, or you've read the post about my the petticoat where I said I'd reveal all after I had finished said outfit. I like to call them silk 'intestines' or 'sausages' as essentially, that is was they look like! For the length, measure what it is you want to decorated - my pet en l'air was just under 6m - plus add any seam allowance for any piecing and for neatening either end, and add extra as it does shrink a little when gathered. The width depends on purely how puffy you want it to be - The ones on my pet en l'air and petticoat are about 4 inches, whereas the ones around my cuffs are about 1 inch. Once the strips of fabric are sewn together (if piecing) and then hemmed, it's time to start gathering! Make your first gather at the end of the strip, where the hemline is, then - depending on the size you want the puffs - gather at every inch, 2 inches, or even 3 inches, it's up to you so experiment and play around to see what you think looks nice.

When you have your finished strip of 'intestines' or 'sausages', it's time to so them to the clothes. When I was sewing mine on, I sewed a few stitches on either side of the gathers. One thing to remember is not to stretch the puffs too much as otherwise they wont be puffy! As an extra, you could stuff the puffs to make them stand out even more, but this is obviously far more time consuming.

No comments:

Post a Comment