I’ve finished the 1934 skirt using only 1930s methods. It’s been a fun process and I’d recommend it as a way of relaxing. Definitely slow sewing.
Some 1930s details: the side placket and the waistband
Press studs / snap fasteners were the usual way to fasten a skirt or dress in 1934. Zips were still unusual, at least for home sewers in the UK; only one of my many 1930s sewing books gives any instruction as to how to insert a “slide fastener”.
The waist is finished with Petersham ribbon as instructed both by my pattern and by the various sewing books. The waist edge is turned over the top of the Petersham and the raw edge should be finished with “Prussian binding”. I have no idea what that is, so used a narrow bias binding. You can see from the photograph that it’s a nice finish. I did the waistband by hand – easier than by machine as it didn’t need unpicking afterwards….
I finished all the seams by hand overcasting and sewed the hem by hand too. My 1930s machine is straight stitch only.
What did I enjoy and what worked well?
I like the waist finish very much and would use that again.
I enjoyed the hand overcasting most of the time.
I love turning the wheel of my old Singer. How can it sew so well after 80 years?
I love the pleat. If you have been watching The Durrells on ITV on Sunday evenings you will have seen Mrs Durrell (Keeley Hawes) wearing a skirt with a pleat like mine, but she has one in the back too. It’s not needed for movement but it looks lovely.
What I did not like and what I would do differently
I would stay stitch the waist. One of the books warns you to check the waist measurement as the waist is likely to have stretched. When did stay stitching come in? It’s not in any of my 1930s books.
I would make a button placket rather than the press studs or I might use a zip. I’d stick to the side fastening as I think that looks good.
I will add a back pleat as well as a front pleat just because I liked what I saw on the television.
The next step is the jacket. I don’t wear suits but I think an unstructured jacket would look good with some of my other clothes. I’m going to give myself a break now and pick up the jacket in a week or two.
Meantime I’m going to be looking at this book again and again.
It has some photos but mostly it has illustrations of 1930s clothes. I just love the illustrations.
EmilyAnn is making progress with her 1930s dress pattern so why not go over and take a look?