Patterns: TV496 "1896 Ripple Bodice, TV296 "1895 Ripple Skirt".
Fabrics: Poly Taffeta with floral/vine embroidery, bronze. Knobby wool blend, red.
Hem: 40.5" at front.
Back Width: 16" max
Neck: 16" max
Fully interlined in plain cotton, minus sleeves. Fully lined in ivory taffeta. The sleeves are fully lined in light weight cotton and interlined with a layer of heavy netting plus another gathered section of netting.
- I rounded the center front lower points and the lapel, which are sharp points on the original pattern. My reasoning was two-fold. First, both the taffeta fabric and the knobby wool facing are thick and don't lend themselves well to sharp points. Second, the swirling floral pattern already establishes softer rounded aesthetic, rather than something sharp and tailored.
- I "took in" the lapels by about 1.5". On the original, they stick out further, poking into the area of the sleeve puff. I did this just for preference.
- I took in the waist at the front darts by about .8" on either side. This is a alteration because the original pattern has one dart marked "all sizes". But I wanted the jacket to fit more snuggly under the large bust.
- I used size F sleeves despite the body being size H, and even then I still took in the lower portion of the sleeve by about 2" at the wrist and tapering up to the elbow. On the pattern original, the sleeves have a lot of ease built in and I felt like they needed to be tighter below the elbow to get the right look. Also, if the sleeve are too baggy on the lower arm, they will dip down your wrist rather than being "ruched up" the arm like they should.
- I fitted the sleeves in with knife pleats, alternating direction at the halfway point. The pattern calls for gathering the sleeve, but the embroidered fabric I was using made that impractical.
The hem is stiffened with matching shaped pieces (buckram, linen, etc.) and facing (another bought of meticulous cutting and matching up), and when all is said and done you will probably find that your skirt ends up doing the "hung up bag" effect around the seams after you hand stitch the facing and stiffener in. This can be avoided by sewing your seams top to bottom rather than bottom up (the way we were always taught that just doesn't work here)
AND THEN (insert bitter laugh), you have to pin in the long tapes at precise points inside designed to hold the skirt into the desired ripple effect. There are marks inside the skirt for this, but no indication of where along the length of your tapes each point is to be attached. So you have no choice but to do a pinning trial and error until it lays right. If ever.
I did mine--eventually--fully lined in light weight cream cotton, stiffened at the hem with buckram and faced with gray cotton.