The Finish Line Is *IN* sight!

Yesterday I managed to sew together the base for L's mantua. The more I sew with that Pendelton wool, the more I fall in love. The second time on the mantua was definatly the charm. Everything has come together beautifully. Well except for the fact that the body was too long, leaving the gores in the side about 5 inches too low. Drat!

So today I pulled out the side gores and pushed them up to L's proper hip level. Unfortunatly I used nearly all the blue linen thread from Wm. Booth Draper sewing everything together in the too long incarnation, so everything else is sewn with dark blue poly thread. Sad, but true.

Anyway, once the gores were in the right place I mimiced the pleating in the underarm area like Kass has on her mantau pattern. In her version you cut an inverted "L" shape to create the underarm and side seam. When you reach the gore you stop, letting the remaining fabric fall to the inside & create a box pleat. On this smaller version I tapered in from the underarm to narrow the side seam and stopped at the gores, but didn't cut. It works nearly the same way and looks rather good (if you've got your nose in my 6 year olds armpit!)

Tonight I bribed L with "Night at the Museum" and cotton candy, so that she would stand still long enough for me to put the pleats in the back & the two pleats in either side of the front (the ones that were "lost" on my mantua). Everything is now pressed nicely with my new fancy-schmancy steam iron and basted in place.

Tomorrow I will blind stitch the pleats with the remaining blue linen thread & cut off the extra length on the front/back panels. Although I'm seriously considering leaving the back long. It's acting as a short train right now. How wise that is for a kid though. Come to think of it, cutting it ever all the way around sounds like a good idea. I am also going to install a hook and thread eye in the front center so that L doesn't have to wear a pin. She is genuinely afraid of getting poked with a pin so the hook is a better choice not just for general functionality (what kid doesn't move around tons?) but also for her own comfort level. If there is ONE thing that everyone making historically based clothes for kids should consider it's the comfort level. These are modern children and while we adults will suffer for our "art",the kids just want to have fun. Uncomfortable clothes & boring events aren't going to encourage them to continue reenacting when they become adults!