Friday, August 13, 2010

Wrapper Progress - Facings, Hems and Sleeves

I got the facings on the long front openings sewn down yesterday and then attached the hem facing. The hem facing is about 4" wide and protects the hem from wear and tear. It is a fun pinkish red print that is a cheerful glimpse of color - not that anyone is supposed to see it!

After that I sewed up the sleeves. They are a variation of my basic one piece coat sleeve. They are still cut on the fold, but the bottom edge is curved and belled slightly. They come to just above my wrist and will be worn with open undersleeves. This eliminates a close fitting cuff for maximum coolness; after all, this wrapper is meant to be hot-weather wear. If I like it a lot I may make another one specifically for cooler weather. I sewed a band of horizontal stripes to each sleeve to visually emphasize the width of the sleeve. The band is sewn down by machine close to the folded edge. This was a lot quicker to do than sewing it down by hand!

The skirt also got a horizontal striped band. The band is about 2 3/4" wide and is placed 8" above the hem. This seemed to work best for my height and figure and for the fact that this probably will not be worn over a cage. I would probably have made the band a little wider and a little higher up on the skirt if I were to wear this mainly over a cage.
Next I piped the armscyes. I had to piece in a little bit on the back armscye. For some reason I cut it weird and the sleeve would not have set smoothly unless I pieced in a half circle shape on each back shoulder. That done, I set in the sleeves. They have two small pleats at the back shoulder to create room for movement.

Try on time! Here I just threw it on over my modern clothes and tied the belt loosely in the front. So far it seems to be working well. The basic construction of the wrapper is now done. Yeah! Now I need to sew hook and eyes to the lining and I am contemplating making functional buttonholes to close the outer layer of the wrapper at the front. I have some pretty mother-of-pearl buttons I'd like to use for the front (it will be closed to the waist) but I need to do a little more research to make sure that they are okay to use before I put them on.



  1. It looks beautiful on you! Well done! I really like the shape of the sleeve, and like you said, the horizontal band gives volume and definition to it. I'm also interested in how you changed the height and placement of the band at the hem to work with your figure. I'm learning more and more about how we should alter peroid clothing to suit our individual shapes...rather than just make them like the cookie cutter fashion plates we see.

  2. I love it! It looks perfect on you. Wonderful work. That looks like it'll be just comfey for those hot days, or busy mornings, or if you find yourself expecting again. My wrapper was my best friend when I was pregnant (which is why I made it in the first place), but it's so comfortable even non-pregnant that I don't know why I didn't try it earlier.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Ooh, I love the sleeves. The whole thing looks so cool and comfy, like wearing a nice clean bedsheet all day.

  4. Wow, this is really beautiful! I love it because it is so "STRIKING"! This is truly wonderful what you did!

  5. Oh, this is so beautiful!! It is in one word: "Striking"!! That is one pretty wrapper :)

  6. This is so lovely Sarah! What a lovely style!

    Lots of love,

  7. That wrapper is gorgeous!!! I'd totally wear somethng like's very feminine and romantic!!! I loved what you did for the hem facing. The pink is a nice c olor choice and will be a secret surprise of color :) :) Oh, you are inspiring me to sew some clothes!!! You do such an awesome job. Thanks for sharing this with us. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  8. What a wonderfully bright wrapper! As the owner of 2 wrapppers, one of which is very loud, I guarantee that you will draw attention to yourself when wearing this under represented garment. I love mine and wore them often when expecting, you did a great job on yours, I can't wait to see it with the petticoats.

    Mrs. G

  9. Thanks! Jenni, I kind of just "eyeball" it when it comes to trim placement. It helps that by the 1860's, photography of common people in everyday clothing was normal so there are a lot of documented styles/trims. That helps give me an idea of scale for trims. Otherwise its trial and error. I've come to find out I really need BIGGER trim for full, long skirts - especially if they are worn over a cage. Smaller trim is better for nearer the face, like on a bodice. Sleeves can be in-between. I have no ideas of trims for other eras though. . .I think it will be a lifelong process to learn all about the trims and scale and placement for the other eras I like. I have to keep sewing. :)

    Mrs. G., yes, it IS loud isn't it? I thought of facing the cuff and center fronts and making a collar from a bright, contrasting color but figured the stripe is loud enough in itself. :P I plan on wearing it for a trial run today when we go to a Wildlife park. I have the undersleeves and collar on and the buttons/buttonholes on for closing the outer layer but will have to pin the lining shut for today since I'm out of hooks and need to pick up some more while I'm out. I haven't finished the lacey petticoat yet but will just wear it with a few plain white ones for now.

  10. Simply wonderful Sarah!! I's coming right along!! You do such amazing work!

  11. Simply wonderful Sarah!! I's coming right along!! You do such amazing work!

  12. Lovely! I adore the colors you chose. You look beautiful!!!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!