Gaping Armholes

Many of my wealthy clients travel all around the world and come back with some unusual items of clothing…some fitting and some not. Let’s get to the latest “not” garment. It is a completely embroidered vest of black velvet on a muslin backing fabric with a full lining. Here are the photos of the new darts needed:

In order to eliminate the gap I have to remove 1.75 inches in the thick embroidery and the lining with a dart in each layer and assemble the binding back together. Of course this involves making the armhole rounder after taking such a huge chunk out but the following photos show the progression. Be sure to click on the thumbnails for a larger view:

I removed the binding and made a paper template so each side would match. I used tailor tack threads to mark the dart before pinning and stitching.

Here are the darts pinned. They are both trimmed to 1/4 inch and split and flattened and then the binding is re-attached after the armhole is trimmed and curved. I had to open the hem edge to get inside to make all the side seams level and matched. What did I use to make the armhole curve?A very new cool tool called an SA curve ruler. This little puppy was designed for those who use patterns without seam allowances from Europe but if you are like me and spend hours copying old garments, this makes it fast to add a thick or thin seam allowance without a straight ruler trying to get curves just right. Have a look on the website and the video!

Here is another time consuming dilemma we face when making a new curve on the front section of a vest…the back does not match so something back there has to be re-drawn and trimmed after stitching. The side seams even gave me a challenge as they are sewn as a sandwich with the velvet between both linings. Makes you wonder why there is so much hanging out but my job is to get it back to the original stitch line so that is the goal. 

As a seamstress I get to see all sorts of shortcuts and crappy sewing so this just made me laugh….a pleat on the inside lining at the hem edge and the tiny little dots in the edge of the fabric on the outside…we all know what those are don’t we? Yes, the selvedge, so this vest back is cut crossgrain probably to save fabric but left to show…makes you wonder what she paid for this treasure.


So that’s all for out little trip to another faraway land and the garments that are produced for the tourist market…oh one last thing to mention, as I worked on this vest and handled the embroidered area all my fingers and fingernails were bright orange…the dye came right off on me. Who knows what happens the first/and maybe the only  time it is cleaned?

This entry was posted in challenges and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s