Irene’s Drawers

Even compared to the chemise, which was no walk in the park, making Irene’s drawers yesterday (again from Simplicity 2890) was just awful.

I started improvising right away. Using a thinner lace than recommended was, I think, the right choice; it matched the fabric much better. Honestly I’m not sure how they intended the hem to work, but I think folding it over itself to hide the ragged edge worked nicely. Though I did end up using a zigzag stitch for the first time in ages to get it to adhere properly and still missed a spot. Actually, the zigzag stitch was a lot more compatible with the fabric as far as preventing inadvertent gathers, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate to use throughout the construction process.

I ended up making three tucks at the bottom of each pant leg instead of five because (surprise) I didn’t mark my folding lines and I thought I’d reached the point in the curve where one should stop making tucks anyway. I think I could have done more, but they didn’t come out very well so I don’t mind not having continued.

Putting the inside seam into each leg went fairly smoothly, but I seem to have made two right legs, because when you line them up the seam goes to the front for one and the back for the other. Of course this may trace back as far as choosing which side to put the lace on… Ah, well, no one will see. Of course it was at this point as well that I realized the instructions called for hemming the crotch seam before putting in the inside seams.

And then I charged on ahead with stitching the two legs together before it became clear that there was only supposed to be a very short seam…leaving the rather practical opening that I’d previously read was extant during the Regency but hadn’t realized carried through to the 1860s. So at least this piece will carry over to that other costume.

I barely remembered to gather the waistline, but at least I thought the waistband went together pretty nicely. Its facing did, too. Then I tried attaching the waistband to the facing. They immediately failed to line up. As I started putting the waistband onto the waistline, I oriented it wrong; ripped stitches (only a few!); started over. I stitched from the center front, which worked nicely on the “right” side, but then when I got to the wrong side, the fabric just would not cooperate! Now granted, I wasn’t pinning, I probably went too fast, and all that jazz, but I’d be willing to be that it was the flimsiness of the fabric that was my downfall.

Irene’s very sheer drawers! Probably worth rebuilding in a lightweight cotton or linen someday…

Of course the two sides of the waistband didn’t line up either (it’s supposed to come to a point at the center front, not that you can tell). Overall, the waistband certainly achieves the requirement of being functional, but it isn’t lay prettily flat while it does it. It didn’t feel worth it to put the extra seams along the finished waistband, and I used a hook and eye instead of a button to close it at the back. I’d call the darn thing done!