22 April 2013

The Crazy Brown Gown: Tackling that Pucker Problem

Remember the puckering problem on the crazy brown gown? The gown closes not with pins or a stomacher, it's front lacing (even though it has robings)--which caused an ugly pucker. 

A detailed image of the pucker problem, courtesy Kitty Calash.

It's all straightened out now...
Good-bye pucker!

I added two boning channels, one on each side of the eyelets to add strength.

I sewed the boning channel on top of the lining.

I'm pretty sure that the NHS gown doesn't have boning at this spot. When I initially made the gown, instead of trimming the excess fabric so it meets perfectly in the middle for the center front closing, I tucked in the fabric. There are two layers of linen and two layers of fashion fabric supporting the eyelets. You can faintly see the outline of the linen below.

One would think that four layers of fabric would be enough to minimize puckering, but it wasn't.

The downside of adding the boning channel is that it's visible from the front--but it's better than the pucker problem.

Lastly I wanted to share my new found favorite thread brand: Mettler. I discovered this cotton thread at my local quilting store and found that it was wonderful for hand sewing.


  1. NHS confused the hell out of me - I thought you were on about hospials - but looking at the gown it does look a little puckered to me

    1. NHS is the organization that owns the extant gown that my reproduction is based upon, sorry if that wasn't clear. :)

  2. Oh! So much to like here! Your solution is not only practical, it's beautiful too (such lovely hand stitching--from the front it looks like a decorative element) and you get to feature the beautifully hand bound eyelets. BRAVO! Now, zip forward tote mad mad world of sewing for outdoor Shakespeare (aptly, since it's his celebrated b-day) ... I am making corsets with eyelets for spiral lacing, but I need a tutorial on how to lace them, as I'm still doing it the old way. As in the old "wench bring me a flagon of cheap ale" days lacing. Do you have any suggestions of where I should go to look at an image to clarify it?
    Thanks a bunch!
    Auntie Nan

    1. Hi Auntie Nan, Thank you for your kind words! Here are three possible resources to help with your search for proper spiral lacing:

      1) Crazy Concord Chicks Blog - Collen's comment regarding lacing the baby stays I had made my daughter offers a detailed explanation about lacing.

      2) Stay-ing Alive - This post from Abbey's blog includes a bit about lacing up and fitting stays.

      3) Lastly I would suggest surfing around Hallie's stays blog for primary sources: http://18thcstays.blogspot.com/

      I hope that's a little helpful, best of luck!

    2. Thanks! The little baby stays are amazing, and soooo cute on her!


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