Marfy “Evergreen” Edition

The Marfy pattern books are published by Marfy Studio Stilistico in Ferrara, Italy. Each edition comes with a free, multi-sized pattern. The illustrations are detailed enough so that dressmakers and patternmakers can get ideas for their own projects.

Along with the exquisite illustrations, there are fabric recommendations. The color combinations are sometimes striking, other times subdued. There is something for every style preference. The illustrations include jewelry, shoes, hats, handbags that complete all the must know details to create your own version of the look.

I recently bought the “Evergreen” collection catalogue. It includes Marfy pattern illustrations from the past and the present. There is a wide variety of looks from evening wear to casual wear. Many outfits consist of skirts, slacks, blouses and a various styles of coats and jackets. The lines are simple which make for a look that will last beyond current trends.

Pat Perkins Everyday Dress, circa 1950s – Analysis


Further consideration of my plans for my next project is needed. The sketch of the chambray shirtwaist dress expresses my idea. However, the details I had envisioned must be changed.

I had planned on having in-seam buttonholes. I have been wanting to try this kind of buttonhole for a long time. I want to see how it will work on light to medium weight fabrics. As I thought about my shirtwaist dress I can see that having a seam along center front will cut into the middle gore of the skirt front. This will add extra weight and interfere with the flare. I plan a six gore skirt for the dress.

Possible solutions for new design details

I decided to analyze the construction details of a Pat Perkins everyday dress I bought on Etsy. Pat Perkins was the name of a dress manufacturer in the 1950s. They provided some of the dresses worn by actress Audrey Meadows in a popular sitcom, “The Honeymooners”.

I found the solution to keeping the flares of the skirt undisturbed. I will have to install a lapped zipper into the side seam. I will use the same treatment as used in the Pat Perkins dress. This means I can use in-seam buttonholes for the dress. However, the buttons will only be used on the bodice. Having a size zipper will provide the means for ease in putting the dress on or off.

Pat Perkins Everyday Dress circa 1950s

The dress has a fitted bodice with two vertical tucks on each side at the front. The short, unfitted sleeves have a self cuff that turns up from the inside. The collar is similar to a blouse collar and has very little stand. The back bodice has two very small tucks on each side.

The skirt i seven gores: 4 in front and 3 in back. There is a slight flare in each panel. The panel at center front has a seam. At the back there is no seam in the center skirt panel.

To make the dress easy to put on and off, there is about 3″ of style ease at the waist. The fit near the chest and bust has a little less style ease. This will help me adjust my pattern after using the sloper to trace the basic pattern.

The zipper is machine stitched into the left side seam. There is an underlap of fabric that provides body for the zipper and protects the wearer from feeling the zipper teeth. I plan to do the zipper application by hand and use a lightweight nylon zipper. The one in the original dress is metal.

The dress closes with self fabric button loops at center front. An underlap on the left side of the front bodice provides support.

The belt holes are not reinforced with any stitching. No eyelets were used. The buckle is covered with the fashion fabric. Narrow loops at the side seams are the only support to hold the belt in place. The backing has the stamp “Belt King”. I plan to use a belt kit and eyelets. At the side seams I usually use thread loops.

To lend a touch of support to the back of the dress a long facing is used as part of the collar treatment. I do not plan to use this neckline finishing since my dress will have a yoke.

The seams are not finished. No pinking, no edge stitching. The waistline seam is pressed down rather than up. The hem was turned twice and looks to be hand finished.

Standard Misses 8 and my Altered Customized Sloper


The basic fitting shell for the Misses Size 8 was draped. A toile was made twice each time refining the fit. When the basic Size 8 was turned into a sloper I then went on to customize it for myself.

Why not draft a custom made pattern?

I have been drafting patterns to my own measurements and have become very comfortable with the system I use. During the COVID-19 related furlough from my job this past Spring I decided it was time to take on a few challenges.

I am weak in the making of alterations. Since my dress form is a standard Misses 8, I decided to take on the challenges of draping and altering a Misses 8 for myself. I am between a Misses 6 and 8 for the bodice. For a skirt I am between a Misses 8 and 10.

I also have fitting challenges resulting from a small bustline, concave chestline and sloping shoulders. There were a few challenges I wanted to take up on the time I had to stay home from March until June 2020.

Working with Oaktag

The goal of using sloper was on my To Do list since 2018. The large roll of oaktag I bought from Steinlauf & Stoller moved with me from Brooklyn, NY to Linden, NJ waiting to be used. Being tightly rolled up for 2 years made it difficult to get into a workable state for making a sloper.

I had to roll the oaktag out on the floor and keep it in place with heavy books. I then cut the oak tag into length and width suitable to each pattern piece. To stop the curling I pressed each piece of oak tag by covering them with a thick towel. Then I used a steam iron to press flat.

The ends still curled so I laid the pressed oaktag pieces on top of each other onto the floor. The I piled heavy books evenly across them.

After two days the oak tag was flat enough. The pattern pieces were laid on top and the markings transferred. I cut out the darts because I want to try pivoting the pattern pieces to change the dart intake when working on transformations.

Finished Slopers

The white slopers are for the standard Misses Size 8. The green are mine. You can immediately see where my figure differs from the standard. I have to get a hole puncher. Then the hooks from which to hang the sloper pieces.

Bodice and Skirt Slopers. Misses Size 8 left. Size 8 altered to my figure on right.

Misses Size 8 unfitted sleeve on left. Sleeve adjusted to my figure on right.

Preliminary Sketch for New Project-Chambray Shirtwaist Dress


I always start a project with a sketch. It acts as a roadmap. Once a fitting toile is made, the style may take on further changes. It depends on the resulting drape and other details I may want to add. Right now, I am considering this shirtwaist dress with additional details. The most practical are pockets set into the side seam. A shirtwaist dress is a working garment so I see the pockets as important. They can hold my keys, some money or receipts when I have to go to the lobby for a delivery or am at the laundry. Yet I want this dress to have a feminine look. I might also go to meet a friend or pay a visit while out. In this case I think a bracelet and small earrings are good. Pretty buttons also add a feminine touch.

A fashion sketch starts with a croquis. Here is how I make one and the reasons why a croquis is important.

The process of creating a preliminary sketch

10 1/2 heads tall croquis.

The function of the croquis is to provide a foundation upon which to project one’s vision of the style. It helps create an awareness of the body contours under the garment. Croquis can be shaped as you please. I use the 10 1/2 heads size because I like working with the elongated silhouette. I have a preference for the early 20th century artist Erte and take some inspiration from his work. You can also have croquis more life-like as to size and proportion. It is a kind of interaction between a person and their vision that will determine the kind of croquis to use.

To save money for fabric and notions I use simple supplies available at the 99 cent stores or Dollar General. Number 2 pencils, white tissue paper used for gifts, tracing paper, erasers, coloring pencils, and white copy paper. The croquis is drawn on white copy paper.

First sketch. Tissue paper over croquis. Shoulder pads added.

For the first layer, I use white tissue paper. This saves the tracing paper for the final sketch. Here I have drawn in a shoulder pad. Since I have slightly sloping shoulders I plan to make custom sized shoulder pads as a corrective which ensures a better fit. The pads will be no more than 1/8″ high. Having the shoulder pads drawn in results in the next sketch better reflecting how the shoulderline, collar and sleeve will look.

First sketch on 2nd layer of tissue paper.

Another layer of tissue paper is placed on top. The garment details are sketched in. I like the look of a paper doll so I use a ruler to draw most seams and lines. The hairstyle, jewelry, accessories and shoes are added in this sketch. Design details like tucks, gathers, and so on are also added.

Completed preliminary sketch.

The tracing paper is placed on top of the previous layer. All the lines, angles and measurements of the sheet underneath are not traced. Only the finished lines and features meant to convey the garment and style sense. I take the tracing paper off and color in on the opposite side using coloring pencils.

Notes about inspirations for notions and other details are penciled in. Swatches of the chambray fabric and underlining cotton are also pinned to the sketch. The chambray is light enough to give a graceful drape to the gored skirt. Since it is slightly transparent, I want an underlining. It will also add just a little extra body to support the in-seam buttonholes and in-seam pockets.


Once the sketch is completed ideas start to come. I pencil these on the sketch and then search them out. Right now I am thinking that porcelain or clay buttons will go well on this dress. If I go with this choice I’d like the buttons to have a white background and delicate blue designs or a border. Another possibility are vintage glass buttons. So that the buttons remain the key visual element I would make the belt and buckle of the same fabric as the dress. The jewlery can be silver or white.

How to draft a Half Circle Skirt Pattern


See “How to Take Measurements” if you are using your personal measurements. You can also use the Standard Misses Size measurements provided here.

You can see the finished half circle skirt here.

Pattern Diagram

Half Circle Skirt pattern diagram.

Measurements Needed

Size Misses 4 measurements are used as an example.

  • Waist=23″
  • Front Skirt Length=24″ (40″-16″=24″)

    Calculate One Fourth of the Waist Measurement:
    1/4 of 23″=5 3/4″
  • Add to the measurement obtained:
    • 1 3/4″ in case of waist measurement from 22 to 26″
    • 2: in the case of waist measurement from 26 to 30″
    • 2 1/4″ in the case of waist measurement from 30 to 34″
    • 2 1/2″ in the case of waist measurement from 34 to 38″

For Misses Size 4 the waist measurement to use is 5 3/4″ + 1 3/4″=7 1/2″

Drafting the Half Circle Skirt Pattern

Make a Right Angle and apply on both sides the result obtained from adding the ease to one fourth of the waist measurement. For Misses size 4 that is 7 1/2″. Refer to pattern illustration. The 7 1/2″ down from the corner are points A-B and A-C.

From B following the A-B line, apply the measurement of the Front Skirt Length. (example, Misses Size 4=24″). Mark the Skirt Length as Point D. Points B-D become Center Front and Center Back of Skirt.

From C following the A-C line, apply in the same manner the measurement of the Front Skirt Length Mark the Skirt Length as Point E. Points C-E are Side Seams of Skirt.

Fold the skirt pattern in half by bring A-B-D over to A-C-E. Crease.

Fold the skirt pattern in another half. Crease.

Open the pattern. The three fold lines represent the rays of the pattern.

From A measure down the A-B distance along the other creases. Mark with a dot. See pattern illustration. Mark each dot F, G, H.

Join points B-F-G-H-C by means of a curve to get the curve of the waistline.

From Points F, G, and H measure down the skirt length along each crease. Mark with a dot. You will mark them I, J, K. Refer to pattern illustration.

Connect D-I-J-K-E for hemline curve.

Cut out the pattern. The grainline can be along B-D when placed on the fold for Center Front and Center Back.


I advise creating a fitting toile since you may need to adjust the waist at the side seams. Half Circle and Full Circle Skirts cut into the bias. The waistline may stretch a little.

To stabilize the waistline, stay stitch after cutting. Do not hang the skirt up until the waistline is finished with a facing or waistband. Then hang the skirt for 2 days or more so that the drape sets in.

A lapped side zipper is one of my favorite closures. It does not interfere with the drape and the flares.

How to draft a pattern for a gored skirt

Six Gore Skirt Drafting Instructions

Before drafting this skirt pattern please see How to Take Measurements. 

The measurements used in this pattern are for a Misses Size 4.  They are used to provide an example.  You will substitute your own measurements to draft your custom pattern.

The Flattering Qualities of a Gored Skirt

Gored skirts are flattering to all figure types, especially when the pattern is drafted to your own measurements.  This is because the pattern is drafted with a slight curve from waist to abdomen or waist to hipline.  After the slight curve, the line becomes straight and ends however many inches from the center of the skirt that you want.  The greater the width of the hemline the more flare and movement the gores will have.

The point at which the curve stops is best determined by your own hip and abdomen measurements.  In general these are the guidelines:

  • If your hips are larger than your abdomen let the flare start at the hipline.  If this is your body type, then you will use the measurement Waist to Hip line for points A-C.
  • If your abdomen is larger than your hip let the flare start at the abdomen.  In this case you will use the measurement Waist to Abdomen for Point A-C.
  • The Front Skirt Length used is completely up to you.  A length of 27-30” will give you a retro looking skirt reminiscent of the 1930s.  To achieve such an effect use the diagram for creating a Trumpet Skirt with flare starting at the hip line.

Style Ease to add to measurements

For a gored skirt add 1-2” of ease for the abdomen or hipline.  To the waist add about 1/2″ of ease.

Measurements (used for an example) for a Gored Skirt Pattern

Please see posting “How to take Measurements” if you want to use your personal measurements.  To use Standard Size measurements go to my posting with Standard Misses measurements for Sizes 4 through 20.

The measurements used here are for a Standard Size Misses 4.  They are used as an example.  Substitute another Standard Size or your personal measurements. 

  • Waist 24”+ 1/2″ ease=24 ½”
  • Abdomen Circumference 35”+1” ease=36”
  • Hip Circumference 36”+ 1” ease=37”
  • Waist to Abdomen 4”
  • Waist to Hip 8”
  • Front Skirt Length 28”

Drafting Instructions for a six gore skirt

You will be dividing the waist, abodomen or hip measurement by six.  If you want to create an 8 gore skirt you will then divide by 8.  If you’re up to it you can also create 10 or 12 gore skirts.  The number of gores you want will determine the number by which the waist and hip or abdomen are divided.

The diagrams show the completed skirt pattern when the pattern is cut and opened.  To draft we will need to draw only half the pattern.

Cut a sheet of pattern paper the front length of the skirt plus 5-6”.  The width should be about 20 inches.

6 gored skirt pattern

1.   Draw a vertical line equal to the Front Skirt Length.  Label A at the top and B at the bottom. 

2.   Fold the paper along the A-B line.  You will draft with the pattern paper fold on your right hand side and the paper towards your left hand side.

3.   From A mark down the length of Waist to Abdomen or the Waist to Hipline Measurement.  Dot this and mark as point C.

     For a Misses Size 4 skirt with flare from Abdomen Point C is 4” down from A.

     For a Messes Size 4 skirt with flare from Hipline Point C is 8” down from A.

4.   Take the Waist plus ease measurement and divide by the number of gores wanted.  In this sample pattern the Size 4 waist plus ease measurement is 24 1/2″.  So the calculation for a 6 gore skirt is 24 1/2″ divided by 6 equals 4.08”.  Round off to 4”. 

5.   Apply half of the amount derived from the calculation performed in Step 4 and measure out from Point A.  Label Point D.

6.   Take the Abdomen plus ease or Hipline plus ease measurement and divide by the number of gores.  For a trumpet skirt in Misses Size 4 the Hipline measurement will be used.  So the calculation is:

     Hipline plus ease is 37 divided by 6 equals 6.16.  Round off to 6”. 

7.   Apply half of the measurement obtained in Step 6 and draw a straight line from Point C.  Label Point F.

8.   Using the hip curve position the part with the slightest curve against points A and F.  Draw a very slight curve.  It should not be too pronounced of a curve but not a straight line either.

9.   Taking a tape measure, place the start of the tape measure at Point D, continue past Point F and from Point F straight down until the Front Skirt Measurement is reached.  Dot this as point H.

10.   Connect Point B to H with a slight curve. 

Trumpte skirt pattern.

12.   If you want a dramatic flare or are drafting the Trumpet Skirt pattern, measure out from Point H 1” or more.  The greater the amount you measure out the greater the flare will be at the hemline.  I find 1 to 1 1/2″ good enough.  Mark the new Point H and redraw the line from F to the new point H.

     Connect Point B  with the new Point H by a slight curve.

13.   Cut out the pattern and open it up.  The gored piece is now completed.  This represents one gore of the six gore skirt.  You will have to cut 6 pieces.  To make it simpler, fold the pattern piece again and cut two more pattern pieces if you like.

14.   1/2” seam allowances are added when the fabric is cut. 

IMPORTANT:  I strongly advise making a muslin to test the fit and amount of ease.  This will save you so much effort once the fashion fabric is cut.

Grainline for this pattern

The vertical A-B line can be used as the lengthwise grain line.

How to Take Measurements

When taking measurements, hold the tape measure with one hand inside, against the body. This will allow a slight amount of ease. The fitting sloper is very close to the body in order to achieve the best assessment of the fit. It also shows if the measurements are accurate or need adjusting. Style ease is added to key measurements once a pattern for a particular style is created. The basic fitting sloper is the mother of all creations. From the basic all your creations will be derived. Some patterns like a half circle or gored skirt do not require so many measurements. These styles are a good start for a pattern drafting.

Photo 1
    Place the tape around the back, under the arm and above the bust.
    Around the fullest part of the bust.
    About 3-4″ below the bust.
    Around the waist.
    Around the fullest part of the abdomen, approximately 4: below the waist.
  • WAIST TO ABDOMEN: photo 1F
    From the waist to the circumference of the abdomen, usually 4″ to 5″.
    Please note a correction: 1G should be same level as 1H. I made a mistake in labelling the photo.
    Around the fullest part of the hip. Note: I have found it varies with figure type. It can be 7 to 9″ below the waistline.
  • WAIST TO HIP: photo 1H
    Measure the distance from waist to hip.
Photo 2
  • SHOULDER WIDTH: photo 2A-D
    From the side of the neck to the tip of the shoulder.
    On the side of the neck from a point where the shoulder begins, to the bust point.
    From the same point as used in the previous measurement, continue with the tape over the bust, adjusting it to the figure down to the waist.
Photo 3
  • NECKLINE: photo 3A-B
    From the first vertebra following the shape of the neck to the place the seam shoulder begins and then to center front.
Photo 4
    From the point where the arm begins to the same point on the other arm in the front.
    Take the distance between the two breast points.
Photo 5
    From the first vertebra down, along the back, to the waistline.
  • CROSS BACK WIDTH: photo 5G-H
    In the back, from the point where the arm begins, to the same point on the other arm.
Photo 6
  • FRONT BODICE LENGTH: 6A-C is the side view of measurement given in 2A-C.
    From the front edge of the shoulder pull the tape tightly down to the waistline.
    From the back edge of the shoulder pull the tape tightly down to the waistline.
Photo 7
  • Please note that in real life the measurements in this section must be taken with the arm bent so that the hand rests on the hip. This way of measuring the arm provides room for movement.
  • ARM LENGTH: photo 7C-d-E
    From the tip of the shoulder to the wrist.
  • UPPER ARM WIDTH: photo 7A
    Take measurement at widest point of arm. Also called Biceps Level.
  • ELBOW WIDTH: photo 7B
    Around the elbow with arm bent.
  • WRIST WIDTH: photo 7E
    Around the wrist.
Photo 8
    Length from waist to floor at Center Front when wearing the kinds of shoes the outfit will be worn with.
Photo 9
    Length from waist to floor at point where side seam of skirt will be when wearing the kinds of shoes the outfit will be worn with.
Photo 10
    Length from waist to floor at Center Back when wearing the kinds of shoes the outfit will be worn with.

Spring!: My recreation of a Vintage Blouse


I purchased an early 1960s blouse by the Tropicana company during the furlough from my job due to COVID-19 this past Spring. The blouse provided a fun challenge to me during those days at home. I decided to renew my skills in draping and recreate as much as possible the blouse. As happens, the blouse was not enough. I decided to make a denim skirt to go with the Tropicana blouse and my own version of it.

My recreation was draped on a Standard Misses size 8 form. The resulting pattern was then altered to address my own fitting needs.

The original Tropicana blouse has slits that open from below the waistline.. The skirt and blouse are worn over a white full-slip. The slip provides an extra layer under the lightweight fabric of the blouse. Without a slip or cami, one’s bra will be visible.

The original skirt was altered from a Misses 8 to fit my skirt size which is between a Misses 8 and Misses 10. I have pinned it to better fit the form.

I do not pose for photos in my finished garments. The reason is to keep attention on how I created the look. I want any reader to review my content and consider if these same style elements can be applied to creating a similar style expression for themself.

Comparison: Vintage Original and My Reproduction

An unusual detail of the original blouse are the buttonholes at the back. The first buttonhole is horizontal, the rest are vertical. I duplicated this in my reproduction. The reason the first buttonhole is horizontal may be to ensure this stress point remains closed. The neckline of the original is quite close to the neck. I scooped my version a little more to make the blouse more comfortable. Perhaps the vintage blouse was meant to be worn with a short string of pearls or a necklace on a short chain. I opted for comfort.

Finishing Details

A narrow merrow-type of stitching finished the edges of the hem, seams and facing. I got fancy with my version of the blouse. I used a pink flexi-lace to finish the hems and facing of the blouse. Seams were straight stitched, then zig-zagged together and pressed towards the back.

Little Details

The original and my reproduction have a vertical tuck that ends 1″ below the apex of the bust and about 2″ up from the hem. At the 2″ mark the tuck ends and the slit begins. A bias cut strip of fabric is sewn, turned right side out and hand sewn above the opening of the slit. It is them tied into a bow.

A side bust dart, about 2″ down from the armhole, provides slight shaping in the original. My reproduction goes straight down from that point.

Skirt Details

The skirt is a medium weight denim by Kauffman. I made a kickpleat for the back and draped for a relaxed fit. The denim shreds so seams were finished by straight stitching 1/4 ” in from the edge and then pinking. The hem and edges of the kickpleat were finished with navy blue flexi-lace hem tape. The kickpleat is held in place by small inverted “v” shaped stitching at the beginning of the pleat.

Jewelry and Shoes

Spring into Summer gets humid here in the Tri-State area (NY-NJ-CT) so keeping things simple with jewelry and accessories is important. I chose to work with gold jewelry since there are golden circles that are part of the pattern on the blouse fabric. The tiny heart charm has a diamond chip at the center of an 8 pointed star. The pattern of the blouse does not necessitate a necklace but I’d wear one anyway. The golden bangle was my Moms and my Grandmother wore hoop earrings similar to the ones I chose to complete the look.

Beige sling back shoes help the leg look longer since the eye is drawn upward. The bonus is that these shoes are also one of my choices for the denim chambray dress I intend to make as my next project after completing the basic fitting toile in progress now.

Draping: Pin fitting the First Pattern


Pin fitting as illustrated in the 1931 Butterick book, “Paris Frocks at Home”. Published in New York.

I use the modern draping system created by Hilda Jaffe and Nurie Relis in their book “Draping for Fashion Design”. It is one of the better books on the subject for me. I am always satisfied with the fit that results from their technique. I also add in some vintage fitting and sewing techniques to my design and sewing repetoire when they enhance efficiency. Pin fitting is one of these techniques.

Pin fitting is not presented in the modern sewing and design books in my Dressmaker’s Library. It is, however, commonly featured in the vintage sewing and pattern drafting books that are also in my library at home.

Pin fitting from “Weldons Encyclopedia of Needlework”, published in London. No date given.

While it is not a substitute for sewing and fitting a completed muslin toile, it is a quick and efficient way to test the accuracy of darts, seam placements and other pattern details. I find the pin fitting process a great way to spot check the development of a completed drape and subsequent transfer to a first paper pattern.

The Initial Drape

The photos used in this section are those of the basic fitting toile after the dots and Xs of each draped piece have been connected using pencils and rulers.

Update 10-4-20: Please see my posting Draping: Placement and Length of Darts concerning corrections made to the darts shown in the photos of the first toile you see here.

Initial drape of the basic fitted front and back bodice.

A half toile of the basic muslin fitting toile is draped on the dress form. Markings are made lightly in pencil. Once all pieces have been pinned and marked the drape is removed and pressed. Draping is not always precise in the way flat patternmaking is. Th vertical dart on the front bodice needed straightening and redrawing.

The basic fitted sleeve is first drafted as a flat pattern to save time as draping a sleeve is only for those with advanced skills and experience. The resulting sleeve is cut in muslin and the dart or darts are draped in place on an arm fitted to the dress form.

The dots and X’s used to mark the drape are then connected using French Curve, L-Square and straight rulers. An Armhole/Hip Curve ruler is also used. Pattern pieces are measured to ensure back and front side seams are the same length. Armhole curves and hip curves are also checked for a smooth flowing line in each piece.

Basic fitting toile skirt, front and back. Hips lines and hemlines are matched to check placement.

Each piece of the muslin drape is now pinned to the pattern paper. A special tracing wheel is used to transfer the markings to pattern paper. The tracing wheel is very sharp and leaves a discernible outline after the muslin is removed. Rulers and pencils are used again to connect and make the markings more easy to see.

Pin Fitting the First Pattern

The photos used here are those of the paper pattern created by transferring the muslin pattern to pattern paper.

Initial pin fitting of the basic fitting toile front bodice and skirt. The dart lines and seams are checked.

This is the point where I use pin fitting to do a quick spot check for darts and side seams. Each pattern piece is pinned along the darts and then pinned to the form. I check to make sure the darts line up and end where they are supposed to.

Pin fitting of the basic fitting toile bodice back and skirt back.

Sometimes even a quick check through pin fitting will show that there is a need to add a fraction of an inch (or slightly more) to side seams. At other times, an adjustment to the dart apex line might be needed. This happens because sometimes during draping the muslin may have been pinned a little too tightly. At other times it may have had too much ease added. In which case the paper pattern may go beyond the side seam or place it is supposed to be.

It is good to check the pin fitted pattern from a distance to make sure the chest, bust, and hip lines are even.

I make the needed adjustments to the first paper pattern. Then each piece is measured again at side seams, bust dart, back darts and other check points.

The pin fitting of the paper pattern at this stage has saved me the time that would have been spent making corrections to the first muslin had the needed minor adjustments been overlooked.

The pattern is now ready to be cut as a full muslin and tested for fitting on the form.

How to hem a nylon and lace full slip

The easiest way to hem a full slip is by creating a tuck near the bottom. Even when the result is a deep tuck it will not ruin the look of the slip. The extra weight at the hem makes the slip hang better.

My reason for preferring to make a tuck is because my sewing machine only has very basic stitches. There are few stitches whether multi-zigzag or blind hemming that work well with the delicate, stretchy nylon of the slips I purchase.

I do not recommend cutting away the extra length unless you do have those stretch stitches or a merrow machine to finish the edges. When the slip has hemline lace you could use the stretch stitches by overlaying the lace on the right side of the slip, about 1/8 to 1/4″ above the new hemline. If you do not have such stitches and prefer to hand sew here is one way to do it.

  1. From 1/8 to 1/4″ above the hemline lace on the right side, measure up the depth of the amount needed to raise the hemline. Mark with white, clay chalk.
  2. Pick up along the 1/8 to 1/4″ line above the hemline lace and bring up to the chalk marked line.
  3. Use fine, long silk pins to pin the hem in place.
  4. Thread a long, fine hand sewing needle with a single strand of cotton basting thread conditioned by passing through a dryer strip. I find a #10 sharp works well. Experiment to find the best needle for your own hemming.
  5. Baste the hem in place along the folded line. Remove the pins.
  6. Pass a long strand of poly-cotton sewing thread through beeswax to coat and prevent tangling. Use it as a single strand with a the same sharp, long hand sewing needled you used in Step 4.
  7. Use a very tiny running stitch all around the tuck. This line should be about 1/8″ down from the tuck.
  8. Make a second line of tiny running stitches about 1/4-3/4″ below the first line of stitches.
  9. The running stitch should not be too tight to prevent puckering. If you hand wash and line dry the slip the stitches remain stable and will not break.
  10. They hold up to machine washing, too, if the slip is washed in a lingerie bag during a delicate cycle.