Why Do Plackets Hate Me?

I’ve made progress today. The sleeves are on the bodice. My big ol’ upper arms are comfortable in them and they don’t bind at all. I’ll post more dress photos tomorrow. But mostly I’ve spent a good deal of time today with the skirt’s center back placket…more than I’d like.

I don’t know why plackets drive me nuts, but they do. It’s not like they’re intellectually confusing or hard to understand. I’ve done them before although, admittedly, it’s been a while since I last tackled one. And that’s probably because they never come out looking good. Never. Setting in sleeves is a dream. I can do them in my sleep. And I’d rather tackle a dozen sleeves in black fabric, using black thread, at night…rather that than mess with a single placket.

The first time through was completely my error. I had a moment of visual confusion and cut the placket with the stripes running horizontally. The stripes on the skirt run vertically. As a result, the back would have ended up looking like a confusion of peppermint sticks. Fortunately, I caught it early and little harm was done other than loss of some time.

Second time around I oriented the stripes correctly and went through the application step by step. Slowly. Carefully. I reinforced the pivot point. I clipped with caution. And I still ended up with a pucker. Perhaps I should have clipped it more deeply? It’s such a silly thing, but it annoys me to no end.

At this point, my solution will be to carry my picnic basket behind me, hope my shawl is long enough, and spend a lot of time sitting beneath my parasol.


HSM #8: A Fashion Crisis is Afoot.

This deadline is starting to unnerve me. I’m feeling it creep down my neck like an errant spider. The odd thing is that there isn’t really that much to do…this isn’t a horribly complicated pattern and there is enough time to get it done – especially since I’m skipping French class today for the extra three hours of sewing time I’ll gain.

This morning’s e-mail contained instructions for Saturday’s event – 6 pages’ worth!! Directions, maps, schedules, instructions. Whens, wheres, hows and whos. Yesterday it occurred to me that by going as a SITU-Seattle member in Edwardian costume, my role becomes one of “local color.” I’ll be a bit part player on a well-manicured stage. There will be photographers and, since this is an annual fundraiser for the Gardens, the press will be there, too.

That’s all well and good, and I’m happy to help Dunn Gardens with their fundraiser. But I think I”m feeling more pressure than usual to “get it right” this time around.

I’ve been going through a mental list of what I need to wear and to bring. Late Monday night I realized I have a bit of a shoe crisis. I don’t have really correct Edwardian shoes. I can’t afford to run out and buy anything, so I need to work with what I already have.

This shoe thing is using up brain cells I need to finish the dress, so I’d appreciate some help. Here are the contenders – which do you favor for the job? I could probable sneak a second pair in my big picnic basket and change discreetly, if needed. The light is bad again today and I can’t get this first pair to show any detail, so please excuse the crummy images. I’m showing a lot of them, in case that helps you see the details.


A pair of vintage-ish lace-up, wing-tip oxfords. They are black and aren’t comfortable for a long day on my feet, but I can always spread a blanket and “strike a pose” on the lawn whilst picnicking, chatting, reading or hand sewing for an upcoming HSM challenge.


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My pair of Wolkys, also black, which are completely modern but are great for long days.


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A pair of cheapo white flats I bought for “Regency” wear until I can afford better.


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And, come to think of it, I also have a pair of Regency style Nankeen boots from American Duchess.


Whatever I end up choosing, they’ll be mostly hidden under a long skirt. The toes will peep out when I walk and part of the shoes will probably show when I sit. I’m hesitant to go with flats, though, because the dress will be hemmed for wear with heels. And it’s primarily that, along with style issues, that keeps bringing me back to the black oxfords. Should I just give it up and go with them? Aargh!