Gore-y business

Making, Pictures, Queries, Resources

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Maerwynn
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:16 am
Location: On the left panel of the triptych

Gore-y business

Postby Maerwynn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:02 pm

I have two queries about gores in skirts, both raised by problems I've had making my second Saxon overdress. This thing has four gores, two at the sides, and two let into the main body panels of the dress. It's all hand sewn.

Firstly, is there a clever way of getting a neat finish at the top of the gores in the middle the panels of the skirt? I can do the sides neatly, where the back, front and gore join, but had to settle for a (neat) bodge for the other two.

Secondly, I noticed that when I was sewing in all four gores, they always ended up lop-sided. I made very sure I cut the gores on the grain, and yet, having seamed the first long side in, the second long side is always longer, hanging below the bottom of the body panel. Am I stretching the cloth in some way? I can't work it out. (If this sounds wierd, then it's just me, and I need to improve! But if other people get this, then someone clever out there might have found a solution...)

Nearly, nearly, nearly, nearly finished now! I'll try to post a piccie when it's complete.

Thank you all

Maerwynn


FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC

User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:48 pm

first, they're also known as v inserts if you need to try to track them down in sewing books.

but the correct (I wouldn't say easy) way to do them is to stitch along one side, to the what will be the end of the stitching - you can do it by machine or by hand - then sniip the slased piece (it the main part of the dress) with some sharp pointed scissors or snips, as close as you reasonably can to the stitching, and turn the corner.

the b*tch is that it just takes practise - there isn't a cheat if you do it properly.

that said, being crap at them, having spent a whole week and a bit of practical classes at college being trained in them, and still being crap at them, the cheat I use is this:

fold over the seam allowance of the slash, and pin it. then pin in the gore, starting at the top of the point, and working down one side to the hem. then pin in the other side. then check that the top is straight, not of at an angle - re pin it if needed to eliminate the wonkiness - then topstitch it by hand. if the fabric is linen, or anything else that frays lots, bind the seam with a strip of linen.

it takes a bit longer, and irritatingly, you have to do the pinning for it to work (normally I don't pin). but if you're as bad at v inserts as me, it works wonderfully.

it also helps if you've cut the gores a little longer than needed, then trim them once they're stitched in.


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."
Miss Piggy
RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Maerwynn
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:16 am
Location: On the left panel of the triptych

Postby Maerwynn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:37 pm

Thank you, Tuppence! It's a relief to find that v inserts are genuinely tricky, and it's not just me being a numpty.

I think I nearly did it the official way the first time. The bit where it all went wrong was the bit immediately after turning the corner. I just couldn't get the seam material to lie inside the line of stitching (I know what I mean...)

I've ended up topstitching the thing, as it is, but I see I'm in good company - phew!

Maerwynn


FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC

User avatar
calicocloth
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:39 pm
Location: Lincoln
Contact:

Postby calicocloth » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:48 pm

I have been looking at the archaeological evidence for the Saxon and Medieval periods and have noticed that when gores are interted they always (if possible) match a straight grain with a bias cut. It stops seams stretching and creates an interesting fall to the garment which differs from the modern aesthetic. I have also noticed that when the fabric is cut to insert a gore, it never looks especially sharp at the topmost point. I don't think that they found easy either!



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:49 pm

when you get taught to do them you're always taught to match a straight edge against the bias - stabilises the fabric.

I just couldn't get the seam material to lie inside the line of stitching (I know what I mean...)


that's the hard bit

and it's not just you - most of my course had problems with them, and that was degree level!!!


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
DeviantShrub
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:37 am
Location: Bree

Postby DeviantShrub » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:55 am

It's really encouraging, if that's the right word, to know that you struggle as well Debs!

I can't get gores in without top-stitching and even that has taken a while to look passable. Lots of trial and error and then some more error seems to be involved in my sewing techniques. :oops:



User avatar
Biro
Post Centurion
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:10 pm
Location: North-East

Postby Biro » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:32 am

Erk.

I'll be trying this over the next few weeks... Suddenly I feel worried..

I'm taking the advise of the missus and trying to do a trial run on an old sheet rather than running straight in to botching it on the expensive stuff.



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:52 am

and as for inserts in aything with french or felled seams

I just don't even bother trying!


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Maerwynn
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:16 am
Location: On the left panel of the triptych

Postby Maerwynn » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:43 pm

and as for inserts in aything with french or felled seams

I just don't even bother trying!


:shock: Mine's felled. All of it. You mean I am making it harder for myself? :evil: :evil:

Maerwynn


FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC

User avatar
Drachelis
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:29 am
Location: SW Wales
Contact:

Postby Drachelis » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:59 pm

I just about manage with french seams -I stich one side of the seam up to the point before stitiching the side seam and then treat the other side and the side seam as a single seam - most times it comes right although it can be a swine if you need to unpick.

Setting in to an unseamed piece of fabric -no can do with french

Mind you all can be achieved when you have found the right combination of swear words to frighten the fabric into compling with your wishes. - I am still searching in some cases.


Cherry
Shadowlight Designs



User avatar
Biro
Post Centurion
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:10 pm
Location: North-East

Postby Biro » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:33 pm

Drachelis wrote:Mind you all can be achieved when you have found the right combination of swear words to frighten the fabric into compling with your wishes. - I am still searching in some cases.


rofl :lol:



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:50 pm

Mine's felled. All of it. You mean I am making it harder for myself?


you can if you top stitch it then turn the seam allowance over - I meant I don't even bother trying to do it the proper way.

sorry if scared you :D and felling is easier to do that way than french seams (which are a cheat anyway, cos they're strictly not right :oops: )

setting a gore between two seams is easy - you just stitch it to one side with a french or felled seam, and treat the edge of the gore, plus whatever side's left as the new edge - it's the v insert kind that's the problem.

Setting in to an unseamed piece of fabric -no can do with french


thing is it's possible - I've seen it done.

just have no idea on earth how to replicate it.
horrid sewing teacher - far too good - the two hours I just spent overlocking would have taken her about ten minutes - horrid woman - wanders off muttering and kicking things.......


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

ada-anne
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:05 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Postby ada-anne » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:09 pm

I've always thought that if you start at one hem the gore is more likely to go wonky? What I usually do is pin and hand stitch the top 2 inches or so - it always takes several times pinning, but it's only 3 pins to keep moving - and then once that is sorted I can quickly sew or machine down the long sides. The top is often a bit bodgy, but as calicocloth says, the originals are never perfect either.



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:27 am

nope - the wonkiness is generally just not doing it properly. starting at one hem is how it's meant to be done (at least in modern sewing).

I think it just takes years of doing v inserts and nothing else.


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

katiepoppycat
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Postby katiepoppycat » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:28 am

I'm strictly an amateur with no experience prior to starting medieval re-enactment . . i got hte tailors assistant and was a bit scared by it so for kirtles I've been using sally's pattern which i find works a dream. I don't know if I'm cutting v-inserts on the bias or not, but everything seems to be holding together okay. It seemed logical to me to pin the gores in and stitch from the top down to the bottom, treating each side of the gore as a different seam. I usually make the gore a bit too big as previously recommended so i can tidy it up afterwards. I have 1 unlined linen kirtle that has held together for 2 seasons which includes regular machine washing, plus i've just made a wool one for the new season. The wool one I felled. It's a bit choppy around the gores but nothing disastrous. Perhaps this is a case of something being easier to do if you don't realise how you're really supposed to be doing it?!



User avatar
Alice the Huswyf
Post Knight
Posts: 1308
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Please do not distract the exhibit

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:35 am

I now find gores and V inserts fairly easy, I can bang 'em in fairly quickly most of the time, often without unless on a very thick or very thin fabric and the results are good. But reading the above piece, I can see several major technical mistakes I am making according to the books.

- I can only insert gores from one direction (and forget which direction),
- they always need trimming on the return hem and after turning the top corner
- and I do an arrowhead point reinforcement and I didn't know about slashing (still unsure where or what) hence need for point reinforcement with the gore selvedges.

THE POINT BEING if you don't try, you won't struggle through the first one or two and you'll never get the hang of ANY method - I have learnt most things by getting in too deep and not realising it until after I had solved the problem!



User avatar
Alice the Huswyf
Post Knight
Posts: 1308
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Please do not distract the exhibit

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:36 am

I now find gores and V inserts fairly easy, I can bang 'em in fairly quickly most of the time, often without unless on a very thick or very thin fabric and the results are good. But reading the above piece, I can see several major technical mistakes I am making according to the books.

- I can only insert gores from one direction (and forget which direction),
- they always need trimming on the return hem and after turning the top corner
- and I do an arrowhead point reinforcement and I didn't know about slashing (still unsure where or what) hence need for point reinforcement with the gore selvedges.

THE POINT BEING if you don't try, you won't struggle through the first one or two and you'll never get the hang of ANY method - I have learnt most things by getting in too deep and not realising it until after I had solved the problem!



frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:25 am

The wonkiness could be due to you sewing the gore in, up and down. Try sewing from the point to the hem one side, then from the point to the hem on the other side. Then, any stretch due to the cut being on the bias will be the same on both sides.

I use my trial run as underwear, so noone can see the awful botch-up I made. And I still have not conquered it. Someone told me that the only way to do it is by hand, as it was done by hand in them days. But since we now know that they also could not always get it right ... we are in good company!!



User avatar
she2dd5
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:53 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire

Postby she2dd5 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:32 pm

I tend to sew mine in from the point down. It is reassuring to know that even the experts seem to have problems. I always assume it is just my lack of skill and the fact that I'm usually in a hurry to finish stuff so don't take quite as much care as perhaps I ought.


Harpers spend half their time tuning up and the other half playing out of tune.

frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:57 pm

Now if we had been sewing such things since the age of 5, then we would have no excuse not to get these details correct. But since we are 21st century people, we have a built-in disadvantage.

I can only put in under-arm gussets by hand. I have to sew up all the seams, then unpick them under the arm to put in the square. I have done it quite a few times and this is the only way I can manage it. But then there is noone to watche me as I do it.



User avatar
Neibelungen
Post Centurion
Posts: 522
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:56 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Postby Neibelungen » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:58 pm

I don't think that sewing from the age of five onwards is really the point. All it takes is a certain aptitude and a desire to persevere and practice.

Almost any skill can be picked up in a couple of months and a degree of proficiency attained within a couple of years. A tailors apprenticeship in Savile Row is only rated at 7 years and that's for there standard for bespoke suiting.

All it really takes is practice, a little patience and perseverence, and maybe asking a few questions, but not starting from an early age isn't. After all, I very much doubt there were premade patterns, sewing books and manuals available then. Most of it was learnt by doing, and passed down information. And thaw only learnt from the same sources too

And to be honest, if you look at the inside of surviving tudor and 18th C clothing, it's pretty horrendous as to quality in a lot of cases. What's different, is that they spent their time in the visible stitching and the heavily laundered clothing. Today people don't have the patience (or perhaps the time) to learn how to work towards that.

Perhaps our 21st century disadvantage is not lack of experience with sewing, but that we think of it in terms of modern sewing. ie. graded patterns, tape measures and affordable materials. Lining made up seperately and put in, fittings in calico/toiles etc.

Beau Brumel's revolution in fashion, wasn't in design and style, but more that he expected it to fit.



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:18 am

a desire to persevere and practice.


but that's not really the point either - with some things you either can or you can't.
it's as simple as that.
if you can you'll get it eventually, if you can't you won't, no matter how long you persevere.

Now if we had been sewing such things since the age of 5, then we would have no excuse not to get these details correct.


:oops: except I kind of have been. longer than that if honest.....

but I can do it by hand with absolutely no problem, because that's where my true skills, talents, and preferences lie. don't get me wrong, I can machine to a pro standard - but compared to my hand stitching, my machining is awful :oops:

Beau Brumel's revolution in fashion, wasn't in design and style, but more that he expected it to fit.


actually it was that he expected the clothes to fit his body, rather than the other way round. (ie he didn't want his body stance to be dictated and moulded by the clothing.)

but as this is about how to make v inserts into a medieval dress, beau brummel has no relevence to the question.


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Neibelungen
Post Centurion
Posts: 522
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:56 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Postby Neibelungen » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:49 am

[url]Quote:
a desire to persevere and practice.


but that's not really the point either - with some things you either can or you can't.
it's as simple as that. [/url]

I did say a certain aptitude. However all skill have to be learnt from nothing. I don't think they have found a gene for sewing yet. :wink:

While Beau Brumel was a bit off topic, it relates to the fact that our expectation of sewing, cut, fit and finishing are modern rather than period.

Wonky seams and trimming because of distortion are part and parcel of historical clothes.

I never touched a needle until I was 25 and nobody in my family sews, but taught myself goldwork from scratch without any assistance.

Image



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:20 pm

goldwork is relatively easy though once you get the hang of it :wink: .

thing is, it's all relative - take a look at a modern mass market piece, and compared to a full blown couture piece, the finish is terrible.

likewise if you look inside a garment (couture or not) - the standard drops, cos you can't see it - like you get taught only to finish seams if they're on show, but not if they're hidden under a lining, (a rule I quite often break :D ).

it was no different then, and of course, most of the work that's left is very high quality.


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Shadowcat
Post Centurion
Posts: 597
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:03 am
Location: London

Postby Shadowcat » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:19 pm

I have two genuine Worth bodices, one from the early 1860's, the other from the 1890's. The early piece, when Worth himself was in charge, is beautifully finished inside and out. The later piece, probably under the supervision of Worth junior, is badly finished, and I wouldn't sell it to a customer. (There is a very nearly identical bodice in a museum in Boston U.S.A.)

So just because something was couture made, and high status, didn't necessarily make it well made!

s.



guthrie
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2349
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Polmont-Edinburgh

Postby guthrie » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:23 pm

OK, here's a question for you all.

When I was making my circa 1300 tunic a couple of years ago, I was uncertain how to finish off the lower edge. I ended up folding the excess woll up and sewing it in place, such that when I am wearing the tunic the lower edge is basically all on one level, whereas if I had not done that it would, thanks to the gores, have had bits hanging down further than the rest of the tunic, so the bottom edge would have been very wavy.

Is what i have done the right way to do it?



frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:36 pm

Neibelungen, I only agree with you in part. In them days little girls would have been taught to sew and knit and weave, dye etc when they were small by their relatives. After that there were the sewing or straw-plaiting or lace-making or whatever skill-schools that little children were sent to to learn the local craft-skill. All had to learn to do these things to perfection whether or not they had an aptitude. (Did you know that Portsmouth became a centre for corset-making when the navy set up there. Women were left behind and had to do something to earn a living until their men came home, if ever.) In Victorian times all little girls had to complete the full range of household sewing samplers, whether or not htey had an aptitude, liked it or hated it. Think of Dickens and the ink-making he had to do when young.

These days things are very different. Personal development reigns supreme and noone is forced to learn these skills. People do them because they discover them and then realise that they want to learn the skills. For all I know I may have the aptitude to make cannon, but I have never been to cannon-making school, so do not know.

So, by accident very often, our historic skills are kept alive. Most of us have fallen into doing what we do, thank goodness, and enjoy it too. Lucky us.



User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:16 am

So just because something was couture made, and high status, didn't necessarily make it well made!


true, but generally speaking, couture is the top level, which is how they get away with charging a small (or not so small) fortune.

Is what i have done the right way to do it?


ish. edges were probably left raw far more often than we can allow, because generaly speaking the materials were better then.

but assuming a rolled hem is right, it should ( by today's standards) be trimmed to be straight / level before hemming.

all that said, what you've done is almost certainly completely historically correct.

In Victorian times all little girls had to complete the full range of household sewing samplers, whether or not htey had an aptitude, liked it or hated it.


not just in victorian times.

I was forced to sew cross stitch samplers at school as a kid while the boys played five a side, and to achieve a professional standard (at eight!!!!) regardless of aptitude. and that was in the 1980s.

ah - but that would be why the only sewing I hate is cross stitch (light suddenly breaks). and because the next term was spent knitting, it explains why I can't knit.... :idea:


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

guthrie
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2349
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Polmont-Edinburgh

Postby guthrie » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:22 pm

Thanks Tuppence.

As for doing things to perfection, reading the MoL book on costume accessories, it seems there were plenty of accessories etc that were not perfect in any way, whether by cheap casting or badly finished.

Apparently my sewing at school was pretty good, but I had no use for it so never did any more until I started re-enacting.



William
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:18 am

Postby William » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:42 pm

guthrie wrote:As for doing things to perfection, reading the MoL book on costume accessories, it seems there were plenty of accessories etc that were not perfect in any way, whether by cheap casting or badly finished.


Whilst this is true, and many items were mass-produced, don't forget that the majority of the dress accessories in the Museum of London are from a medieval rubbish dump. These things have been thrown away, and it's possible that badly cast examples are more likely to have ended up here (and thus been preserved for us), than the finer ones.




Return to “Costumes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests