I’ve been so busy this month I’ve barely paid this blog any attention at all. And to make matters worse, my computer died on me. Ugh.
Anyway, we’re finally clawing our way out of the summer humidity here in Texas, so it’s time to prep for fall and winter costuming events. In honor of that, and also because I’ve finally got a semi-steady paycheck after over a year of unemployment and contract work, I bought myself a copy of Frances Grimble’s Bustle Fashions 1885-1889. I’ve heard some good things about this book, and for the number of patterns you get, it’s an excellent price.
Also, I’ve been perusing the National Garment Cutters available online, and wanted to understand the secret of these apportioning rulers. They seem like mysterious, secretive things, but at the same time, they seem like a geometric solution to pattern making. I’m all about geometry in sewing.
I figured these would be some super complicated tool that required in depth, detailed instructions to put together and use, but as it turns out, they’re literally just rulers. Rulers with different units than a normal ruler.
In other words: ratios.
(Although Grimble has multiple books on the subject, many of the National Garment Cutter books are available online for free, so I do not consider this breaking any kind of copyright. It’s publicly available, which is another reason why this is so cool!)
I like doing things the “right” way. Hemming by hand, stroking my gathers, proper seam finishes, blind stitching waistbands, all that jazz. In fact, petticoats have proven to be a great place to practice skills like that.
However, I’m also a quilter.
The days of piecing together little tiny blocks by hand are long gone. We live in the age of rotary cutters and jelly rolls. Quilters, by nature, are constantly on the prowl for the next creative way to cut corners without sacrificing the structural integrity of the finished product. And that brings me back to petticoats.