Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sewing Archaeology

  I love vintage patterns and since I have been introduced to pattern systems like Lutterloh, Silver Scissors and The Golden Dressmaker I have have access to amazing authentic vintage patterns. Lutterloh is unique of those mentioned because it is still running and releasing patterns meaning that their equipment is still freely available (if somewhat overpriced). But the other 2 I mentioned aren't in business any more so a bit of archaeology has to happen to recreate the tools needed to use them. I have been asked a few times to so how I made the custom measuring tapes but never quite got around to it.
This time I am recreating the Silver Scissors measuring tape.  

 This measuring tape is a little different to the other systems in that you don't permanently attach the extra bit needed. I haven't been able to find much at all about the company that made this pattern book so I had to use the little bit of info in the book itself and combine it with the info I had gathered about other systems

 Luckily there is a brilliant illustration of the attachment in the book. I could see it was something that had a "Pocket" that the tape measure slid through I gathered what I thought I needed

 I used a 250gsm card to make my slider and originally had the intention of drawing up the markings by hand which, no matter how careful I was , was too inaccurate. My research into these pattern drafting systems has shown me that across the board the difference between the measurements is 3mm

To fit my tape measure and have enough room to slide easily I measured 2 1/4" on my cardstock
and  another line 3/4" from the edge

I ruled 3/4 of an inch as my folded tab. I cut my strip and folded it along the 3/4" line to test that my tape measure fit.

 Hand ruling several 3mm lines could not only take ages to do but has far to many opportunities for mistakes, so online I went and printed a 3mm graph sheet and trimmed it down to a 9mm strip (3 rows of squares)

which I glued to my non folded card edge, giving me perfect 3mm intervals to mark and pin the bust and hip measurements

I extended ever second line to make markings and reading easier than smooshing the numbers close to each other and matched them to the numbers I could see in the illustration

 As you see there is also a window in the attachment
 to help you resize the pattern. In the book the indicator point fell between 74 and 76 so I marked it on the attachment

 I then drew a randomly sized block around the point to create the window.......

..... and cut it out with an exacto knife ( I also made sure I wrote Silver Scissors on the attachment so I wouldn't forget what it was for)

I taped it onto my tape measure.....

And it was ready to go!

As far as I can tell it is a fairly close recreation.

So here is a scan of my finished attachment, You should be able to view image in its original size (but I take no responsibility for pattern stuff ups that may be caused by using it ) For those who asked I hope this helps ......

... For those who have no idea what I have been chatting about thank you for making this far through the post without getting bored and wondering off to some other interwebbyness. Allow me to take this opportunity to show all of you 2 of my newest dresses available for viewing, trying and buying at Miss Succulent or by appointment with yours truly

I hope you've had a Crafty Afternoon!