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Thread: Smock making

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Smock making

    I thought I'd put this in the ladies wear section as we are more likely to be making smocks or shifts for ourselves.

    I have just been ripping the fabric for my next smock, and was struck by the measurements.
    It is a very wide fabric, rather than the old ell wide cloth formerly available, but the piece for the body is two ells wide (90in) and a yard long.

    The sleeves are a yard wide and half an ell long - taken off with the selvedge as the cuff edge. The middle of that yard of fabric will make the double yoke and any extra bits.

    The front and back will have a central panel of smocking and the yoke will be quilted. The sleeves will be smocked and probably have a sleeve band about two inches from the edge to make a frill at the wrist.

    The metric system is all very well, but it is not all that useful for everyday sewing projects.

    Anne the Pleater :ootd:
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

  2. The Following 4 Users say 'Aye' to Pleater For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    13th September 04
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    An"ell"? I've certainly heard that term but have no clue what it means! I'd look it up on Google, but it's much more fun to have you educate me!

  4. #3
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    An English ell is 45 inches - many fabrics are still made to that width.

    When the fabric is folded selvedge to selvedge - to protect the right side of it and make the bolt easy to handle, the result was a strip of fabric equal in width to the old cubit, the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger or, presumably a stick which was that long by local agreement.

    Being an odd number of inches has perhaps kept it around and in use, because half and quarter ells are the sleeve length and the size of the under sleeve gusset squares for a smock, which are easier measurements to remember and to find and make without a ruler.

    Anne the Pleater :ootd:
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

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