You should all know I almost published this with “stripped” as the title – but I caught it!
Okay I lied – the weekend was less productive then I had hoped and I didn’t get half the things I wanted to finished, Including as set of stays. So that post will go up later in the week, and you’ll be stuck with this one for now.
This is another new project I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. It turned out to be way more complicated then it should have been – and I haven’t even started on the part of it I’m interested in making!
I was browsing through “The Complete Costume History” and came across this image. I thought all the outfits were interesting, but I was especially attracted to the arming cape and the vests – which almost reminds me of early cassocks.
I also had a single yard of black beaded lace, and some buttons I ordered with this project in mind.
I decided to design a dress to go underneath the whole thing instead of trying to make awkward looking shorts.
Because the cape is supposed to be the focus there is NO reason for the dress underneath it to be complicated…but I do love complicated dresses, so I decided to make one. It has puffs and stripes and beading and applique, I couldn’t have made this more difficult if I tried.
I’m not sure how many posts will be related to this project – it could be as few as three or as many as six. Do you tend to prefer longer posts or shorter ones? Because I could switch to three posts a week that are shorter.
Anyway – this post covers the bodice!
I started with a mock up. I actually made another mock up before this one, but it was so terrible I don’t want to harm anyone’s eyes. This is a pretty simple five piece bodice, and luckily my mock up fit pretty well this time!
I dissembled the mock up and used it to make a pattern.
I cut out the pattern once from a black broadcloth, which would become the lining later on.
Then I did something kind of strange – I cut the straps off my carefully made pattern.
I cut the pattern (sans straps) out once again, this time from the black coating.
Then it was time to make the overlay of strips for the bodice. I use my striped taffeta to make this process a little easier. First I cut the strips down to the roughly the right size.
Then I folded (and ironed) the edges over so they wouldn’t budge.
And made up some piping (out of the coating) to decorate the edges.
Then I sewed them together and pinned them to my bodice!
I sewed around the edge of my bodice to hold all the strips down, and set this aside.
The next step was making the black bands to go underneath this. These weren’t very difficult, they are just 3.75 inch strips folded over and sewn into a tube.
I pressed them so the seam was in the center back of each tube, then I sewed them together by hand.
This was ironed, then sewed on to the bodice. I also took this time to sew on the straps, which are a single layer of striped taffeta. I know they don’t line up at all – which is fine since they will be covered with lace later on.
Then the whole thing was pinned (right sides together!) to the cotton lining.
Before that was finished I spent several heartbreaking minutes cutting up the lace. I bought a single yard of this several years ago at a quilting show and really love it. It’s so unusual to see beaded alencon lace in black, since it’s a traditional wedding lace, so I think it was a neat find!
I’ve saved it for so long since I was too afraid to cut into it, but it was time.
Trims are made to be used…not treasured…
I trimmed the corners and curved edges on the bodice before turning it right side out. Then I sewed on the lace across the straps, which was much easier then I had expected. I saved a tiny bit for the sleeves, and the entire scalloped edge for the skirt.
This crap photo really doesn’t do the garment any justice, but it’s the only one I took.
The better photos are saved for my next post, which will probably be about the sleeves.
Thanks for reading!