Pattern For those who don’t know, I used a pattern as the base of my bodice pattern. Now this was the first time I’ve ever used a commercial pattern. Normally, I just draft a pattern to my measurements on paper. But for this project I wanted a very specific shape. That, and the pattern was on sale for $2. Turns out though, when working with a commercial pattern I had to make more mockups and make more alterations. So from now on, I think I’ll go with reference images and paper drafting. This is the pattern I began with for my bodice:
I made the bodice without any tabs or flounces on the waist.
Pattern Alterations One of the first alterations I did was change the lace closure from the front to the back. This of course didn’t go as smoothly as I thought. During the first mock up I cut the entire front as one piece on the fold. That caused the fabric to gap in the neckline, which forced me to cut the front into 2 pieces, with a seam down the center front. Secondly, I shortened the arm straps. This I just knew to do because of past pattern drafting. I have really weird shoulders. No matter what pattern is put in front of me, the arm straps are always too long or too wide. .
Construction The Bodice has 3 layers. One being the outside/fashion fabric. The second and third are a linen lining and interfacing quilted together. I used the altered pattern and sewed all three layers together, treating them as one. I then made a front panel to hide the front center seam, and added piping to add visual interest.
After some thinking, I scraped the matching red piping and the panel. I thought it looked far too “costume-y” and cheap. I decided to leave the center front seam alone since it did not look too noticeable.
I bought a contrasting olive green fabric that had some shimmer. Then, I made piping out of a quarter of an inch piping cord. This was my first time making piping and it went smoothly and quickly.
Here’s the tutorial I followed:
I attached the piping along the bottom hem, the armholes and the neckline. I added some visual interest by cutting an oval neckline.
Sleeves and Modesty Panel
The sleeves and modesty panel attached to the neckline were made from pillow case fabric. I tea dyed this fabric for a long time since it was made of some polyester. So I’m happy that the colour stuck.
I drafted my own gathered sleeve pattern from a normal sleeve pattern block.
They were simple to construct. Elastic was attached to the edge and the raw edge was left after zigzaging. They were then attached to the bodice.
The modesty panel was a last minute addition because I cut the neckline too low. It’s just a square with one end gathered with a tea dyed shoelace. It attached to the bodice just at the straps with a few hand stitches.
The back of the bodice closes with green eyelets and red braided lacing.
Things I wish I could change
Looking back at the photo shoot pictures, I wish I boned the bodice to prevent wrinkling. I never saw any wrinkles while fitting, but with some action, the fabric wrinkled quite a bit. Nothing to be done about it now, but at least I know for next time. 🙂