Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wrapper Progress - Bodice Fronts, Lining and Tie Belt

 I may be posting a little more often over the next few days as I work more on my wrapper. This is more for my benefit than for any assumed interest of my dear readers - for, alas, I often make something and then when I want to make a similar item, I have forgotten how I made the first one!

Since yesterday, I have whipped on the skirt to the bodice back and sides and attached the bodice front pieces. The bodice fronts are cut with the bodice and skirts all in one, eliminating a waist seam for the center front. The bodice fronts are also cut quite wide (half of a 45" panel for each front bodice piece) and the excess width is pleated into the shoulder to create fullness over the bosom and into the skirts. The white cotton lining, however, is cut without the extra width and is cut to end at the waistline. I turned up a narrow casing at the bottom of each front lining for a drawstring to adjust the fit at the waist. Any extra fullness on the drawstring comes only from what would in an ordinary dress be darted, so there will not be much bulk there.
After sewing the center fronts to the wrapper and stitching the shoulder seam, I decided to try it on to see if the fit was working. So far so good! The pleats need to be pressed and I need to turn and stitch the self facings on the front openings but otherwise, I'm thrilled with it!
I cut the neckline down to a V shape and piped the edge. I want the lining to close seperately from the outer layer so clipped the seam allowance of the lining only a few inches up from the center front edge of the bodice. This clipped area I turned to the inside and hemmed down by hand.

Here's a picture showing the lining and the drawstring to adjust the waist. From what I've read, it was more common to have the lining fitted with darts but I chose to use a drawstring for a few reasons. 1. This will not be worn with a corset. I don't know about you ladies, but my body certainly is NOT the same from day to day. Especially during "that time of month" and some days my clothing fits tighter or looser than others. I don't want a closely fitted darted lining if some days I need to let things out a little. Especially when its hot. 2. The drawstring will be very handy if, Lord willing, we are ever expecting again. If that happens, I can even leave the lining unfastened on the inside to allow for belly expansion and use the drawstring to tie the lining shut at the waistline over the bump.

Now I need to work on the sleeves and the skirt hem. . .I should definitely be finished before next weekend! I can't wait to wear it!



  1. So far so good - I think it looks very nice. I love the fabric.

  2. I like it a lot! Thank you for documenting everything. I know that you do it for yourself, but it helps and informs those of us that are interested in such things. Your wrapper looks very comfortable, but pretty at the same time. I would like one for modern wear!

  3. I love the fabric! In fact I love everything you make! I have total sewing envy!!!

  4. Well, some other readers might not have use for it, but I am really appreciating you documenting your wrapper! I still have the instructions you sent me a while back but these pictures are great! I will get to a wrapper sometime ;)


  5. What a neat dress! I have to say that I think it looks great(for modern wear) just the way it is in the pic with you in it. I would really love wearing something like that..feminine and comfy :-)

    Can't wait to see the finished dress. You always astound me with your sewing :-)

    Lots of love,

    P.S. Oh, by the way..I do plan on responding to your last letter but thought I would wait until we are moved. It is a bit crazy right now but in a couple of weeks...I think I will be ready :-) Hope you don't mind waiting?

  6. It's so pretty! I love the green on you. And I'm once again impressed with how adventurous you are in the sewing room.

  7. Thanks ladies! It is nice to know that some others have an interest in this humble little garment. I think it would make a great modern garment too! It is divinely comfortable, and worn without a supportive undergarment it is still modest because of the pleated fabric at the shoulder that flows down over the bosom. I can't believe I've waited so long to make one of these.

    Sommer, I know all too well how busy packing and moving can be. I don't mind at all waiting for a letter! When we moved last summer writing anything at all was the last thing on my mind. I felt virtuous just to keep up with blog posting on a somewhat regular basis. :P

    I hope to finish the wrapper today. Then the fun stuff begins - the lacey undersleeves, petticoat and a morning cap for the hair.

  8. Hello Sarah:

    I was curious, where do you find your fabrics for your sewing? When I have the funds, I do buy fabrics new for good wear.
    Recently, I happened to go into an area Thrift Store and there was the most romantic pattern on a fitted sheet (two of them, same size). The sheets were in excellent condition so for $2.00 I had the fabric. I am making a Regency Era S&S Dress and it is coming out well.
    Thank you for sharing everything with us.

    from Northhern Florida

  9. Lisa,

    I too use sheets from the thrift store! :) Your dress sounds lovely. The S&S regency gown pattern is one of my favorites!

    This particular fabric I got at Wal Mart for $1.50/yard. It was a great buy. Some of WM's fabrics are sleazy and cheap but once in a while they get a really good fabric in and I snap it up if I have the money at the time to do so, even if I know I won't be needing it right away. This fabric is just as nice as the $8-$10/yard cottons from Jo Anns, and the whole wrapper is ending up costing me less than $10 to make.

    My thrift shop has a sewing section so sometimes I can find good fabrics there too. I got pink cotton print (about 10 yards) for only a few dollars a few months ago, as well as two pieces of 3-yard lengths of cotton corderoy for a few dollars. I haven't used it yet, but I know I will at some point and the price was too good to pass up!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!