Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Versatile Bodice

I recently draped a new pattern for a "basic" late 18th/early 19th century bodice. I had a few ideas for gowns and needed a starting point. So, this pattern resulted. It is copied in style from several originals and depictions in Costume In Detail and Patterns of Fashion 1.

It has a fitted back with a drawstring front that has a low cut inner front bodice that pins shut under the bustline. I've found this feature to be pretty darn useful. It smooths the silhouette at the bustline, anchors the garment to the figure and, in some instances, works well as light support for "undress" when you don't feel like wiggling into stays. Currently nursing in a D cup these offer enough support to make me feel comfortable and supported, though its certain it is not a fashionably supported shape.

To test out my last version of the draped pattern, I made a little drawstring bodice or jacket. I had 1 yard of fabric and it was *just* enough for this, including fitted elbow length sleeves. Close cutting, but it worked!

To make sure the back covered the waistline of the dress its displayed over, I added a tiny pleated peplum.

A drawstring at neck and underbust closes the whole thing. Very simple really! I can't wait to adapt it to make other garments.

I must confess, the main reason I made this is because I have long planned to sew an open robe, and needed a bodice pattern like this to do so. That's up next.

Forgive my taped and crappily rigged up mannequin. She has seen better days and has spent most of her life being loaned out. She will be respectfully disposed of as soon as I can afford a replacement. Until then, I won't judge her.

Autumn always puts me in a regency-esque mood. Not sure why. But it does, and I feel the need to re read all Jane Austen's novels.