Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Regency Roundgown - Bodice

Last fall I draped a new pattern for a basic regency drawstring bodice and wanted to experiment with it to see what kinds of garments I could make from one basic pattern. I made a short jacket/bodice to wear over a gown or a petticoat, an open robe and now I'm finally making a round gown. So far I have made the bodice and cut the sleeves. This type of gown has a skirt that is attached all the way around the waist (thus making it a "round" gown) and the opening is at the front. The bodice has a fitted lining that pins shut at the bust and the outer layer is gathered up on drawstrings over it. The skirt has a center front slit that is hidden when the drawstring waistline is gathered up. 

First, I cut the back and side pieces from my dress fabric. I also cut a layer of cotton for lining: 
They were sewn together with the lining and outer fabric treated as one. 
I usually sew the fitted lining, or flaps, as a single layer hemmed all around the edges. For these, though, I cut two layers and sewed them together and turned them right sides out for a sturdier flap, since I want to see if this will support the bosom better if worn without stays. 
And here is the lining piece laid over the outer bodice, matching armscyes. I've turned under a narrow hem at the neckline of the outer bodice for the neckline drawstring. 
To finish the seams I turned them under and felled them down by hand. 
The neckline casing for the drawstring was stitched down, the front edges of the bodice hemmed and the strings run through: 
Then the front and back were sewn together at the shoulder and sides and voila! A bodice. :) 
Okay, I will need you to excuse the sad state of my dressform. After being used by me for a while she was lent out to several other people and was returned in a rather disheveled state. The inner parts wore out, snapped off and gave up and I was on the verge of tossing her into the garbage when I decided to try one last time to make her work for me. She got a new wooden pole and a Christmas tree stand to keep her upright and I taped the body together with white duct tape. So, she lives again. For how long? Who knows. But for now she works well enough for my purposes. 
Bodice lining pinned shut, and the outer bodice gathered up over it. 
Next up: sleeves. 

I'm looking forward to seeing this dress finished. I've been re reading Mansfield Park and this simple style of dress and informal cotton print is one I can imagine Fanny wearing.  

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