|Me and Kristen at the ball - photo by Nevada Live Magazine|
I didn't take the easiest path on this bodice. I scaled up a gridded pattern from Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress, 1800-1909, using a new-to-me digitizing technique, and after a quick toile (maybe a bit *too* quick), I cut into my silk and stabilizing layer.
Well it all worked out in the end, despite fussing with the side seams and performing an impromptu nip-n-tuck on the back pieces. I stitched in some hand-sewn eyelets, and bound the bottom edge in self-fabric piping. At this point, unadorned, the bodice looked very bridesmaid, which influenced my decision to add sleeves (because I'll avoid them if I can!). Again using Hunisett's instructions, I mounted organza puffs on muslin bases and stitched them in.
|The bodice base without sleeves or any boning int he front point. It looks so...modern.|
|The bodice with the sleeve puffs and the base pieces for the bertha pinned in place. Still no boning in the bodice.|
One invaluable tip I picked up from Hunisett and Janet Arnold both was to cut bias strips and lap them onto a base, to create the pleated look of the bertha. I found this method SO much easier than trying to pleat a piece to shape, and gleefully layered on bias strips in the silk and organza, followed by a super-shreddy strip of ruched silk, and some trickier-than-they-look finishing pieces to cover where the berthabits met on the center front and shoulders.
|Layering bias strips of organza and silk. Note to self - change the friggin' thread color next time, because that sh*t's visible!|
|The nearly-complete bertha pinned into place. My first base wasn't big enough, so I added more organdy and kept layering until getting to the size I wanted|
|Day of the ball - adding black taffeta bows, big sparkly things, and planning jewelry for the evening.|
|Photo by Willie P.|
|Photo by Kristen - everything stayed put, thank goodness.|
|Chatting with a gentleman I met at the dance. I need a bit more oomph in the skirt - elliptical shapes are a bit tricky to support. Photo by Nevada Live Magazine|
|For hair I used several hair pieces and a wash-out mousse to color my own hair brown, so it would blend with the hairpieces. The tiara could use a better method of sticking to one's head. Photo by Nevada Live Magazine|
|Photo by Nevada Live Magazine|
|Tissots with ribbons - if I hadn't run short on black satin ribbon I would have made the ribbons much longer, to loop around the ankle. Photo by Nevada Live Magazine|