This 1660s bodice is coming together in bits and pieces, in no particular order, with no particular sense, yet is somehow coming out alright. I’ve run out of bones, but that didn’t stop me from forging ahead. I finished stitching the boning channels into the linings, and then moved on to mounting the poly satin on top of this under structure.
Satin is a dangerous fabric. And polyester even moreso. A bit of bad tension on the sewing machine can cause ripples and buckles like you wouldn’t believe. My goal is to stretch the satin as tautly across the corset-like lining, and hand stitch it into place (like flat-lining, but on the outside), to avoid rumples, wrinkles, buckles, and pulls. I want the polyester-ness of this gown to be as discreet as possible.
This is tedious and takes lots of time, but I’m very happy with the results so far. I like the tiny top stitching too – for some reason, in the sea of anachronisms and costuming sins that is this dress, these little seams make me feel oh-so-historically-accurate…they look just like seams I’ve seen on 18th c. extant garments :-).
I’ve many more pieces of the satin covering to go, but it moves along surprisingly quickly. There are a couple rumpley buckles in the side pieces, but I suspect these are caused by the un-cut tabs, and will disappear once I’ve made those slices.
For the front pieces, I’ve lined them in muslin, since these pieces hang free of the lining at center front, and will be heavily boned and pinned into place over the front lacing closure. Just for fun, I pinned all the trim on the front, to get an idea how it will look. I’m still not sure about this trim – it’s very stiff and doesn’t arc nicely over those curved seams. I’m also not thrilled with my mistake in placement of the curved seams. The more I work on this dress the more I realize how *wrong* I’ve gotten everything! It’s almost more of a Victorian interpretation of a 17th c. gown…
So without finishing the satin cover, I attempted to draft/drape the sleeve pattern, which I’ve actually never done before. I don’t count this occasion, since all I did was pleat up one side of a fatty tube, then pleat up the other, and call it done. I don’t know if it’s right – I didn’t put a curve in the top of the sleeve – but I’ve been wearing it around for awhile and there seem to be no problems. Surprising range of motion, too.
I’m thinking of lining the sleeves in muslin, to give them a bit more body. The satin is very soft and floppy, and I need the sleeves to poof a bit without being gigot-ish. There will be a line of trim covering the seams on the sleeves, which match up nicely with the side front seams of the bodice. Yay!
No telling what’s next on this project, but I’ll be sure to take pics and update soon!