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Tag: bodice

Homework 29: Setting in the sleeve and gathering the overskirt

Today I set the calico sleeve in the bodice shoulder. This toile was based on the basic sleeve block we had cut in January. I wanted to see how it fit and what adjustments I would need to make.

Setting the sleeve

To make the period shape, there needs to be two pleats on the back of the join. I tried very hard to make the pleatsline up with the seams joining the bodice pieces.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Unlike most sleeves today which are usually straight tubes or funnels, 18th century sleeves that went below the elbow had tucks or seams to bend the sleeve in to a gentle L shape. Often they would also have large cuffs.

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

I played around to see if I could get the ‘look’ as the toile had a fair amount of fabric to play with. If I had cut the sleeve differently, or used a separate piece of material, I could have made the cuff bigger, but I was planning to have slightly gathered lawn cuffs showing from the sleeve too.

Gathering the overskirt

Previously I had agreed with Claire that I would gather rather than pleat the overkirt. At this point I was  happy to do it this way as it was quite quick, and as the fabric is fairly light, it ruffled up well. As the left and right vertical edges were on the selvege edge, I was able to turn over 15mm and then 15cm to make a self facing and tacked them in place before gathering the waistband.

Front edges turned in to make facing

Front edges turned in to make facing and tacked in place

The overskirt was starting to fray heavily, so I zig-zag stitched the bottom to try and keep it under control until I could get around to hemming it by hand.

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

As with the under petticoat, I gathered in sections to help avoid the threads breaking and then I machine stitched on to a petersham waistband  which was the waist measurement plus 70mm extra on each side, so that the overskirt could be fitted.  In the picture below you can see how much the fabric is fraying.

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

Class 22: Bodice overview, tutorials, and more quilting

Bodice overview

In the first few weeks of this term we fitted a period bodice toile. Today Claire explained the different layers needed for a period bodice, the materials we would need, and an overview of the processes and techniques which we will be using next term.

The bodice will be boned using flat steels which will be encased within the 4 layers of fabric:

  • Drill  – to go against the skin
  • Cotton lawn
  • Domette (light-weight flat domette)
  • Top fabric

We will need 1 meter of each layer which we should buy ready for the start of next term (19April2010).

Domette is a interlining fleece often used in curtain making to add weight and warmth to curtains.  You can get it in cotton or synthetic materials and it can be flat or fluffy. In the bodice, domette is used to stop the boning from showing, so may not be required if the top fabric is bulky.

There will be more bones on the stomacher than the rest of the bodice, but they are there to act as a stiffener to stop the bodice wrinkling rather than to manipulate the body. We will be making channels in the fabric layers to slide in the bones, but tapes on the drill layer could be used to hold the bones in place.

We will draft our own bodice patterns based on our individual designs and sizes.

1780's Polonaise Design

Draft design for my 1780's polonaise with quilted petticoat

My notes from class were incomplete, but the first few steps of construction are:

  1. Cut out the pattern pieces for all layers.
  2. Mark  bone positions on to cotton lawn layer. The markings will not show as they will be covered by the outer layers.
  3. Mount lawn on to drill by tacking.
  4. Machine stitch to make bone channels.
  5. … more to come.

Tutorials

Patsy, Mathilde and I had our group tutorial today with Claire. We are all at quite different stages, are doing quite different costumes, and came to the course with quite different skills – but that makes it good as we can help each other. It also means we can hear about problems and solutions the others encounter, but we may have not in our own costumes – it is a great way to learn.

Because Mathilde is using a much heavier fabric, she will need to use netting sewn in to her skirt and maybe on the bumpads to help get the period shape. She is also using cartridge pleats along the waistband, which I will be using on my skirt.

For the moment, I just have to concentrate on quilting so I can complete my petticoat. I am the only one in my class who is completely hand quilting. Patsy who is very experienced with textiles is completely machine quilting. Lorna and Eva are doing a combination of hand and machine.

Next term I will have to complete the bodice, overskirt and a fishou to go around the neck.

More quilting

I finished the tree design on the centre front of the petticoat. It felt like quite an accomplishment, but I still have a lot to do.  It has made me think that I would like to only use hand stitching on the petticoat, but I may falter and machine stitch the seams that are not seen.

Hand quilted tree on front panel.

Hand quilted tree on front panel.

Class 17: Period bodice continued

Unfortunately Claire was off ill today, so I continued with drafting and fitting my period bodice shape, especially as I hadn’t got it quite right the last week.

Fitting last weeks period bodice - front

Fitting last weeks period bodice - front

Fitting last weeks period bodice - back

Fitting last weeks period bodice - back

You can see I had to add some strips to be able to get the it to close, and the neckline needed to be altered at the back.

My next attempt seemed to fit much better (although at this point I didn’t realise that you should always have the opening at the back for fitting as it makes it easier to do up and see the lines).

Second attempt at the period bodice - front

Second attempt at the period bodice - front

Second attempt a period bodice - side

Second attempt a period bodice - side

Second attempt a period bodice - back

Second attempt a period bodice - back

You can see compared to a basic bodice block that the shoulder and side seams are much further back.

Class 16: Period bodice shape

Aims for today:

Once we finished fitting a basic bodice toile over our corset, we used the instructions in Claire’s handouts to cut a period shape without a sleeve, then fitted this over the corset again.

For this period, darts were not used, so the darts have to be closed. Remember to spread the allowance between the side seam and the dart lines. Additionally, the side seam was usually futher round towards the back ( I had forgotten to move the seam when I drafted the pattern below).

18th century period bodice pattern pieces

18th century period bodice pattern pieces

Copying the seam markings on to the pattern peices of both sides using a tracing wheel, copy papaer and a pattern master.

Copying the seam markings on to the pattern peices of both sides using a tracing wheel, copy paper and a pattern master.

Bodice pieces ready to be sewn up

Bodice pieces ready to be sewn up

Next week:

Class 15: Fitted bodice toile

Today we continued to work on our basic bodice toile in calico.

  1. fit over corset
  2. add alteration markings to the pattern
  3. copy altered pattern
  4. add seam allowances
  5. make up and fit again

We will fit a basic block shape over corset shape. This is so we can practice fitting, and so is not meant to be the same as our final bodice design. Once we have fitted the basic block, we will draft a period bodice using the new measurements, fit again, and then draft a period pattern based on our design. The final bodice may need to be mounted on another fabric and will be boned

Making up the toile

  • Add seam allowances to the block. Add 15mm seam allowances around and 25mm on the opening edge.
  • Put the opening at the back. This usually makes it easier to pin up than at the front, especially if the model is curvy.

Fitting the bodice

  • Put seams on the inside (unlike my pictures below) as you can see the lines/shape better
  • Snip in to seam allowance around neck, waist and arm holes
  • Make sure the centre back lines meet. If they do not, they should be pinned parallel to each other.

If the bodice is too large at the top, you should arrange round the shoulders. Too large at the bottom, take in at the side seams or darts.

Corset on for fitting

Corset on for fitting

Basic block fitting - front

Basic block fitting - front

Basic block fitting - back

Basic block fitting - back

Adjustment to the shoulder

Adjustment to the shoulder

adjustment put on the pattern

Adjustments put on the pattern

Once we had finished fitting the basic block, we moved on todrafting a period bodice.

Class 14: Basic bodice block

Quite a few people were not in class today as there is still snow on the ground and transport system is not running smoothly. I arrived after lunch on the down side of an adrenaline rush as I had a job interview in the morning – more about that when I get some news.

Today we start on Unit 8: Developing Sewing Skills for Fashion, which basically means creating the outer layers – the dress. Initially we will be making the dress in a calico toile, so we can learn pattern cutting, try out different things, and make sure it all fits before we cut in to the expensive fabric.

I haven’t done much pattern cutting before, so this is all quite interesting. We are starting out with the bodice, so we have to:

  • Copy a basic dress block – dress or corset block provided.
  • Add 25mm seam allowance
  • Make a toile out of calico with opening at CB
  • Fit it over the corset
  • Put adjustments on to the original block.
  • Copy block with adjustments.

At some point we will also have to attach a sleeve or two.

I ended up choosing a size 10 as an 8 would be too small compared to my natural measurements.

Size 10 block My natural measurement
Front Back Total
Bust 23.5 cm 23.5 cm 96 cm 91 cm
Waist 19.5 cm 22 cm 78 cm 70 cm

Once the block was copied with seam allowance added, I cut out the pieces in calico. I forgot to bring my carbon paper, so I transferred the outline and the marking for the darts using blue water soluble pen. Unfortunately, due to my lateness, this is as far as got in the class.

Basic bodice front, cut on the double

Basic bodice front, cut on the double

Basic sleeve block

Basic sleeve block

Things to remember when using the blocks:

  • Get the front and match back piece.
  • Dress blocks have ease, corset blocks do not.
  • Blocks do not have seam allowance.
  • Measure the bust and the waist to check which is nearest size  – remember to deduct any darts
  • Block only needs to be copied from the waist up.

Handout:

  • Bodice and sleeve – 18th Century

Homework:

  • finish log book
  • sew up side seams on corset
  • add bias binding to bottom
  • sew up bodice toile for fitting

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