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Tag: period bodice (page 1 of 2)

Homework 32: Period bodice – placket

I measured the front of the bodice between the top and bottom piping to get the length of the placket. I wanted it to be about 50mm wide. I would be using the drill covered by top fabric.

I cut double width layer of the top fabric 2omm longer than the placket length to give a 10mm seam allowance. One length was a selvage edge, so I wouldn’t have to neaten the edge to stop it from fraying. I made a pocket with the top fabric to slide in the drill layer, which cut was slightly smaller than the placket measurements. I trimmed the edge that would be caught in the seam with pinking shears.

Placket made from top fabric with drill inside

Placket made from top fabric with drill inside

Underside of placket

Pinked edge


Placket placed ready to be sewn

Placket placed ready to be sewn

I slipped stitched on the fold and along the selvage edge to hold the placket in place. I then stitched the top and bottom edges in place so that there was less chance of the placket getting ruffled up and out of place.

Placket showing on the outside of an open bodice

Placket showing on the outside of an open bodice

Placket on the inside of the open bodice

Placket on the inside of the open bodice


Haha! now no one will be able to see my red and white corset. Hmm.

Homework 31: Shaping and finishing the sleeves

I used the shaping I had done on the calico sleeve as a guide, but tried moving the pleats from the top so that they were round closer to the body. The shape definitely looks better when the arm is curved towards the body.

Shaping the sleeves. The right side pleats are further round to the top than the left side.q

Shaping the sleeves. The right side pleats are further round to the top than the left side.

When it was all pinned in place, I fitted the bodice to check that the elbow or lower arm would not pull or get caught when flexing. It all seemed to work well.

Once I was happy with the shape I had sewed the pleats and cuff folds in place and then finished the facing.

Class 31: Period bodice – fitting and finishing

When I got in to class I got on my costume to fit the bodice and work out what what left to do.

Fitting the bodice. You can clearly see it needs a placket.

Fitting the bodice. You can clearly see it needs a placket.

There were a number of things I needed to fix/amend/do:

  1. piping – sort out the ends at centre front so they can be tightened (next time use smaller gauge piping, preferably cotton as it has better grip)
  2. hook and eye fastenings
    • stab stitch through to better hold in place
    • stitch around so that none of the metal on the hoops show
  3. still to do:
    • front placket/modesty panel
    • softener around neckline
    • cuffs – made to look like it is the chemise showing through

Ends of the piping

When I was applying the piping I couldn’t quite remember how Claire had asked us to do it, so I had finished it like this:

Opps! Piping finished the wrong way

Opps! Piping finished the wrong way

Opps! Folded back incorrectly

Opps! Folded back incorrectly

What I should have done is unpick the last bit of piping and turned it in so that the cord would be free to hang out and be tightened.

The correct way to end the piping

The correct way to end the piping

To correct it I had to:

  1. unpick the top and bottom hooks and eyes, and some of the piping
  2. turn back the piping end
  3. reslip stitch the piping
  4. put back the hooks and eyes

It seamed to take ages when it felt like I had so much left to do.

Fichu

I spoke with Claire about the fichus and we looked in some of the books in class. Some fichus are much larger than others, but as mine would be tucked in to my dress, only a small one would be necessary.

Fichu pattern from 'Period costume for stage and screen'

Fichu pattern from 'Period costume for stage and screen'

Neckerchief pattern form 'Evolution of fashion'

Neckerchief pattern from 'Evolution of fashion'

Next week we will be working on:

  • hems and draping
  • using button hole elastic to join the skirt and bodice

Homework 30: Period bodice – piping

Making folded piping

First I had to cut out the bias strips and make the piping. Claire had suggested for fabrics that were not too thick, we should make the bias double width and fold in half to make the piping. Using the folded edge on the inside looks better.

12cm bias strips joined and folded ready to make in to piping

12cm wide bias strips joined and folded ready to make in to piping with a 3cm wide edge.

I then marked where I wanted the cord to sit, and pinned the bias round the cord. I made sure the folded side was slightly longer than the open edge so the open edge would not been seen later.

Placing and pinning the cord in to the bias

Placing and pinning the cord in to the bias

Once it had all been pinned in place, it was quite quick to sew in to piping. I was careful to make sure I didn’t catch the piping as we need it to be able to slip so it can be pulled tight.

Using a zipper foot to sew close to the cord

Using a zipper foot to sew close to the cord

Placing the bones

It is really important to put in the bodice bones in before sewing the piping as the piping will close the channels. I had measured the bone channels and ordered pre-finished lengths from Vena Cava earlier in the week. Unfortunately, I had forgotten one pair, so I had to cut two from a left over continuous length I had from a previous project.

 2 steel bones. The top is cut from a continuous length and finished with zinc tape. The bottom is precut and finished.

2 steel bones. The top is cut from a continuous length and finished with zinc tape. The bottom is precut and finished.

Be careful when cutting the steels as they tend to be very tough and unless you have some serious metal cutters, it will take a fair amount of effort. I need both hands to cut, and the loose piece tends to spring off at some rate, so make sure no one is  in the firing path.

To finish the ends so they would not be sharp or cut through the materials, I used zinc tape,  like a roll of fabric plaster,  you can get from the chemists. Zinc tape helps to stop the steel from rusting and is fairly sticky, but make sure it is securely stuck so that it does not come out in the channel when you are placing the bone.

Smoothing the stomacher line

I decided that the stomacher point stuck down too low, so I decided to smooth the line from the side front to the stomacher. I will follow the grey line when applying the piping.

Smoothing out the stomacher line

Smoothing front lines - side panel

Smoothing front lines - Stomacher

Smoothing front lines - stomacher

Applying the piping

On to the piping on the bottom edge. I pinned the piping place and used a zipper foot to machine stitch as close to the piping edge as possible. I took the pins out as I went along with the machine.

Using the zipper foot to sew the piping on to the bottom of the bodice

Using the zipper foot to sew the piping on to the bottom of the bodice

The tricky part was the point at centre back as the fabric was quite taught and it was hard to get the foot to follow the line. Claire had said that if you had a lot of trouble with it you could snip in to the bias seam allowance, but you shouldn’t really. I didn’t have to in the end.

Centre back point. Bias pinned in place ready to be sewn.

Centre back point. Bias pinned in place ready to be sewn.

In some places, I had not gone close enough to the edge, so I had to sew again. I didn’t have to unpick, as the second line would cover the first.

Where the stitch line was not close enough to edge

Where the stitchline was not close enough to edge

Once I was happy with the stitching, I cut back all the excess seam allowances so that I could turn the folded bias edge back.

Seam allowances cut back

Seam allowances cut back to reduce bulk

Seams graded (cut back) at the centre back

Seams graded (cut back) at the centre back

After doing the bottom, the top edge was much easier and quicker.  I now had to finish the front opening edges before I could slip stitch the bias on the inside.  I knew Claire had said we should leave long cords, but I couldn’t quite remember how we were meant to finish the piping at the centre front, so I did the best I could and would ask on Monday.

Top and bottom piping applied, but not yet slip stitched.

Top and bottom piping applied, but not yet slip stitched.

Front opening and fastenings

The front opening hem was done in a similar way to the vertical seams with the under layers cut back and the top fabric seam allowance folded under and slip stitched. This should have been pretty straight forward, except I ended up snipping the top fabric a bit before I had realised it had been caught. It was too much of a problem and I just hand stitched it closed.

Opps! Repairing an accidental snip

Opps! Repairing an accidental snip

After neatening the front opening, I slip stitched the piping in place on the inside of the bodice.

Next I worked out how many hooks I would need if they were to be spaced 20-25mm apart with the top one and the bottom hooks placed next to the piping. I ended up using 11 with 22mm spacing. I used pins to mark where the centre of each hook should be placed.  Hooks should go on the left side, eyes on the right.

First hook in place, and pins used to mark where the others should be placed.

First hook in place, and pins used to mark where the others should be placed.

Although I was fairly sure that these would be in the right place, I only sewed 5 stitches around each loop and the hook neck in case they would have to be moved. Doing 11 sets of the hooks and the eyes still took about 5 hours of hand stitching.

On the eye side, I made sure the pin was correctly positioned for the corresponding hook when attaching each eye. The eyes should be set back slightly so that when the fabric gives when fastend they do not show.

Eyes set slightly back. Pins marking the eye spacing

Eyes set slightly back. Pins marking the eye spacing

I didn’t have a chance to stab stitch, but thought I would do that after the next class when I would know for sure that the hooks and eyeswere in the right place.

Homework 30: Period bodice – seam neatening

I started on the seam neatening today. The vertical seams had to be done before applying the piping along the top and bottom.

Most of the seams were pretty straight forward and I finished them in the same way as I had finished the sleeves seams. It  just grading back any excess and then turning back the top fabric seam allowance and slip stitching.

Internal seams graded, turned back and slip stitched

Internal seams graded, turned back and slip stitched

For the side seams, I could not use the same method as I had let out the bodice on these seams during the fitting and so there was only 5mm seam allowance – not enough to fold back.

Unfinished side seam and neatened side back seam.

Unfinished side seam and neatened side back seam.

I ended up wing bias binding to finish the seam. Normally you would machine sew one side, fold over and machine stitch in the ditch, possibly leaving the seam flapping loose. Because I wanted these seams to look similar to the other seams, I machine stitched the first side and then slip stitched the other side flat.

Using bias binding to neaten the seam

Using bias binding to neaten the seam

When all was done, I don’t think you would not notice that these seams were different unless it was pointed out to you.

Seam neatening. The 2 seams on the left had seam allowances turned back. Bias binding was used on the right seam.

Seam neatening. The 2 seams on the left had seam allowances turned back. Bias binding was used on the right seam.

Homework 30: Period bodice – setting in the sleeves

This evening I put the sleeves in to the bodice. I tried doing the right side without using easing stitches, but it didn’t look so good pulling across the head of the sleeves. You can see the difference between the right and the left in the pictures below. In the end I reset the right sleeve using easing.

Before sewing in the sleeves, I folded pack and pinned the vertical seams that joined the armhole so that they would be in place for when I finished the seam neatening.

Right sleeve back

Right sleeve back

Right sleeve front

Right sleeve front

Left sleeve side

left sleeve side

Right sleeve side

Right sleeve side

Left sleeve front

Left sleeve front

Left sleeve back

Left sleeve back

Homework 30: Period bodice – sleeves

First I added the facing. I used some scraps left over from my quilted petticoat fabric, but it should have really been cut on the bias.

Measuring up the facing

Measuring up the facing

I machine sewed in the facing, but didn’t want to finish the facing until I had put in the sleeve and set the cuff.

Facing, machine sewn in

Facing, machine sewn in

After adding the facing, I used my rolling pin to press the seam flat before neatening.

Using a wooden rolling pin to press the seam

Using a wooden rolling pin to press the seam

Grading the seam by cutting back the layers

Grading the seam by cutting back the layers

Seam pinned back ready to slip stitch in place

Seam pinned back ready to slip stitch in place

Class 30: Period bodice – sleeves, piping, seam neatening, and fastenings

Sleeves

Today Claire checked the calico sleeves we had fitted, and explained when we put in the real sleeve we should mount the top fabric on to lawn to stop it from stretching and add a facing on the cuff using a 2-4 cm bias strip. Remember to always set the sleeve in to the bodice, not the bodice in to the sleeve.

The sleeve seams can be overlocked if they need to be finished quickly or seams can be turned back and hand slip stitched for a better finish. The facing and the seam neatening should be done before fitting the sleeve to make it easier to handle.

Claire also gave us instructions for seam neatening on the sleeve and the bodice, and what we had to do for the piping that would go round the top and bottom of the bodice, and what fastenings to use. I spent the rest of the class helping with fittings, and cutting out the sleeve layers.

Seam neatening

For the vertical seams:

  1. trim seam allowance
  2. grade under layers
  3. turn back top layer
  4. and slip stitch.

For the armholes:

  1. trim to 10mm seam allowance
  2. pin
  3. hand tack in place

Piping

This would be used on the top and bottom seams. It helps to reinforce these edges and having the cords in the piping, allows you to ease in the the neckline if it slightly gapes or does not sit flat against the body.

  • use 00/01 cotton piping
  • pipe all the way round from edge to edge
  • for lighter fabrics double up by folding in half. The folded edge will give a nicer finish on the inside.
  • do not under cut the cord, leave long to give you something to grab
  • to finish unpick slightly, turn back the bias fabric and then resew to the edge

Fastenings

My bodice will have a centre front opening where the two centre front edges meet,  so I will just be using hooks and eyes up the front. There openings could be laced or where the fabrics overlap, hooks and bars would be used.

Buttons were rarely used as funtional fastenings in this period. As buttons were often used on military uniforms and so were considered quite unfeminine.

  • hooks should be placed on the left side as the actress would be dressed by someone else
  • placing should be roughly 25mm apart. Close to the edge, but set back slightly.
  • for fittings, use 5 stitches around each ring of the hook or loop to hold in place
  • once position is correct, stitch firmly in place covering the whole ring with thread. Use a stab stitch to firmly hold in place.

Class 29: Period bodice fitting

I had sewn up the the bodice pieces over the weekend so was able to do a fitting  when I got in to class.

First fitting on bodice

First fitting of period bodice

I shouldn’t have had my top on underneath, but it was a very warm morning and I didn’t want to perspire all over my corset.

You could see from the fitting that the lines were fairly good, but there some noticeable problems which need to be addressed:

  • the centre front lines did not meet by 20mm on each side
  • the neckline was much lower than intended
centre line markings are out by 20mm on each side

Centre line markings are out by 20mm on each side

I could have just used the extra seam allowance on the stomacher to correct the width problem, but that would have made the stomacher look wide. Instead, I had to undo the side seams and use the seam allowance there.  10mm on each side (left and right) to add 20mm to the overall measurement.

Letting out the side seam - yellow basting shows the original line, blue dots show the new line.

Letting out the side seam - yellow basting shows the original line, blue dots show the new line.

I rebasted this seam before machine stitching as one side was very curved and I was worried it would slip under the machine foot.

Basting the let out the side seam before machine stitching

Basting the let out the side seam before machine stitching

There was enough seam allowance on the neckline so that I wouldn’t have to redo the stomacher.

Time for a second fitting – the centre front lines now met up, but the shoulders had to be reset.

Shoulder seams let out

Shoulder seams let out

By the end of the day, we got it so the bodice sat right and did some draping on the stand.

Unfinished garments on the stand

Unfinished garments on the stand with overskirt quickly hitched up

Class 28: Period bodice – mounting the layers

The aim today was to mount all the layers altogether, so that they can be sewn together ready for fitting.

As my top fabric was quite thin, Claire recommended that I should use domette on every panel so the bones would not show. For thicker fabrics, domette might only be required on the front stomacher panel.

First I cut out the domette and top fabric layers, then hand basted those to the drill and lawn layer.

Hand basting together all the layers on the side front bodice panel

Hand basting together all the layers on the side front bodice panel

Tips for hand basting:

  • do not knot – use a back stitch and cross at corners
  • mark breast, waist and other lines by basting. This will help you match the pieces up later and make sure everything it level.
  • if there are boning channels make sure you do not stitch though them
  • keep flat. This may be hard to do because the multiple layers can be thick, but if you bend the layers the holes the needle make will be offset from each other.
  • do a line and then cut the thread. This is because you usually take off lines at different times.
Shoulder showing marking lines basted and crossed corners

Shoulder showing marking lines basted and crossed corners

Next week bring:

  • basic sleeve block toile
  • lawn
  • piping
  • hooks & bars  -size 4 or 5
Hook, bar, and eye - size 4

Hook, bar, and eye - size 4

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