So a long while ago, I declared that I was going to have this 1890s bodice close with a hidden layer underneath, and the fashion layer on top. So here’s how I did this!
All the back pieces of the bodice are treated normally. First, baste the outer fabric to the lining so it can be treated as one piece. Sew them together normally. (No pictures, this is standard sewing).
On the front right piece, I did baste the outer and lining fabrics, and sewed the darts in a single stitch. I did *not* baste them together at the front seam, because they weren’t going to be attached here.
On the front left piece, I didn’t actually cut a single piece. Note, taking the front left piece and cutting it in half isn’t good enough, because you need some seam allowance in the middle. So I drew a line down the middle of the pattern, and just folded the pattern in half to cut each part, making sure to add a good inch of seam allowance in the middle.
The outer-left-front was basted to the inner left front. Where the overlap would be, I just folded the fabric over and sewed it down. This dart could actually have been sewn as one with the lining, but I didn’t realize it in time and sewed the lining dart and outer dart separately.
The front right fabric and inner front left (uh, descriptions are hard…) were sewn together at the center seam. At first I couldn’t figure out how I was going to face the edges with the bias facing and still have the lining and outer fabric separate. Then I realized I really didn’t need to, so those fabrics are attached at the top and bottom (and also where I sewed through both to get the trim on).
Hooks and eyes are added to the inner fabric. When hooked, all the strain goes on this layer, and not the fashion fabric.
The extremely observant may have noticed that I used a hook and bar at the very bottom, and not a hook and eye.
Was this a clever technique I noticed on extant bodices that has some mystical costuming power?!?!?
Nah, I was just out of eyes of the right size and didn’t want to buy more. I suspect there are more occurrences of things like this on extant clothing that we costumers over analyze.
You can see the snaps on the left size of the bodice. On the right side, the snaps are sewn to the backside of the trim. The thread matches the gold on the outside of the trim, so you can’t tell where the stitching is at all. Hooks and bars would have been more period, but eh I felt like using snaps.
Why the wacky lace? Because my inspiration dress had it as well! That dress also had lace around the neck and sleeves, but I couldn’t make that work here in an attractive way.
And here, a bodice with a front closure that is totally hidden, that you can put on yourself with no help!
And oh hey, I’m counting this in the 2014 Historical Sew Fortnightly – Challenge #24, All that Glitters.
Yes, I’m posting this in February. But I was 99% done in December, and only added the snaps in January. Then I was too busy sewing a 1930s dress, rehearsing, then performing in the actual dance show to get around to blogging about this. So I think it fits in the spirit of the HSF.
The Challenge: A glittery 1890s evening bodice, to go with the skirt I made for HSF #11, The Politics of Fashion. The glitter comes in the shimmery silk of the bodice, plus the shiny gold trim.
Fabric: 1 yard silk/cotton blend
Pattern: Truly Victorian 490, 1892 evening bodice. Preaching to the choir here, but I cannot say enough good things about TV patterns. It required so few tweaks to fit perfectly.
Year: Late 1890s
Notions: Beige curtain trim dyed purple, hooks and eyes, snaps, plastic cable ties for boning
How historically accurate is it? Eh, not sure how to answer this. Pattern, shape, and general construction techniques are good. I doubt silk-cotton was a thing in the 1890s, and boning would not have been plastic. However, the machine stitching the inside plus hand finishing would certainly be accurate by this point.
Hours to complete: Not good at estimating. Maybe 20? There was a lot of handsewing that went on here – trim, hooks and eyes, snaps, bias facings, boning channels.
First worn: With Danse Libre, in our performance of The Golden Age of Hollywood with the Peninsula Symphony.
Total cost: Around $25. Fabric was $16 a yard, so add on a bit more for lining fabric and notions.
And pictures of the whole outfit in action at dress rehearsal!