Starting the bodice

For the bodice, I started with Truly Victorian 490. I had already altered this pattern to fit for my First Lady dress, so I was starting with a fitted base. I then Franken-patterned the heck out of it to make it high necked, and replace the front double-darts with princess seams.

The front of the bodice is ruched. In order to make sure the ruching was even under the front ribbon and even at the side seams, I ran about 9 rows of gathering through by hand to a large rectangle of the sheer fabric, then hand-basted it to the base. It may have been possible to do by machine, but mine is finicky and I know this is the sort of thing my machine wouldn’t like.

7 top first gathers

At this point there was a delay, because I had bought ribbon that was too narrow, and needed to buy a wider size. I forgot that to have 1″ of ribbon sticking out of the front-side seams, I needed to have another 1/2″ in the seam allowance.

A narrow ribbon was handsewn down the middle, covering the front seam. The neckline and side-front seams got a gathered ribbon basted on.

8 ruffles gathered and pinned

I noticed in the original┬áthat the gathered ribbon doesn’t end at the armhole, it goes around the front of the armhole and ends slightly past the shoulder seam.

At this point I was finally ready to sew the rest of the bodice together! Starting to look like a real outfit!

9 fronts attached

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