Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three looks in one!

I'd read in Liz Clark's Dressmaker's Guide how to make a pattern for a bodice.  Now this was a FUN project!!  It didn't take nearly as long or was as hard as I thought it would be!

If you want to do it right, though, you make your corset first, and draft your pattern over that. Since this is my work dress, and I'm not about to wear a corset to work in a garden, I just wore my normal under clothing.  When my body is done changing sizes all the time, I'll draft a nice corset, a new bodice, and make a lovely NEW dress.

The finished product, without petticoats.
It's a little short because this bodice does not have a waistband.  
I'm not sure if I'm going to lengthen it for now, though.
I didn't add the princess lines or tucks in the back just to give me more wiggle room.
I couldn't get a good picture here with my petticoats on, but you can see that the shape 
is much better with the petticoats than without!

Here are a few pictures from all our fun!

Not my most modest picture, but here you can see the idea of how making the pattern works.

My super-mom who did the wrapping and marking.

This fabric has gone a long way!  This is now my 4th top  and second skirt in this fabric.  I sold one complete dress a couple years ago when I realized I'd just made it too big for me.  Great options for my changing sizes!


Liz C said...

Go, Emily!

The petticoat support you're getting is quite lovely. I think you'd like a corded corset for gardening; you get nice support, but minimal constriction, just like a lot of women at mid-century chose. Corded and boned corsets can each accommodate about 10-15 pounds weight loss/gain before needing alterations, so the support doesn't have to wait til all is stable (which for most women, won't be until we're dead.) :)

Minor, minor thing: you could actually shorten the bodice about an inch or so, possibly a bit more, and drop the tuck out of the skirt. If you're wanting a more 40s look, shorten in the back of the bodice only, and curve around to a soft point at the front instead.

I'm so pleased you gave this a try! It's a different sort of method, but the results in your bodice speak beautifully. :) Great re-use of fabric, too... very frugal, and just lovely on you!

Amanda said...

Oh Emily. I really love this one. Thank you for sharing your talents.

Anonymous said...

This looks beautiful. I love the construction idea with the plastic wrap. I was looking for the Dressmaking article you used, but I could not find it. Is it under an archive somewhere?


Emily said...

hi connie! the technique is actually described in liz's book, the dressmaker's guide. well worth the money!

Jenn H said...

i was wondering if you ever make these dresses to sell? I also have worked at titp and have worn old DI stuff my first year, but this summer want to try a more authentic look. None of the dresses they have seem to fit me very well so i thought i could sew one. I like the two piece outfits ma ingalls wears on little house on the praire. Problem it, i don't now how to sew! Anyway, just thought I would ask! Thanks!

Emily said...

How fun, Jenn! Are you doing TITP this next summer? My kids really want to, so I'm thinking about it. That means new projects for me, too!

I don't sew for people -- at least currently. There's just not enough time. I'd like to someday, though. I have made things to test out that I've sold after, but don't have any pre-mades.

Not that you're asking for my opinion, but to be more authentic, I'd try and avoid the Ma Ingalls look (see http://howtodresslikeapioneer.blogspot.com/2010/06/not-so-pioneer-skirt-tutorial.html). You could do a 2 piece of the same fabric which could be more authentic-looking (that's what I did my first year).

Do you have even a little sewing experience? Do you have access to a machine? If you sew a little, it's really not *that* hard and you could probably figure it out. Maybe there'd be someone in your neighborhood who could mentor you (I've done that with some trek girls and it was fun -- they just came over and used my sewing machine and I'd tell them what to do each step of the way. Then they babysat for me to make up for it). Best of luck to you and maybe we'll meet up some time!


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