I started the mock up for this project about half way through last school term.
I wanted to make a bodice similar to Angela Clayton’s 16th Century Kirtle which she has also made a Video Tutorial for. Because I had limited time to make this I decided it would be easier for me to adapt a pattern rather than me drape drafting one. The bodice pattern is an adaptation of Simplicity 5582, which is a renaissance pattern pack.
I used the main ‘vest’ pattern which is worn in the bigger of the three pictures. Adapting it was simple enough. I took the opening at the front out replacing it with a full front pattern and moved the opening to the center back. I later realized that it would be easier for me to have the opening on a slant to the side of the center back as it would make skirt patterning that little easier (In my opinion!). That and Angela’s bodice back piece was of similar shape.
Hopefully the above bodice clears my awful explanation up! Draw by yours truly on Paint. The red represents where I will whip stitch the bodice seams together and the blue is to indicate the eyelet placements.
My first attempts at sleeve making failed, I tried using a sleeve from Butterick 4377 (The dress pattern I’m using for Ophelia later this year). The pattern fit into the arm hole perfectly but once I tried it on there were a few issues.
1. The sleeve was too tight 2. Because the sleeve was so tight it created this really neat look where my (amazingly muscly) shoulder actually stops the sleeve from coming up my arm any further 3. Adding on from 1&2 the bodice is pulled over and just looks terrible 4 My mother had to pull this off me.
The following day I took the bodice to school and explained my predicament to my Textile teacher. She suggested finding another sleeve pattern that was meant for ease stitching into place. I found Vogue 1264 Basic Design and used a sleeve pattern from pattern E (Brown tunic)
So I ease stitched the pattern into place and it worked perfectly!
Ignore my awful pose! The sleeve needed to be shortened but aside from that I think it works perfectly!
After this was completed the bodice was finished.
The skirt was reasonably easy to pattern, I used a drape drafting method and worked out my gathering as I went. I marked every 1cm along the top of my mock up fabric and then began pinning it along the panel section I wanted on the bodice. I would pin the first mark fold the second so that the mark was the top of the gatherings fold and pined the next mark down and continued so fourth. Confused?
The blue line is the bodice edge. Black curves the gathering in the mock up material. And the red dots represent each marked cm. I have never drafted gathering before so this was the first solution that came to my mind which estimated the gathering needed without having to waste material. It was time consuming but over all the whole process was only 6 hours which isn’t too bad if you ask me! I do want the dress to be really gathered, I think it will look fantastic with the bumroll and petticoat under it.
I used this method for all of the four panels of the skirt. I drew up a basic design of this, again in paint as it was needed for my school assessment.
Blue, Front panel. Green, Side Left panel. Pink, Back panel. Yellow, side right panel. This image also shows where the eyelets will lay down the back of the bodice and about 5 inches into the skirt.
The final skirt mock up looked like this,
The back panel has about 4cm extra on it as I’ll trim it down once I’ve hemed it. The back view was taken on my dress form with a makeshift bumroll (two singlets rolled together) which is why it sits ‘correctly’. The front image was taken on the school dress form without a bumroll. Regardless I’m super happy with the dress at this point!
I was a little worried last Thursday and had to lay the skirt out (It was all pined together at this point) and measure it to make sure I would have enough fabric to make it!
The skirt when laid out flat measures roughly 375cm which gives me plenty of space for the bodice,sleeves and french hood. Famous last words..
In class now I’m sewing the skirt together, prepared for some extreme gathering. Once the skirt is sewn on I should be finished! Then I can start the real dress.
I will likely start patterning the gown part of this project once I have finished my current projects at home (Demongaze and Ophelia) this should give me time to make the gown in time to be paired with the dress.
Unfortunately when I opened the satin out a few days ago I found it got some stains on it from when it was with my luggage coming back from England. A bottle of makeup remover leaked in my back and must have gotten to the fabric. I took it to the dry cleaners on Wednesday and they said it would likely come out which made me happy but I still spent a good five minutes telling them how delicate the fabric was. I’m picking it up this Tuesday and will cost the grand total of $30 which my mother and I are splitting between us. So lets hope all goes well with that!
Next post will be either a tutorial or and update on Demongaze but hey last time I tried scheduling posts I disappeared for almost two months.
Thank you for reading