Monday, 20 March 2017

Renaissance Court Gown - Chemise and Bodice

Last summer I bought brocade fabric and I spent half a year in procrastination over half-finished corset. Here's the story.
I chose the extant bodice of Dorothea Sabina von Neuburg.
 I drew the basic pattern and spent some time trying it with a scrap fabric. Here's the bonus that I didn't expect - I found out why the breasts are excluded from boning. I used to think that it is for the breasts to show at least their natural shape, but the opposite is the truth. The poor breasts get a bit squeezed at this pattern of corset and you can see that the the fabric is supported by them. It is easy then to take the chalk and trace the line where the boning is not needed. So no natural shaping, they just wanted to save the boning! :-D
(And it looks nice as a piece of underwear of course)
Two layers of twill for the right side, one for the lining. At this point I hid the seam inside, but later on I decided to leave the side seam allowances out. If I took on weight by chance :)
I sewed a line where the edge should be and cut it out with a few extra milimeters.

I sewed the tunnels, put in steel boning and sewed on bias tape. The ends of stell boning are ground as usually (this took me ages!)
There is a great tunnel at the center for a simple wooden busk.
During fitting the inside of the corset got a bit dirty from sweat and I started to imagin how it would look after one summer of performing. Disgusting. So I also made a chemise. I traced the neckline along the bodice neckline, just a tad smaller. The shoulders are 5cm wide. The pattern is simple A-shape and sleeves are like squares. The front neckline is by chance 10cm wider than the back one, so I made the whole front panel wider.
I don't have the wrists yet. I added lace to the neckline.
The chemise. The neckline is far too wide without the corset :-)
Hooray, half a year and the corset is almost done. I just need to add the little spaniel-ears to the lower back. And you know what? I can tie the bodice myself! The trick is that you start with the lacing wide open but thread. Start pulling the ribbon and make your back wide so that the edges don't touch. Keep on until the edges are closed at the top, then just pull and voila.
Then you spend next ten minutes trying to persuade the chemise neckline to go along the corset neckline :-)