I first want to start by saying sorry for such a long delay in posting. There was a renaissance fair here two weekends in a row and I was finishing up my costumes for both weekends. But enough about excuses, I am back. And I should have another post up on Wednesday about the crown and the circles for the bodice and the overskirt.
Patterning the bodice was fairly easy. I took my standard corset pattern and modified it. I made this pattern based on my measurements and my mannequin. If you have seen my Evil Queen/Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time than this corset pattern will be familiar to you. It is the best pattern I have made corset wise. Fits perfectly, or as close to perfect as I have been able to make. I do wish the waist was a little more reduced, but when I lose weight I will make another pattern. And then I can show you how I made mine.
Fair warning, I don’t have very many pictures showing the process of this construction. I am sorry about that. But as I explained before, I didn’t have very much time to complete this section as I would have liked.
Since you have already seen what my pieces look like laid out I won’t post a picture of it. On my modified pattern I added lots of space at the top to make sure I can get the silhouette just right. I am aware that it looks a little ridiculous. Just keep in mind that I will have to take it in at some areas at the top or bottom. Which will happen in the mock-up phase.
Cut out all the pieces twice for the mockup. Sew the panels together. To save myself some time in the mockup portion I only pin the top, and just hold and sew as I go for the rest of the corset. It works and I feel like I have pretty good control over the sewing machine for this part. But if you don’t feel confident than you can go ahead and pin the pieces. (To clarify I did pin the actual corset together. I wanted the neatest of edges as possible for the real thing.)
Here is what my mockup looks like.
I pinned my mockup to the mannequin and drew out what looked like the correct shape to me. Keep in mind that the original costume is straight on the top edge. Mine will be slightly curved in the front because I feel that shape would look best on me. I think it will work fairly well for my intended purpose.
Here is an image of the corrected pattern.
But before I begin with any pattern cutting of the fabric I will need to wash the fabric according to the instructions on the bolt, or with my go to fabric washing method. (That would be using a light detergent, some softener and put it on the delicate cycle with a light dirt level, warm heat, medium spin. The dryer is on delicate, low heat and medium to extra dry.).
After washing your fabric, I recommend interfacing if you are using a satin. You don’t want the threads to pull apart at the seams and interfacing will help with that. When you have the satin interfaced you are now able to lay out your pattern pieces to cut out of the fabric. As you can see I did interface my fabric on the shiny side, as I thought the inside looked prettier than the outside. Just be careful interfacing the shiny side. It doesn’t adhere as well as it should. But I don’t mind.
Pretty simple. You need all the pieces of the corset on the goldish yellow fabric minus the center front which will have to be on a cream satin. The fabric and color scheme seem off if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the cartoon or see any pictures of the dress. The white satin also has the shiny side facing inward with the interfacing.
Once the fabric is cut out of the satin you need to cut out another section of each piece in a twill or coutil. Because of my location I opt for twill 90% of the time. I have tried canvas, but don’t have luck when it comes time to washing the garment because the garment shrinks and warps. (It could just be lack of experience from my end).
Flat line the interfaced satin and the twill together. That means to baste the layers together. If you would like to roll pin your layers while doing this you can. If you would like an in-depth video of how to do this I can post one in the comments below, it is by Lucy Corsetry. The benefits of doing this is it helps lessen the ripples you have a chance of getting when you lace your corset tightly.
After all layers are basted together you need to pin panels together. After pinning sew them together. And make sure to sew your boning channels now. Cut bias tape from the remaining gold satin fabric. You can interface the satin if you need it to be more sturdy. Or you can leave it, I left it alone. The interfacing needs to be roughly an inch and a half wide. At this part of the bodice you only need to bias bind the bottom edge. The top edge will come later.
Cut the boning a half-inch shorter to make room for the bias binding at the top to be added. I did not add bones to the center front or the front side seams at the bust. I would have if I had the correct spiral steel bones, but I have run out and have not had the chance to purchase more. And using just the flat steel bones wasn’t working because it compressed the bust in an unflattering way. Tip the bones now, so you have time to let it dry while you work on the eyelets. I made hand sewn eyelets. The brass and nickel eyelets I own do not match the color of the fabric.
Hand Sewn Eyelets-require buttonhole thread if you want it extra sturdy. I used just regular embroidery thread and beeswax. I tried the white beeswax in a plastic disk, didn’t like that one. It was grainy and just kept shedding bits of beeswax. Instead I used the beeswax block from Michaels and had no issues with things fraying or falling off. You don’t have to use beeswax, you can also use a thread conditioner. I didn’t have any though. The ideal way to make a hole for the eyelet is to use an awl. I didn’t. I couldn’t get the fabric to not pucker when I used the awl that I just went ahead with my punch. That does make the fabric more prone to fraying or the eyelets ripping out. But since I won’t be wearing this frequently I think I will be just fine. You will also need some jump rings.
To make the hand sewn eyelets you need to mark out the placement on where the eyelets will be. I made my eyelets ¾” apart. I felt like that would be enough. That meant I had to sew 32 eyelets into the back of this bodice. 16 on each side. Insert the bones in the back before you start sewing eyelets. Punch holes in the mark of each eyelet. Lock a stitch in place, then add the jump ring to keep the hole from warping after continued use, the stitch you need to use is called an eyelet stitch. Fairly simple. The more you do, the better you get and the faster they are to do. Hint, start at the bottom. You get better with time. And you want the nicest looking ones at the top.
Here is the sleeve mock-up.
Sleeves should be patterned at this point. The top will be straight, while the bottom will have a curve leading to a point. I made mine a little wide at the top because I wanted mini gathers. Cut the sleeves out of the white satin like the front of the gown as well as the pink scrollwork that was used in the skirt.
This is the last picture I have of this bodice. I will take more pictures of the finished bodice and then add them in later.
Place right sides together sew around all edges leaving a mini gap to fit your hand. Turn inside out encasing the edges inside. Topstitch the outside to make it look neat. Before I placed it on my dress form I made sure to already sew a line of basting stitches at the top so when it was time to gather I could do so easily without having to run back to my machine.
I cut the fabric arm band that goes across the whole top bodice and around the back the width of my shoulders. If I lose too much weight, unlikely in that area, I won’t be able to take it in any further because I didn’t leave enough room for my arms. The band should be using the fabrics for the underskirt, since we want the same color scheme and not a new color for just one part.
The arm band is just a straight rectangle of fabric wide enough to fit your arms in and be able to hold the sleeves up. With right sides facing together on the rectangles, sew around all edges minus one to pull the fabric through. Once that s complete fold over one edge a bit and hand sew this down so stitching will not be visible from the outside. (Insert all bones at this point if you have not already done so.) Attach this to the front of the bodice on the first three panels, the center front and the side fronts on both side. Then you will attach the outer edges of the band to the back starting at the side back and ending at the back.
The only other steps at this point are attaching the circles and the cording as well as a modesty panel. Modesty panels are easy. It’s just two rectangles of matching fabric sewn together. Whether you bone the modesty panel or not is up to you. I left mine alone and didn’t add any boning to it. I can bone it later if I need to, but I think it will be just fine.
That is all for now, feel free to ask me any questions you have. And thank you for taking the time to read this. Until then I bid you adieu.