The trickiest piece on this entire gown is the bodice. I remade it four times because the others just didn’t work out to my tastes. Neither did the final one, but I was down to the last minute.
I don’t know why this one is just so tricky. It’s my own bodice pattern. I drafted it myself and have used it in two other costumes. So it isn’t like the pattern doesn’t work. Albeit I have lost weight since then and now I need to redraft it. But still, that shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
The first one was the most perfect. I just made a slight error when putting it together and ended up with a complete and utter mess. A mess I will be able to fix. Hopefully. One day after the move when I have time to fiddle with it things will be alright. But that is after the ball, after the move, maybe before Padme, but unlikely.
The second bodice, was made with extra chiffon and organza on top, and organza likes to slip around as does chiffon. I should have stabilized the fabric. But it totally spaced my mind. I didn’t even get half way through this before I realized that it would not work and I gave up.
The third bodice, I ran out of interfacing and my local store was closed for the night. So I forged ahead without interfacing, hoping that using twill and a cotton for lining would act the same way. It doesn’t. The bodice was super rippled. Like beyond saving rippled. Although it fit, the ripples were not wanted
So I had no choice but to start a fourth time. This time I interfaced my satin like I should have done the first place. I am just weary of ironing seams on interfaced fabric, as well as cleaning interfaced fabrics. I just don’t feel like the interfacing is strong enough to handle that. Even though I know I am wrong. It just doesn’t feel secure after all that hard work.
I used the exact same pattern as before with all the other ones. But I shaved more off the waist. This was my last chance. At this point I purchased the McCall’s pattern. Had a stern talking with my pattern. Not that that helped or made me sound any less sane. But I let my pattern know that if it didn’t pull itself together I would have to use a commercial pattern. And I was not going to be happy if I had to do that.
That seemed to get it to work. I sewed a piece of twill tape down the center front bodice strength side so the stitching doesn’t show on the outer side. I proceeded to do that with the side seams as well. Then the strength was basted to the satin front and sewn up at the seams with right sides together. And due to the time left with this one, I didn’t have time to line the bodice like I would have liked to. Like the first one I did. Thus my boning channels are the seams just folded over and stitched. I didn’t have time to hand stitch the eyelets on this one as I had done with the others, so these are nickel eyelets that I have hammered in.
And let’s not forget about the piping I made for it, the first time I made piping. It was easier than I thought.
Here are all the supplies I used to make the bodice.
Now comes that frilly bertha collar. The one with all the butterflies. The butterflies came first. About two years ago I purchased an embroidery machine. The embroidery machine I bought came with a lovely little butterfly already installed on it. I will purchase more patterns for when I make the next one. That way there is more of a diversity in the mix.
Here are my old butterflies, the ones I was going to use. Before I discovered embroidered ones.
I let my machine make the butterflies as I patterned the bertha out. It is basically a giant stretched oval, with the long ends cut off to create a flat edge.
The bertha was cut out of first the crystal organza and then the chiffon. I cut two of each out. And sewed them together down the middle. Followed by gathering the edges getting sewn together right sides matching in half. Leave one edge open to pull it through. And then I ladder stitched the opening shut so you wouldn’t see the stitches on the side. I ruched the seam at the center front to create that little indent at the bust where a butterfly will sit. Gathered the sewn up long edge down for the bertha to sit off the shoulder. The two end pieces are pleated where they will connect in the back.
The bertha was then sewn on at the center front, the center back at both points letting one come up over the other edge to hide the connecting pieces, as well as at the shoulder straps, the side front, and lastly at the side back. Then butterflies were placed with the prettiest ones at the shoulders and the center front and back. Each one hand tacked down with a few strands of thread. The other butterflies were placed less strategically than these points. They were just placed in areas that worked for them. There are roughly 43 butterflies on this entire thing.
I just don’t know how to get rid of the ripples completely. I think part of my issue is that I am wearing a boned corset underneath and a boned bodice on top. The corset also needs to be redone because it is just a tad bit loose in the waist region now. The bust and hips are fine. Just the waist is a bit big. That and I may need more pieces instead of just 7 total. Who knows? If you do please feel free to let me know. I am always looking to expand my knowledge.