Monday, March 24, 2014

Ball Dress Bodice

Finally, I'm getting around to this!
For Camille and I's ball bodice's, I ordered the Truly Victorian 1860's ball gown bodice. I really wanted the ruffly berthe (pronounced 'bertha'; a berthe is a detachable piece on a dress, although mine is not really detachable).
Camille really wanted the flat berthe, although in the end, we didn't have time and she went without one.
Mine I started as soon as I could. The pattern was interesting; it used a lot of measurements that I wouldn't have guessed.
Even though it was supposed to be helpful, the first problem on the mock up was it was absolutely too large. It gaped horridly in the back. So I ripped it apart and made it a size smaller. And then again. By then, it was starting to fit everywhere else except at the top. I asked Lizzie to help me out, because I was having problems elsewhere as well. I probably should have cut the front piece a size larger, as Lizzie confirmed. It was too small in the bust area.
Part of my problems was it might have been that I didn't want the dress off the shoulder, but that is what the pattern is for. So the shoulders I played around with to death until I got them right.
So as I recall, to the mock up we added some to the side seams to make the front larger, I chopped away some of the bottom edge of the back, the armholes were cut larger, and the top front seam taken in to prevent gaping in the front.
However, even with these adjustments when I pieced it all together, it still wasn't right. I don't remember everything I actually did to fix it, but I cut a lot away from the finished fabric and wish I had figured out how to fix the mock up. It was frustrating.
Just because I am lazy, I did one dart on each side, instead of two, like in the above picture.
The back is one of my favorite parts; it's so cool! Sadly, (I really hate this), I don't have pictures of it. I took my dress over to Lizzie's and she very kindly sewed eyelets for me. I tried, but they always turned out G-shaped instead of round. It looks so cool all laced up!
The berthe turned out to be easier and harder than I thought. First off, I pinned it to Lucille, my dress form, over the bodice, which was loosely pinned on. I really liked that, and could adjust the bottom row of gathers how I wanted it. However, the problem was that I wanted it to sort of not puff up in the front, and that required less on the shoulders, and then that made it hard to raise my arms. It's hard to describe how I actually ended up doing it, but it all came out.
And I had way less problems with Camille's dress, although hers took longer and the neckline on hers gaped. I think next year I will make a tucker and add a berthe. And her dress will need to be lengthened, and a petticoat added. Poor thing; she was so self-conscious about the rings of her hoop showing.
I have no idea why my bodice is wrinkling so badly in the front in both pictures; it is way not too tight, like wrinkled bodice's usually are. I could add another dart, actually. Maybe it just needs an ironing....

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