Work is progressing well on the silk dress and I thought I would share some of the stages of the bodice construction.
|Preparing to cut the fabric|
Firstly, I cut all of the dress pieces from both the silk and the lining. It took some time to carefully position the pieces to ensure that the stripes matched where I wanted them to. The darts and curved seams of Victorian patterns make it impossible to match all of the seams but I chose to make sure that the front matched on the diagonal to create a chevron on the centre seam.
Some quick research into original dresses showed this way of using striped fabric to create visual interest was used in the 1840s. Both of these dresses from The Manchester Gallery of Costume feature striped fabrics that have been cut to create a distinctive chevron pattern on the front of the bodice. You can click on the pictures below to find out more about each dress.
|1840s Day Dress, Manchester Gallery of Costume|
|Tartan Wedding Dress, 1849, Manchester Gallery of Costume|
|Matching silk and lining pieces cut out|
|Positioning and pinning the lining to the silk|
|Marking the seam lines for the darts|
|The darts stitched closed|
Before stitching the rest of the bodice, I then applied piping to the side and back seams. The piping cord is positioned on the outside of the seam line. When the pieces are stitched together, the piping sits on the outside of the seam.
|Piping applied to the side back panel|
I also turned in and slip-stiched down the facings at the centre back where the bodice will open and close.
|Centre back facing slip-stitched to the lining|
|The inside of the bodice|
|Piping on the bottom edge|
Finally, the top and bottom edges were finished with piping. On the top edge, the seam allowance of the piping was turned to the inside, folded over and stitched to the lining. However, on the bottom, I have left about 2/8" of fabric below the piping where I will attach the skirt.
In my next post I will share how I have created convertible sleeves which can be worn either long or short to make this dress suitable to wear in the day and in the evening.