Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Ren Fair Bodice Mockup

Okay, it's been awhile since I've posted. Which, unfortunately, means it's been awhile since I've done any sewing. This is unfortunate because the Ren Faire, which I mentioned in an earlier post, is in a week. I may have been a bit hopeful in thinking I'd make two different types of corsets for the two faires this summer, and I've decided to just do the underbust with straps as I have already sketched out. I've made a basic underbust before at a workshop, and I don't really have all the time I need to figure out fitting a totally new project.

The straps were the new part, so I figured it would be an easy thing to just trace the various pieces of the corset I already had, then add some straps. Yeah, not so easy. It's a lot harder than I thought to get the accurate tracing of what is essentially a 3-dimensional construct. I couldn't get the pieces to lie flat no matter what I did, so I ended up needing to make certain adjustments to the mockup.

The straps were not nearly as bad (although if my husband hadn't been so helpful with positioning them it would have been nigh-impossible. I'm very lucky he's willing to help me fit things).

My original corset had a front busk and a back lacing. This one is more of a boned bodice, and it will have just a front lacing. That required some alterations to the pattern as well, including making a shaped back seam.

Nonetheless, after all that finicky stuff, I had a mockup:


You're going to have to ignore the weird look on my face. That happens in 49 photos out of 50, and there's no way I was going to take 50 photos of a mockup to get a good one. For my finished costumes I'm much more patient.

The blue bits are painter's tape. I read on the livejournal corsetmakers' community about using masking tape rather than sewing boning channels in a mockup and I jumped on it. It's not 100% the same (which is why there's still a fair amount of horizontal wrinkling) but it does make a difference and it's far less of a headache. (The other thing I cheated on were the eyelets. I just made small buttonholes. So much faster.)


I raised the back up to accomodate the straps, which start at basically the side seam (just to the front side of it) and go to center back.


The straps do stretch: they're not on the straight-of-grain. I'm thinking I can do something about this by sewing some twill tape on the inside of the coutil for strength. I'm kind of winging it, so we'll see. I didn't come across a lot of specific advice on creating the pattern for a strapped underbust, and those patterns that exist seem to put the straps much more forward than I wanted. I hope this ends up comfortable: it's one thing to sit in a thin boned muslin for a couple of hours to assess comfort, but it's another to wander in the sun for 5-6 hours in a bodice consisting of a coloured cotton layer, two coutil layers, and a lining.

And once I'm done the corset I"ll need to make the skirt and the apron. I've decided that for this one at least, to save time I'll just take my old wench/gypsy blouse and remove the top elastic and replace it with a drawstring. I've need to make an alteration like that for some time now, anyway.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

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