Pendragon Desree Dress – Part 2

Boning, boning, boning. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a real bodice unless you’ve got some boning in there, especially if you have a sizable bust like I do.

I used two types of boning: 1/4 inch white featherlite in casing and 1/2 inch black featherlite without casing. These weren’t purchased specifically for this project, they just happened to be lying around in one of my storage drawers. I need the most support in front and on the sides, so I used a double layer of the 1/2 inch in those places. The 1/4 inch I used along the front side seams and back side seams.

I sized each boning piece by laying it alongside the seam that will contain it, and then I cut it approx 3/4 inches shorter than the seam length. I then trimmed/rounded the ends and put boning caps on.

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Then I slipped the boning inside the seam allowance and sewed it shut. Normally you’re supposed to sew seam allowances open and flat for a smoother finish, but with thick multilayered bodices these boning pieces won’t really bulge out so it’s OK.

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After affixing the boning, I then sewed the lining to the outer layer (right sides together), turned it right sides out, pinned the shoulders, and put it on to see the fit:

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Not bad, though the shoulders seemed to be sloping upwards from inside seam to outside seam, so I adjusted it when I sewed it to account for my shoulders which slope slightly downwards instead of upwards.

Here’s the finished bodice (still open along the bottom so I can sew it to the skirt) pinned to the skirt. (The skirt was pretty easy: just sew the two layers with right sides together along the two sides and the bottom, then turn right sides out.)

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Here are a few side-by-side comparison pics with me wearing a peasant blouse (that I did not make) and a red circle skirt (that I did make):

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All that’s left now is to sew the underskirt (gotta decide on elastic or drawstring) and then sew the bodice to the overskirt, and then add the grommets. No sweat!

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Pendragon Desree Dress – Part 1

I went to the LA Renaissance Faire two weekends ago and while I was there I took the time to browse the costume stalls, as I usually do. The fanciest and priciest outfits belong to a vendor called Pendragon Costumes. I’ve been looking for a relatively easy costume for a while, and I noticed a particular outfit called the Desree Dress that looked pretty simple:

It’s basically a bodice sewn to an open front skirt with an underskirt. How hard could that be? I noticed theirs had no lining and boning only alongside the front grommets. That’s ok, I’m not so bad at doing lined bodices and adding boning to seam allowances.

I started with Butterick 5757 for the skirt, which I’ve worked with 3 times thus far with great results, allowing for an extra 6 inches of width along the fold so that the piece would wrap around partways in front like the Desiree picture. I cut two pieces so that one could be used as lining.

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Next I used McCall’s 4107 for the bodice, opting for the simplest option with front laces, and eliminating the back laces. I cut outer fabric to match the skirt above, as well as interfacing and lining (dark color to hide sweat stains better).

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Next I ironed the interfacing to the outer fabric:

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And then I began to sew the outer bodice, clipping around curves and praying to the sewing gods:

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Here’s the first two pieces, and then the finished outer bodice:

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I did the same to the inner bodice lining:

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Next up: tackling the boning!