The last piece I needed to complete the “Sew 17th century challenge” was also the main piece – the bodice.
Read about the other garments here: Skirt, Cufs,Coif, Fur Shawl
And to make this post a bit lighter I’ve cut it up in a few manageable pieces.
First up – The Pattern
When researching the bodice I found several different patterns*, and after some narrowing things down, I ended up with two finalists to make into mock-ups. Both from Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”
The first pattern I picked was “1660s bodice lining”
It has the perfect neck scope and shoulders, and the much need lacing down the front.
The only thing I’m missing is the tabs down the hips.
I scanned the pattern, opened it in Paint and changed the printer settings to 400%
Then I cut all the pieces and taped them together.
I traced the pieces and made some alteration to my measurements.
Then it was time to bring out the cotton sheeting to cut the mock-ups.
I added boning at some vital places, and my pre-made lacing strip to the font, to get a more accurate fitting.
I really liked how the pattern fitted my body – both comfortable and strong.
I also like the look of the off-the-shoulder sleeves, even though I can hardly lift my arms.
The next pattern to try was the “1680s court bodice”.
I printed, attached and sewed the pieces in the same way as before.
I love the shape it gives me, but It’s not nearly as comfortable as the previous one.
I’ll have to move the lacing to the front on this one, and to do some serious editing to the sleeves and neckline.
Hm, which one to choose…
In the end I opted for the “1660s bodice lining.
So then it was back to the drawing table to ad some tabs to the otherwise perfect pattern.
I even tried it on with my (at the time) almost finished skirt.
Pretty rough, but you get the idea if the shape.
*I found patterns for 17th century stays and bodices in almost every book covering this period: Waugh’s “Cut of Womens Clothes”, Arnold’s “Pattern of fashion” and “Seventeen-Century Women’s Dress Patterns” by North & Tiramani.
Next up – making the foundation…
2 thoughts on ““Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 1 – The pattern)”
I’m not sure if it’s easier, but I use my 18th century stays pattern to draft 17th century patterns. I put all the pieces together and then re-draft the lines after a 17th century pattern. (I do the same thing when I make new stays pattern as well.) 🙂
Thats a good tip for next time 🙂