|another failed bodice in the making..|
|and yet another which didn't make the grade|
But finally, I had found found the light at the end of the seamstresses tunnel. With the Marfy visual, I set about drafting the pattern. First, I thought I would simply sew in an existing well fitted bra into a bodice base. This sounds lazy, but you need to remember that I now had just days to finish a wedding dress and I hadn't even started on the final skirts yet. It didn't work. So I decided to make the bra cups myself from the coutil.
And that didn't work either
and yet again
I turned the corner
Luckily, during these frantic sewing marathons, my DD was at work. Being a teacher, she was far too committed to her job to take time off before the wedding for dress fittings. She had taken my word for it when I assured her that a few evening fittings were all it would take. And they would have been, if it wasn't for the bodice challenge taking place. I sewed furiously during the day to have something for her to try on in the evenings when she stopped by. I didn't want to panic her. The truth was, I was panicked enough for the both of us! How this bodice continued to elude me was...a mystery. Not only was I confused and distressed, I was plain old fashioned mad about it too!
During more extensive Google searching late at night, I found a costuming forum where seamstresses back in 2008 had been discussing the trauma of altering period costume bodices for actresses. One user had commented that she had been told by an elderly European alterations pro to 'draft a bra into diamonds' to reconstruct it. She couldn't understand what this could have possibly meant, but for me, it was a lightening bolt of clarity. Suddenly I knew exactly how to get this built in bra bodice with corsetry elements made!
And in the next post I'll show you how I did it.
In September 2016 I made my DD's wedding dress using the Butterick Pattern B5731 as a starting point. I then created my own variation of a semi corset with a built in bra as a replacement to the pattern bodice. I took the Craftsy online class 'Sewing Corsets' with Alison Smith which I can recommend as essential viewing for anyone interested in sewing corsets or formal wear bodices with corset elements. In fact I even received personal advice from Alison and am happy to recommend this class to anyone who's interested.