This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**



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HI, my name is Val. I'm a membor of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

The 1830s Project: Part 3- Fitting the bodices

I always like to share things I've either figured out, learned, or fudged in a way that works. 
In Part 1 I showed a photo of the front of my pleated bodice where I was pinning it in on me to fit it better. I thought I would go into more detail of how I fitted it on me since fitting has been a struggle for me for years. And over those years I’ve learned a bit more and I can share this one. Sometimes a friend would pin my bodice in for me and then tell me to transfer the markings to my pattern which I never seemed to get right anyhow. Maybe this time I will.

As a reminder, this is the pattern I used, TV 455.
Because I had changed the front effect of gathering to pleating it caused my upper portion to be much too big and fluffy on me. After it was all pleated I sewed the shoulder seams and side seams with a machine basting stitch. The back is closed with hook & eye tape. I put it on inside out and then pinned the front edges together matching the edges evenly. Then I started pinching it in next to my body to where I thought the seam should be and pinned it. I did this all the way down the front. The top section on me was taken in quite a bit. I readjusted the bodice on me by pulling the back down again and a bit forward. I can tell if it’s a good fit or if I need to take it in a bit more. Sometimes I take in some on the side seams. If you haven’t done your darts already, this is another way to fit it on you too.
Once I was happy with how it was pinned, I marked my sewing line with chalk. I only did one side because I have front edges perfectly lined up together. When I unpin it this will be very important because I want to have the same seam line I had when it was on me.
Next I machine basted the front seam. I’ll need to check the fit on me again, and without having someone to get me in and out of this, I undo one side seam. I put it on me right side out and just hold the side seam closed. If it looks good then I do a regular stitch length seam on everything, closing up the side seam. From this point I can’t get into it myself unless my maid is there to help me.

I didn’t trim all the excess fabric off the front seam, leaving instead a two inch seam allowance just in case.
So that’s how my one-woman bodice fitting was done on this pattern. Obviously if any fitting is needed in the back, then I’m up the creek again.
                                                                                ~Val

2 comments:

  1. Dear Val,

    Yes indeed, you post was of help. Never thought to leave a seam open to get in and out of the bodice. What a good idea! My fitting skills are so iffy: sometimes things work, and sometimes they just make me cry :}

    Very best,

    Natalie

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    Replies
    1. Hang in there, Natalie, and keep trying. It will eventually get better. I know from personal experience. It doesn't happen overnight. I still muddle through things but I am better than I was 5 years ago.
      Val

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I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!