Saturday, March 15, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #5 Bodice

The Challenge:  Bodice
Fabric:  Cotton Twill and Cotton Matelassé
Pattern:  Wearing History 1007
Year:  1899
Notions:  Passementerie, buttons for covering, thread
How historically accurate is it?  Very.  The pattern from Wearing History is designed for the original in La Mode Illustree.  All sewing techniques are accurate and while the passementerie is purchased, it is hand sewn to the bodice. 
Hours to complete?  15 hours
First Worn:  April 15th after I complete the hat for Challenge #7, then at Costume College
Total Cost:  Everything needed was taken from very old stash.

That's the most beautiful gown you've made!
I'm quoting my husband as he came to the deck while I was taking the final pictures of this bodice because he has watched me learn and struggle and sigh and even cry as I tackle new sewing projects.  It means so much to me, as I'm sure it does to all of us, to have our work acknowledged.  I'm thankful to have a husband who while he may not understand the why, certainly notices and applauds my efforts.
And this bodice was all about effort!  It started with my first e-pattern.  Thank goodness it was from Wearing History and had been tested.  Not only did it go together perfectly to become my paper pattern, but it was perfect in it's directions and fit.
I made a mock-up of muslin which I later took apart and used as a lining. 

Several years ago I made an 1890s skirt and had some of the matelassé left over.  I used it for the contrast collar and cuffs and the lining inside the front pieces and the bottom inside edge.  It is a heavy fabric with a definite pattern and I aligned all the pieces so that the pattern is nice on all sides.

The back bodice passementarie had to be hand sewn but could be completed early in construction.
Here the cuffs have been attached to the sleeves and a venice lace is cut apart for the sleeve trim and hand sewn.  The small flowers left over are sewn onto the fabric covered buttons.
All pieces ready for final assembly!
Once the bodice is assembled and sleeve insets are put in to hold that nice 1890s full sleeve look, the sleeve passementarie is draped, pinned into place, and hand sewn
And the bodice is finished!


More pictures after I make the matching hat from a wonderful new pattern.



  1. OMG! It looks SO amazing! You did an absolutely beautiful job!!

  2. Thank you, Kat! I really love the style of this pattern!

  3. Beautiful! It looks like an original, and wonderful job using all the bits of your passamentarie to bring it all together.

    1. Thank you, Val! The pattern is so wonderful to use!

  4. Love the way it looks all together. Nicely done

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane! I'm going to use this pattern again in the fall for a jacket to wear with jeans.

  6. Gorgeous work ! I adore the color combo and how you worked with the passementerie.