Friday, October 17, 2014

Strapless Sweetheart Lace-Up Bodice

Do you ever just become so inspired, so confident, and so needing of a project that you start it the night before you need it and work until 3 in the morning to try to finish it?

I do. Way too often!

So was the case with this strapless lace-up bodice. I was content in the outfit I had quickly thrown together to wear at the New York Renaissance Faire, until I remembered the first commercial sewing pattern I had ever used--McCall's 4107, which I used for my Alice in Wonderland costume!

I loved the simplicity of View A, a strapless bodice that laces up the side and back. The adjustability meant that I didn't have to waste time fiddling with fit.

However, the pattern seemed a bit odd in that the top edge of the bodice was really high, so high that it was uncomfortable under my arms. I wasn't crazy about the straight-across edge either, so I removed about an inch from the top edge and created a sweetheart neckline.

I made this out of leftover green damask (?) from the Italian Tarantella skirts. It is boned along the two front and each back piece seam, totaling 4 pieces of wimpy plastic boning. This was the boning layout suggested by the pattern but were I to make this again, I'd bone the center front, near all of the lacing, and keep the boning at the seam of each back piece.

I made hand-bound eyelets simply because I didn't have enough grommets on hand. My eyelets are pretty uneven and as soon as I buy several packs of metal grommets I'll rip out the eyelets.

Overall, creating this strapless sweetheart lace-up bodice was a great experience. I now have a very lovely and well-fitting sweetheart base that I could use to make a dress or even more iterations of this style.

If I do make this design again for the Ren Faire, I will sew it wrong sides together and then apply binding around the edge. I find this is a lovely detail creating visual contrast; it was also pretty difficult to clip all the curves and corners of this bodice before turning, so a bias bound edge would likely create a cleaner finish.

Do you think costumes for wear at a Renaissance Faire should have metal grommets or hand-bound eyelets?

1 comment:

  1. I've definitely done my share of sewing through the night! Though in my case, it's usually because I'm determined to have something better to wear than my fall-back plan. And usually I've decided this, like, two days before the event. Ha ha ha!

    I think either grommets or eyelets at a Ren Faire is fine! I always enjoy seeing historically accurate touches on ensembles, and if we were talking about a historical reenactment I'd be 100% on the side of hand bound eyelets, but the Ren faire typically isn't about accuracy so much as just having a blast with good music, food, and theatrics, so I think it's one of those places where you can get away with pretty much anything! ;)