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?