Renaissance Festival Costume: the Bodice | Commercially Alternative

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Renaissance Festival Costume: the Bodice

Well, that took a little longer than planned. After all this time, my Renaissance bodice is finally complete. I am immensely glad I made a mock up because this would have been a disaster otherwise. There were a few mishaps along the way… a couple I am still really kicking myself for. However, it all worked out in the end. Phew! I’ve used the format typically found at sewing.patternreview.com to review this bodice pattern.


Pattern Description:
Renaissance Bodice

Pattern Sizing:
14 / View C

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it might look a little better.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yeah… really didn’t pay much attention to the instructions except for binding and inserting boning. And the binding instructions weren’t the greatest. I had to google a tutorial online.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really liked the three lace-up sections. I thought that would look cute and would also save me some trouble of doing a bust increase in non-period princess seams seen in most of these commercial patterns. Although there are princess seams in the back, but I’m not too concerned with historical accuracy.

I didn’t like the back. This is where the mock-up proved it’s worth. I have no idea what sort of creature the back was designed for. It fit across my back, but I had HUGE strange gaps on the back bottom of the arm holes and a gap in the back of the neck. In addition, the pattern is ridiculously short.

Fabric Used:
  • Upholstery fabric found at a discount fabric warehouse (outer)
  • Cotton duck canvas (interlining)
  • Quilting cotton (lining)
  • Poly satin (binding)
  • Heavy duty cable zip ties (boning)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The Material
  • I wanted this bodice to be sturdy, supportive, and more of corset construction. Thus, I used upholstery fabric and duck canvas instead of their recommended brocade and interfacing.
  • The pattern called for featherweight boning, but I used heavy duty cable zip ties from a hardware store instead. This provides a little more oomph and support for an affordable price!
The Back
  • As I mentioned above, the back fits rather strangely. In order to remedy this, I pinned up the large gaps in the mockup in the side seam of the back side panel and made a pinned dart right under the top curve of the princess seam in the back side panel. Then I transferred these changes to my pattern. I removed the excess fabric from the side seam and slashed at the dart to overlap the pattern to remove the excess. (If that makes any sense) (I can't find the document that discussed the slashing part) This fixed the arm gap pattern, but I took too much from the side seam and not enough at the curve and now my side seams angle funny instead of being perpendicular to the floor. It’s still perfectly functional and hardly noticeable, but now I know what to do next time.
  • I decided the gap at the back of the neck wasn’t enough to worry about. However, I wish I hadn’t. When I move around a lot in my bodice, it gaps quite significantly. (Still kicking myself for not fixing the pattern when I thought of it) My advice is to move around in the mockup as much as possible to discover things like this.
The Length
  • This pattern is incredibly short. I lengthened mine by 1.5 inches and it hits the waist perfectly.
  • Here’s the kicker. I had originally lengthened the mock-up by 2 inches. However, I decided that was a bit too long, so I marked all of the pattern pieces with the new 1.5 inch mark. About halfway though construction, I discovered that the front two panels were cut to the 2 inch mark instead of the new 1.5 inch mark! Of course, I discovered this after the pieces in question were sewn and bound. *sigh* I measured about five times over and realized I did, in fact, make a mistake. Oh well, simple enough. I undid some of my hand stitching and chopped off the offending edge. Finally, the bodice was complete. I laced it up and tried it on to discover… the front two panels ride up 0.5 inches when you wear it. O_O I was so angry! It would have been perfect if I had not discovered the mistake! My solution? Whipstitch those darn panels in place! Now they don’t ride up or gap funny on the bottom and no one will notice. ^_^ My advice, lengthen the front panels by 0.5 inches if nothing else.
The Construction
  • The pattern originally called for sewing all three layers at the same time. I was using much thicker materials than the pattern suggested and I didn’t want exposed seams. So I sewed the lining and interlining together, sewed the outside together and then sewed the two together with the seams on the inside.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It’s a little too soon to say is I would sew it again. Right now, I never want to mess with it again. Fiddling with the binding was just a headache having never done such a thing before. However, I probably would recommend it to others if they have a little experience altering patterns to fit (or at least can read a few tutorials on the subject).

Conclusion: Recommended with modifications










4 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful, and I love the fabric you chose! It's annoying when patterns have a lot of problems, but I think it looks great ^_^

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    1. Thank you very much! I'm glad you like it. I was so lucky I found that fabric at the discount warehouse. You never know what's going to be there.

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  2. I really like how it looks. It is so beautiful in that fabric. On the plus side, at least you are learning new things! Always a good thing.

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    1. Thank you! Indeed it is always a good thing! Hopefully, I can someday take a class where I can really learn things instead of piecing through tutorials online. XD

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