Apr 152011

The bodice

I have written the following when planning this gown:

…There is one thing about this bodice that disturbs me a little:
The fact that the front seems to be ‚just‘ standing open without being laced; yet there are horizontal folds which are usually a clear indication for the bodice being pulled somehow.
I then came to the conclusion that *originally*, the bodice was ladder laced but that detail might have gotten lost during a restoration of the painting. I will give some examples of other pictures that have ladder lacings on the bodice page to verify this conclusion.

Well, here they are – the examples for front ladder laced bodices:

Especially the first and fourth pictures remind me of the shape of the gown in Moretto’s „Image of a young woman“.
Please consider: The bodice would never ever stay the way it does in that painting *without* any lacings / closure at the front, and the chemise below is most definitely not said closure.
So I guess that my assumption that the lacing got lost during a restoration of the painting is right – either that, or the painter didn’t bother painting the lacings… (which I just don’t assume, knowing Moretto’s accuracy in other paintings, which is also visible in this one – he even painted the seams on the velvet decorations on the bodice!).

Anyway, now that I know that I have to make those lacings I can happily go ahead to actually really construct the bodice 🙂

Please read my decision for the fabrics and colors I will use for this gown on the „Sleeves“ and „Skirt“ pages (Yes, it’s a little mixed up… again…).

Anyway… back to the bodice.

The front sides of the bodice, where the ladder lacing will take place, will have to be heavily boned so that they will keep „standing“ straight. I will add some corset spring steel in there, some of the thicker / wider type. Of course I won’t miss the obligatory side boning.
Plus, I think I’ll add side back lacings to the bodice – my often mentioned jojo-ing weight practically forces me to do this; this is the only way I can make sure that the darn gown will fit me for a longer time…

I have one problem with the bodice, and that’s the fact that it has a straight instead of a pointed waistline.

(picture high lightened to enhance detail)

The problem I have here is that I have no idea how to hide a waistband (of the skirt) in the small gap between bodice and belt.
I think the best solution might be to attach the skirt to the bodice, which would basically spare me the waistband. If I’m indeed doing that I will have to make the skirt with actually *three* openings faced with plackets: One at the front, two for the side back lacings… *sigh*…
However, I think that’s the only way for me to prevent any skirt waistband showing up in the ladder laced gap behind the belt.
Plus I wouldn’t have to fiddle around with any lacings / hooks / whatever that would prevent the bodice from slipping up while being worn – in short terms – the skirt would have to be attached to the bodice in some kind of way *anyway*, so…
Yes, I think I will sew the skirt right to the bodice, which I think will be an interesting task, considering that there shouldn’t be any bulk from the cartridge pleating around the waist.

Coming to think about it… I *could* do some kind of waistband, but instead of facing upwards (as usually all waistbands do), it should face downwards. This waistband could then be sewn to the bodice.

Hmmm. I think I have to construct the entire bodice *first* before I do any steps on actually pleating / waist banding the skirt panels.

Next are the sleeves.

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