I sure picked a complicated dress after having not sewn a piece of clothing in coming up on 20 years now. My MIL is helping me translate the instructions which the company who made the pattern stated up front that they would be confusing for anyone not familiar with historic clothing construction...yeah, that'd be me! I will be making the corset too but I don't have enough time before this dress is needed next month. The dress I am making is the top one on the right. The bodice is just amazing to me!
You can see the bodice much better in the illustration below. Lots and lots of gathering in this one.
Here's the front bodice lining. I've never done darts before and I was so proud of these. They have channels sewn into them for the boning that wasn't added yet when I took this picture but has since been added.
The actually bodice is four pieces not counting the lining. This is two pieces sewn together and there are two small side pieces not sewn in yet in this picture. If you look closely, you can see my silhouette. This thing is huge...but it won't be for long. This is going to be getting the gathers. (It was midnight and I was exhausted, excuse the blank stare.)
They have you sew in the gather stitches but before you gather, they have you sew on the side panels. That was a little frustrating because I managed to catch the gathering threads in the stitches. But after taping the threads to the fabric, all went well. 7 gather stitches across the bottom.
So with that sewed, I had to pin the bodice to the lining. As you can see, it's a poor fit. This is where I stopped tonight. Now the fun begins...gathering everything until the bodice is the same size as the lining. The shoulders have gathers across the top as well.
My MIL leaves me with homework to do before she comes over next. My homework this time is to do all the gathering, unpin the bodice and lining, pin them back together with wrong sides together and sew everything together except for at the bottom.
I'm thinking 4 weeks will be pushing it! My MIL says we can do it...I have to have faith in her experience since mine is lacking. But once this dress is done, I really need to come up with a costume for Adam. He's not at all interested in historical correctness though so I am not either, for his costume. We're doing trek next month, in case I didn't mention it.
It's been a little frustrating, a lot confusing but overall, a great experience. I am learning a lot and I am so excite for this dress! It's going to put my other pioneer costumes to shame. I will be the most accurately dressed on trek, I am sure of that.