Author Topic: Easy bodice?  (Read 4934 times)

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Offline tigrlily64

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Easy bodice?
« on: March 05, 2009, 11:54:50 AM »
I know there's no such thing as a truly easy, no-worries bodice.  But what would you ladies (and gentleman?) reccomend for someone's first homemade bodice?  I've looked around online a lot, but I'd like to hear your opinion.  So far I've made, in my sewing career, a short skirt with the help of my grandma, pajama pants, a chemise, and a skirt.  Pretty basic things, but I think I did a fair job.

So, suggestions?  Anything is welcome.

Offline Taffy Saltwater

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 12:17:45 PM »
If you have a good fitting bodice already, use it as a pattern.  Mark the "guts" where the boning should go, take your time.  I used my Moresca pirate as the pattern for the guts of a pirate coat I made last year - turned out a lot better than I had any right to expect.
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Offline gem

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 03:10:41 PM »
What Taffy said.

I've made several now, and my very best results have been from copying a well-fitting bodice I had already.  (I also find copying existing garments much, much easier than following commercial patterns, but YMMV.)

If you don't have a bodice that fits you well, or if you're just more comfortable using a commercial pattern, then try Baroness Doune's instructions for how to properly fit a commercial bodice (along with pattern recommendations).  She explains everything.

ETA: actually, that's just good reading, *period.*  Even if you do intend to copy one, you should probably read through the Baroness's steps, to see how things are constructed.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 03:11:50 PM by gem »

Offline tigrlily64

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 05:14:43 PM »
I don't have a bodice yet-I wanted to make my whole first costume.

That pattern looks really complicated- a bit scary for a beginner.

ETA:  I saw the bodice pattern on Red Dawn, http://www.reddawn.net/costume/bodice.htm.  That looked pretty easy.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 05:29:35 PM by tigrlily64 »

Offline gem

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 06:05:08 PM »
It's probably pretty easy, sure.

But having been a beginner not that long ago, I think you may not be 100% happy with how it might turn out.  A bodice should be a very fitted garment, and I'm not sure the construction of the Red Dawn bodice will give you those results.  (I find it particularly suspect that she gives no photos of a finished version.)

Have you thought, instead, about making a dress?  They're typically much easier than bodices, and you'll learn valuable construction techniques that you can later use to make a more supportive bodice.  My first project was a Simplicity Irish Gown:


Unfortunately, this pattern is now out of print, but there are similarly-beginner-friendly patterns out there (such as McCall's 4997, without the sleeves... altho' that pattern runs *very* large).  In making that dress, I learned how to construct a basic bodice, including lining, boning, and straps.  You already know how to attach a skirt to a waist and hem it, so that part will be easy-peasy for you.  The fit in a gown like this is going to be more forgiving than the Red Dawn bodice.

HOWEVER, I am firm believer that a person should make the project she WANTS to make.  You'll have more invested in it, and you'll be prouder of the results... than if you picked something somebody else convinced you to do instead.  So if you do really want to try that bodice, go ahead!

(I still think you should read the Baroness's site, because the information there is plenty useful.  Promise.)

Offline tigrlily64

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 09:06:14 PM »
Hello, I'm back again. :-)
I've been looking at lots of patterns, and I've come to the conclusion that what I need is for someone to explain every single step of bodice making for me.  Baroness Doune's page was very helpful, and I think I might try to make a bodice that way, but I'm still not sure.

Has anyone used or heard of any patterns that are really good with step by step instructions?  I'd consider myself an intermediate sewer (I can take measurements, follow a basic pattern, and am very familiar with a sewing machine-not to mention seam ripper ;-) )  but I've never had any experience even wearing a properly boned bodice, I find it hard to follow Baroness Doune's instructions in some places, as it seems they were written for someone a little more experienced with bodices than me.

Thanks in advance.

Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 01:40:18 AM »
This is a pattern I use a lot for Bodices and for the Bodice Top for an Irish dress....This is from Alter Years...http://www.alteryears.com/

The Pattern...
PAY009

This pattern is easy enough to follow. I have had this one now for 7 years and it has not failed me yet. It comes in multisizes that can be laced from the front, back, or sides.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 01:41:42 AM by Lady Kathleen of Olmsted »
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2009, 09:33:24 AM »
Hello, I'm back again. :-)
I've been looking at lots of patterns, and I've come to the conclusion that what I need is for someone to explain every single step of bodice making for me.  Baroness Doune's page was very helpful, and I think I might try to make a bodice that way, but I'm still not sure.

Has anyone used or heard of any patterns that are really good with step by step instructions?  I'd consider myself an intermediate sewer (I can take measurements, follow a basic pattern, and am very familiar with a sewing machine-not to mention seam ripper ;-) )  but I've never had any experience even wearing a properly boned bodice, I find it hard to follow Baroness Doune's instructions in some places, as it seems they were written for someone a little more experienced with bodices than me.

Thanks in advance.

You sound the way I felt a couple of weeks ago!  ;)  I finally just went for it and it turned out great.  I finished my first bodice this last weekend.  It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought once I got into it!  If you are still nervous take some scrap or lining material and make one, see how it turns out.  You may be pleasantly surprised!  ;D
Natasha McCallister
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Offline Taffy Saltwater

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 10:10:44 AM »
Don't be too disappointed if it looks sad, wrinkled & feh before you bone it.  The bones are what supports both the garment and you.  Depending on how fluffy you are, it may appear to be too small but lacing it snugs it right up.
Sveethot!

Offline DragonWing

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 10:43:59 AM »
Hello I was reading your request. I found this one in McCalls
http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4107.htm?tab=costumes&page=5

that looks rather easy. And with several variations. You may want to try Simplicity patterns also. I find them to be very easy to follow and sew. I find them very good for beginners. When I was first starting to sew Simplicity were my first choice. Now I'll try anything. LOL

http://www.simplicity.com/index.cfm?page=searchResults_C.cfm&criteria=costumes&StartRow=49
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 10:56:36 AM by DragonWing »
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 02:12:50 PM »
Hello I was reading your request. I found this one in McCalls
http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4107.htm?tab=costumes&page=5

That's the pattern I used with some modifications.  The only part I didn't like was the way the front seams puckered a bit, but that's probably a lack of experience!  ::)
Natasha McCallister
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Offline Lorraine

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 03:00:31 PM »
It wasn't a lack of experience, I've made the same McCalls pattern and it's a lack of boning near the front grommets. I know I posted these on the old forums, but since all that was lost I'll do it again. The first is the McCalls bodice with very little plastic boning as per the instructions, the second is the Alter Years front lacing bodice pattern with 1/2" spring steel boning. Same fabric, same person (me), just different patterns and boning.




Offline Marietta Graziella

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 04:00:21 PM »
Well HELLO there girls!  LOL   :o

Amazing what a properly constructed and fitted bodice does for the bod.   ;)
Nothing clever to say here.  Not enough caffine yet.

Offline gem

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 04:39:58 PM »
Lorraine forgot to mention the CRITICAL problem with McCall's 4107: the princess seams.

Princess seams are designed curve gently over the bust, which is exactly what you DON'T want a Renwear bodice to do!  You want a Ren bodice to support the bust (see Lorraine's second picture), and princess seams just cannot do that.

I agree that McCall's 4107 is a pretty easy bodice for a beginner to make (I made it; it was my first bodice and first time using lots of boning), but the fitting is really fussy (it runs *huge*), and it won't give you the very best support.  Even swapping out the featherweight boning for better boning won't help, since the boning in that bodice is curved (front and back princess seams).

It was, however, an EXCELLENT step in LEARNING how (and how not) to make a *really* great bodice, which might be exactly what you need at this point.  The directions are basic and easy to follow, and you'll see how things are constructed, which is important knowledge (good and bad) you can use on future projects.

I would suspect that any commercial bodice pattern will have decent step-by-step directions.  The Alter Years pattern (which I have not used myself) is probably going to get you closer to the ideal supportive fit.

(I should point out that I have not used a pattern for a bodice since the McCall's one.  All my bodices--gown and standalone--since then have been from patterns I've draped/drafted myself.)

Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 04:41:35 PM by gem »

Offline Luciana

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Re: Easy bodice?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 05:35:27 PM »
You're right. Amazing what a good pattern, a good construction and a good seamstress can do for a body.

Good job Lorraine.

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