First Mockup for the First Lady Bodice

About 6 months ago, I made the skirt of this dress originally owned by Francis Cleveland. Since Danse Libre will be performing 1890s dances with the Peninsula symphony, a daywear look with a blouse wasn’t going to cut it this year.

On the form, with a bridal a-line petticoat. If it was a bit fuller in back, it's not actually a bad shape

Full outfit (in dire need of a corset and petticoats)

I bought Truly Victorian 490, the 1892 Ballgown bodice. Without measuring, I cut out the same sizes as the last time I used a TV pattern (side D back, size E front).

You guys, I am SHOCKED at how well this fits out of the box.

The waist and bust are basically perfect. I’ve got a little extra seam allowance at the closure, but I’m not going to cut that off until I have the actual bodice to futz with, since multiple layers will change the fit.

20 mockup front 21 mockup side

Per usual, the shoulders need adjusting. I’m really short with narrow shoulders, so shoulder straps are always too wide, falling off, and at wonky angles. Next time I really should just cut a pattern at a much smaller size for the shoulders only.

There is seriously like 4-5 inches pinned out here

There is seriously like 4 inches pinned out here

There is also a bit of strangeness at the bottom of my shoulderblade. You can see there is too much fabric there. Not sure yet how to fix that. I suspect the answer is to pinch out a line of fabric all the way around the back (like a swayback adjustment, but at the top of the back instead of the waist).

Droopy fabric underarms. The left is tighter, since I pinned up that shoulder strap.

Droopy fabric underarms. The left is tighter, since I pinned up that shoulder strap.

Aside from that, to make it more like the original

  • Change the v-back to a straight across back.
  • Maybe shorten the front and back just a smidge

A million recommendations for Truly Victorian. They know how to make a damn good pattern.

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