Starting the bodice

For the bodice, I started with Truly Victorian 490. I had already altered this pattern to fit for my First Lady dress, so I was starting with a fitted base. I then Franken-patterned the heck out of it to make it high necked, and replace the front double-darts with princess seams.

The front of the bodice is ruched. In order to make sure the ruching was even under the front ribbon and even at the side seams, I ran about 9 rows of gathering through by hand to a large rectangle of the sheer fabric, then hand-basted it to the base. It may have been possible to do by machine, but mine is finicky and I know this is the sort of thing my machine wouldn’t like.

7 top first gathers

At this point there was a delay, because I had bought ribbon that was too narrow, and needed to buy a wider size. I forgot that to have 1″ of ribbon sticking out of the front-side seams, I needed to have another 1/2″ in the seam allowance.

A narrow ribbon was handsewn down the middle, covering the front seam. The neckline and side-front seams got a gathered ribbon basted on.

8 ruffles gathered and pinned

I noticed in the original that the gathered ribbon doesn’t end at the armhole, it goes around the front of the armhole and ends slightly past the shoulder seam.

At this point I was finally ready to sew the rest of the bodice together! Starting to look like a real outfit!

9 fronts attached

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