The bodice started with me, cutting out the fashion fabric with the pattern that I had made (seen previously in my post about my pattern making mock up process). I didn’t record the construction of the base of the bodice because I genuinely just got into the zone. In my process, I realized that my fashion fabric was far too flimsy and thin in order to hold its shape, so I ended up using the pattern pieces from my mock up to reinforce the stability of the garment.
I then cut out the same exact pattern for the bodice in my lining fabric. I stitch together that lining with the intention of bag lining the full body. After I made my lining, I realized that the way that I had stitched the inter-lining of the garment was really flimsy so I decided to sit down and hand pad stitch the interlining fabric into the garment. This was where I realized that this garment was going to include far more hand stitching than I wanted it to, and you will see going through this further just how much hand stitching ended up going into this garment.
After I pad-stitched all of the construction layers on, I got to the part of actually creating the pocket to hold the stuffing up for the shoulder pads because the shoulder pads needed extra support. You can see that there was a pretty huge difference between adding that construction portion to the shoulders.
With the collar I used a different technique of patterning. I actually didn’t even bother cutting out the pattern from the fashion fabric because it was such a finicky shape. What I ended up doing was I overlaid the interlining of the collar onto the fashion fabric, and then cut and stitched fabric around that interlining layer.
For the little inserts of it, I used the stiffer interlining layer as a baseline pattern, I didn’t bother to do the same technique as I did with the larger portion of the collar. They looked very funny before I pressed them they kind of are poofy like stuffed animals, but after pressing them they were nice and flat.
Once I finished attaching the outside fashion fabric to the collar, I used all of the small pieces of scraps and cabbage from the skirt pieces being made to create the collage inner portion of the collar. Because of how tiny each one of the pieces were, and how they needed to be stitched onto the final piece, I had to hand stitch the entirety of the collar together. After the inner collar was stitched all the way together I added the little insert pieces (also by hand) to the body.
After the shoulders and collar were fully attached to the garment I added in the bag lining
What’s all of those construction portions of the bodice were completed, I moved onto making the sleeves of the dress. I completely changed my original plan for the sleeves because I realized the fabric I purchased was incredibly flowy and I wanted to show off the fabrics quality. the movement potential of the fabric would have been diminished by my original idea, which was to create these tight wrap selves.
Instead, I ended up making these really super simple squares of fabric that were basically designed to just be open at the top so that they didn’t catch on the under arm. I wrap them in bias tape at the top part where they connected to the sleeve. Then later, when I started to embellish the bodice attached the sleeves with bead work, so it looks like they are floating there with the beads attaching them to the shoulder. This detail is the part of this garment that I particularly like the most.
Then it was time to move on to doing the beadwork, which is typically my favorite part of any sort of garment construction. I think of beadworking as my treat for a job well done in a certain way. I create the embellishment of the illusion of a leaf shape on the part of the garment that kind of tied the top to the skirt. And so I just on by one attached beads in my embroidery pattern, again completely eyeballing it the way that I am one to do, with some slight markings of where I wanted the anchor points for the veins in the leaf to land.
Once I had finished that part, I finished the shaping of the part of the bodice section that was designed to close around the body, and I also made that portion hold together with floating beats.
Once I finished the leaf part of the garment, I added some extra beads to the shoulder pads and the front portion of the collar that peaked out when you close the front.
I added some closures, which I ultimately ended up getting rid of because I didn’t like the way that they fell on the body when I finally did my photo shoot and displayed the piece in the galler,y but that was the final step in creating the bodice portion of this dress
Completed Bodice Fit Test Shots