Friday, May 25, 2018

The Hufflebustle - Bodice and Overskirt

I cut out my bodice (using TV466) from the micro-check silk:

The lapels from some lovely, soft cotton velveteen:

And the center front, collar, and tail facings from yellow silk:

I then cut all the pieces again from white cotton sateen, to flat-line them.  Except for the lapels - I cut the lining for them from plain black cotton broadcloth.

I chose not to cut a separate lining for the bodice, mainly because I was so sick of cutting out the same pieces over and over!  So instead of flat-lining the center front pieces, I sewed the lining pieces to the silk right sides together:

I followed the instructions for fastening with hooks and eyes - stitching the center front with a 1/4" seam allowance on the left side and a 1" seam allowance on the right side.

I then turned them right side out and from there, treated the two layers as one.  I also sewed the lapels to their linings along the outer and lower edges, pressed and turned them before sandwiching the raw edges inside the seam between the vest pieces and bodice front pieces.  Everything else I followed the instructions.

I tried on the bodice over my corset and was so pleased that it fit beautifully!

The tail pleats are just so fun:

(One of the great things about choosing the micro-check for my bodice was that I knew it would be impossible to pattern-match, so I didn't even try.  It was very freeing!  I tend to be obsessive about pattern-matching, and it's gotten me into trouble in the past.  I did pay attention to the horizontal lines at the center back seam only, but I didn't beat myself up when it wasn't absolutely perfect.)

Since I wasn't adding a separate lining, I needed to finish the lower edges somehow.  I chose to make piping with bias strips of the micro-check, which I stitched to the hem, then turned the seam allowance to the inside and tacked it to the lining.

I left the lapels free at the hem edge, and ended the piping at the vest front seams.

For the tails, I just used the yellow silk facing pieces as the lining.

It was very tricky getting these points exactly right, since I attached the facings before I added the piping:

For the neckline, I cut yellow cotton bias and simply bound the seam allowance:

I also added yellow silk piping to the sleeve hems, just for visual interest.  Oh, and I learned a trick for making and attaching the piping by machine, which I've always struggled with in the past.  I usually make it using the zipper foot, but the needle never gets close enough to the cord to make it nice and tight.

The pin is where I want the stitching to be.

But I had a brainwave, realizing I could use my buttonhole foot to attach it!  I simply let the cord nestle into one of the grooves of the foot, and kept the needle in the center position between the two grooves:

This worked like a charm!  The needle got right up next to the cord, and now the original row of stitching was safely hidden within the seam allowance.  The sleeves didn't need to be flat-lined, so I just sandwiched the piping between the fashion fabric and lining when attaching them at the hem, then turned right side out and treated both layers of the sleeve as one when attaching to the bodice.  I was quite happy with how the piping turned out!

Now on to the overskirt.  I used TV365, but I modified it slightly.  I didn't want to have to worry about pattern-matching on the seams on the front apron, so I combined the center front and side pieces into one.  I was cutting size G, so I measured an inch in from that cutting line (to account for 1/2" seam allowance on either side) and taped the pieces together along the cutting line for size C.  

Painter's tape works great for this, because it doesn't tear the paper when you remove it!

Other than that, I followed the instructions for the overskirt construction, although I didn't quite get it finished.  I ran out of time before the event, so I didn't add the pickups on the back of the skirt, but just left it hanging free.  I also didn't get any fasteners sewn on the placket, so I just pinned it shut when I wore it.

The bodice is also unfinished - I still need to add boning to the interior seams for extra support, and sew on all the hooks and eyes.  I sewed three of them on in the car on the way to the event, but I knew I would be pinning the bodice shut at least most of the way.  So I basted a line of yellow thread down the left-hand side of the vest so I would know where center front was.  This gave me a guideline for where to place my thread eyes, and also where to line up the right side when pinning.

Next up, photos from the Victoria Day party! 


  1. The back tail pleats are perfection! Great job getting the points lined up!