So, the bodice. Oh boy, the bodice. Just to remind you what it looks like . . .
Yeah, it's super detailed, with beads everywhere.
The first step was making the stripes. I first made the bodice out of interfaced stretch velvet. The interfacing stops the velvet from stretching. I measured out where I wanted the stripes, then interfaced some gold satin. I then sewed the gold strips to the wrong side of the velvet. This is a bit live reverse applique: you sew it to the wrong side, then trim off the fabric on the other side, revealing your applique.
You can see how I trimmed off the excess velvet to reveal the gold stripes. I also added two extra stripes on the sides.
Already looks pretty neat. Using this method was a lot easier than sewing gold stripes on top. I actually tried that and the stripes looked very crumpled and ugly. This technique looks much smoother,
Next step was adding embellishments. I basted on some lace to the neckline. When I add the lining the lace will look a lot better. I also began adding the pearls. I actually cheated a bit and order pearl strings, which have a continuous length of beads. This saves a lot of time and effort, since I don't like beading much (all the beading I did with my flapper dress!)
I also began experimenting with the oval decorations on the bodice. I make these by cutting up duck-shaped sequins (what exactly would you need duck-shaped sequins for? I am genuinely curious). I then glued thin satin on top of each oval, coated it with PVa, and painted them white.
While the white ovals were drying, I added the ivory pearls. Next I sewed on the gold waistband. It's actually a bit too narrow. I also stitched on the gold flower on the shoulders.
Time to sew on the ovals. The pattern was drawn with a black permanent marker. I also began decorating the waistband with gold flowers, and adding white pearl strings.
That took a while. Once that was done, i started making the little flowers for the waistband. The petals are cut from polyester material, the edges scorched with a candle, then stuck together.
I sewed on each little flower, then sewed a pearl bead on top.
Result! I also stuck rhinestones on to the white ovals and gold flowers (shoulders)
Next i added the little fabric pieces on the waistline. I sort of botched the proportions of the bodice, so the bodice now looks a bit too long. Oh well. First step was ironing strips of interfacing on to the velvet, then making piping.
Here's all the bias tape I made. I actually made too much. to make piping, I folded the tape in half over a length of wool, and sewed it, making sure to sew close to the edge of the wool. Then I tacked the piping on to the velvet, and serged to raw gold edge. I folded under the serged edges and topstitched to keep everything in place.
I then cut 10cm pieces, tacked them to the bodice, and sewed them on, before turning everything to the right side.
So I've been working sporadically on this bodice.
I added a lining to the bodice to hide all the interfacing and bits of thread. I was going to line the whole dress but it didn't work out. To line this dress, first I had to attach the skirt to the bodice and sew in an invisible zip. Then I placed the lining and bodice right sides together and sewed around the neckline, clipped the curves, under-stitched the neckline, then turned it inside out. It looked very neat. I hand sewed the lining to the zip, then hand sewed the lining closed at the bottom of the bodice.The fit was good, but the lace at the neck looked too small, and it was missing the white puffy material along the neckline. I bought a metre of lace, painted the edge gold, and sewed it over the lace on the neckline. To create the white puff of material, I sewed a tube of white fabric, and turned in right side out. I closed one end shut and sewed it to one side of the dress, then began to stuff it (I used scraps of organza, but proper stuffing material might be a better choice). I cut the material to size and sewed it down at the other side. Next I took a length of pearl chain and sewed it down on one side, then began wrapping in round the white puff, tacking it down at the top and bottom.
I will talk about the sleeves and skirt in a separate post, as this one is already really long.