Creating the Bodice

Now that we have the skirt made, lets begin on the bodice!  

Step 1 – Pin together all the bodice pieces


The image below shows the inside of the lining and all the seams…


Step 2 – Creating the Darts

Optional:  Some working gowns from the 1860’s feature piping along the neckline and armhole to give extra support and strength.  While I have chosen not to include piping in this gown, if you wish to, prepare it now and insert it between the lining and main bodice fabric along the neckline.  Do the same with the armhole, sandwiching it between the sleeve and the armhole, raw edges together.  To create piping, cut bias strips of your main fabric, then place a narrow cord in the middle of the wrong side.  Fold the bias strip in half, with the cord, in the middle, and stitch as close as you can to the cord.  I use my zipper foot on my machine to get as close to the cord as I can.

Step 3 -Attaching the lining and main fabric together.


Step 4 – Turning out the bodice and press

Use a small iron to press the bodice edges smooth.  Try and make sure that the lining is pressed towards the inside.  I really love using my small Dritz quilting iron for all seam pressing.


Step 5 – Attaching the collar



Here you can see the collar attached and the inside lining. As I have mentioned before, don’t worry if the lining and main fabric do not match.  It is completely period appropriate and wont’ be seen anyway!

Now your main bodice is complete!  On to the sleeves!