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25 September 2010 @ 08:17 pm
Bodice Contruction Notes - Part 3  
Long time no see :) Things are finally calming down a little post-Dragon-Con, but in a week I'm going to be going back to work, this time at JoAnn's. Yes, a fabric store, so I'm in trouble. Best part is, they said they'd work with me when theater jobs come up. Yay! There is a local convention coming up next weekend, and I'm going to try and add another petticoat of silk taffeta to see if that poofs out the skirt more, I felt like mine was kind of flat.

So here's Part 3 of my Bodice Contruction notes. The bodice is now ready for sleeves.


If you remember this entry, you should have already drafted a sleeve so you know the correct finished height of your sleeve. You don't have to worry about the width yet.

I started with 2 17" wide x 10" high pieces of organza. I used the selvage edge on the bottom so I wouldn't have to fold it over many times. Start with your elastic at the bottom of the sleeve. I used 3/8" wide bra-strap elastic from BraComponents.com in color 12-4305 Spa Blue. I faced the matte side out. I simply folded my selvage edge up to make a sleeve for the elastic, pressed it in, and when I sewed it in, I found it easier to sew with the elastic already in the casing as opposed to sewing and trying to thread it in after. After that, I folded it over and pressed in my first pleat (the distance appart is up to you, I made my pleats a hair smaller than 1/4" finished. I found it best to fold in the center of the pleat as seen below, stitch it, then iron it down.

Example 10


Once I had my three pleats in, I cut a piece of Point D'esptrit that came down to the top of the last pleat, I lifted the pleat and stitched down the netting as close to the stitching of the pleat (underneath it) as possible. It might also help to stitch down underneath every pleat, to keep the netting and the sleeve material from separating from each other. If you cut your sleeve taller than you needed, as I did, you can now cut it to the final height. Also top stitch along the top.

Example 11


Next you will need to mark the top of the sleeves for your cartridge pleating. I decided on 4 rows of stitching. They are all 1/4" apart, and the easiest way to mark this is with 1/4" masking tape you can get in the quilting section. I only used two strips with a 1/4" between them and stitched on either side. I had this neat stuff called Tiger Tape that was pre-marked in 1/8" marks, but you can do this by hand if you can't find any. Make sure all the marks line up on each strip, that is what makes the even pleating.

Example 12


Before you begin stitching, you will need to add something to the back to add some loft to the pleats. I made 2 10" wide strips of point d'esprit, 3" tall, and folded them in thirds. Place these behind your stitching marks and pin before you begin your stitching.

Example 13


Knot your thread ends, and when you are done, leave tails that you can pull and gather.

Example 14


When you gather, make it as tight or loose as it needs to be, just try and arrange them evenly. You will gather to the length you need on the top of the sleeve. I believe mine ended up being 3" wide. Center it at the top of the sleeve, and stitch it in alongside the piping. Just stitch down the pleating, with a narrow 1/4" seam. Once that's in, you can gather your sleeve along the elastic on the bottom. It should have the same amount of gather as the top of the sleeve cap. You will pin your sleeve in, and the only real way to do this is to play around with it. Try and keep it as smooth as possible, and try it on to see how much of the elasic you will need. Too tight, and you won't be able to raise your arms, too loose and it won't look right. There will be a few inches under the arm of the bodice where there's nothing, that will be dealt with when we sew in the lining. Stitch it all down once you have it where you want it.

Example 15





And a direct link to the first two:

Bodice Construction Notes: Part I
Bodice Construction Notes: Part II

Next up will be finishing the lining, then putting in the closure!