I've embarked on creating a foundation for my dress that I'll wear to the Art Deco Preservation Ball at the End of April. I really want to create the right silhouette for my dress which will inspired by the late 1920's / Early 1930's. My figure, at age 47 doesn't quite fit naturally into that era, so I definitely want an undergarment that helps me re-create the look.
Unlike the typical cylinder/column shape of dresses from the early part of the 1920's, the silhouette becomes a little more shapely, elongating the body, but allowing for a rounder bosom and closer fitting bodice.
I started my foundation by drafting a pattern from the Mrs. Depew 1940's Corselette pattern. The pattern has a miniature chart and then about 20 different rulers that you use to create the pattern. Confusing but I did figure it out. Also, I knew the bra cups would not fit, just by looking at the pattern and comparing to my bra. So, I traced of my bra cup and worked that into the pattern instead.
After drafting the pattern andtruing it up, I sewed up an initial front from Swedish paper which is kind of like a sew-able paper, and kind of like a more stable non-woven interfacing. The pattern did have some issues, namely a rather large protrusion in the front, kind of in the wrong spot. I adjusted this by seam ripping and then pinning the front area, before trying to fit the front.
Because I need stretch in the back and sides, I didn't sew up the whole garment. I just sewed up the front and then pinned it to my bra to check the fit.
Here you can see that the cups are not deep enough and that I will need to add to the cup shape.
After adjusting the pattern, I cut it out of left over silk samples (from my past life working in Bridal) and have been stitching the pieces together for the last week or so. All of the woven fabrics were underlined with Silk Organza to give it stability and also structure as well as a base for the boning channels. I used spiral steel boning (available at Lacis) for all the boning and instead of underwires. I haven't yet figured out where and how to buy underwires, but it's on my list of things to do!
Here you can see my progress. It still needs straps, and after fitting on me, I found that the boning was buckling in the front and back. Looks like I need shorter boning in the back and differently placed boning in the front. Ugh, now on to some seam ripping....
Until next time, Happy Sewing!