My Daughters Dress Diary

Doubling, Dubloon, Doublet...

...or, I'm going cross-eyed, I'm doomed!

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The first thing I did was pull out my volume, "The Costume Technicians Handbook" (Ingham/Covey 1992) and turn to the section on pattern drafting. Sadly, there is not any mention of children patterning. I ended up using the mans body block pattern as a rough guide. I cut out a mock up of the body block, and sewed it up, to try on Cassy, as I didn't trust what I had done. It fit with a few adjustments in the underarm and neck area. A few snips and it was all better. I even remembered seam allowances for the final paper version.
After the fitting, I modified the block to be a doublet style bodice as it would go with both the pants and skirt.

Then, on fabric pattern layout, I had a repeating pattern problem. Where can I lay out the front bodice pieces and get them to match up? After some fudging, I got a solution. I had to take the centre seam out of the back of the bodice, and make a cut line on the neck in the back to insert a gore, but it was going to work. I traced out the back and front bodices in perma marker (it's all good...) and fearlessly cut them out.

I realized I didn't have the shoulder wings, the waist tabs, or other tidbits. So, I drafted the shoulder wings 2/3 the size of her armseye, and the tabs were measured based on her patterned waist. 7 regular tabs, 2 fitted tabs, and 2 extrememly fitted *and* matched centre front tabs. After making sure all pattern pieces were facing the right way, traced the tabs and wings, taking care to match up the centre front tabs.

It worked.

The brown brocade was much looser than the white brocade, so, I was going to have to interline the bodice. I dug thru my scraps bag and came up with enough denim to interline the bodice (I think the denim came from another project from my ex... so, no cost). I traced out the bodice on the denim and cut it out.

I started sewing the bodice together. I wanted to get the brown brocade interlined before it frayed, and it went together pretty smoothly. I had to fudge a bit on the back of collar as the gore and original back pieces didn't line up the way I figured they would have. It really should have been done by hand, but, I was impatient, and it was fraying. The gore looked a little lop sided when I was done, but hey, gold cord changed all that. *grin*

I then sewed the centre back of the back bodice interlining (as the good fabric didn't have a join down the centre back) and then laid all 3 pieces out on top of the good bodice fabric, and pinned it down. Since the fabric was so loose, I decided to try the period technique of sewing the interlining and outer fabric as one layer. Never again will I attempt such a thing. I started around the edges, and (bleep) if the loose good fabric started shifting. 50 million pins later, I finished the left front. The neck back was a bit dificult to make lay flat as the neck gore was slightly bigger than the interlining neck curve, but I fudged it to work like I wanted it to.

*Hope that doesn't come back to haunt me later...*

After a while, I got all 3 bodice pieces done. Next, I sewed the shoulder seams and necksides. Immediately, I regreted my choice of interlining fabrics. The Denim was just too much. It was extremely stiff, and the neck seams did not curve like I had envisioned in my dreams. Fighting the seams open I sewed them down with the machine, after clipping the appropreiate areas. And then... to my surprise, the fabric and sewing goddesses heard my tears of agony and granted me the miracle of beautifully curved collar seams! (Seems that sewing the seam allowance down gave it the reinforcing it needed to be curved and shaped... yea me) After much rejoicing and showing off to my roommates what a genius I was, I finished up the side seams on the bodice and declared it "Good".

Next, I sewed the bodice lining up making sure to sew down the neck and shoulder seams, as well as the side seams. I then looked at the mistake I had missed when sewing the back centre seam. I'd sewn the back centre seam! It's really hard to turn the armholes if the centre back seam is already sewn together! *sigh* I put on "Shakesphere in Love" and sat down with my seam ripper. After I was done that, I realized, I didn't have the Shoulder tabs sewn on yet, so, I went to work lining my shoulder tabs with leftover brown velvet and putting them together. I didn't trim those with anything, but left them plain. They were now ready to go. As I looked at the brown brocade waist tabs I figured I'd line those with velvet too. I then put the shoulder tabs on the shoulders and lined up the waist tabs (lined with brown velvet) and sewed them down as well.

I decorated the collar on the doublet by folding over small 1.5" legnths of the gold bias tape and sewing them down to the collar. It looked spiff, but it was alot of work. Not recommended for zealotous use in the future.


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This website is the created authorship of Brandy Dickson, also known in the SCA as Lady Desamona Villani. Copyrighted 2004-2008. Any questions or comments about the construction or contents of this website can be directed to her.