Curses, Foiled Again!

Labyrinth - 19th Century Board game 'The Mansion of Bliss' . Created by Thomas Newton.

Labyrinth – 19th Century Board game ‘The Mansion of Bliss’ . Created by Thomas Newton.

It is now quite clear to me that I cannot fix my bodice issue without help from someone who knows how to “see” what needs to be done. If the sleeve cap was too big for the bodice, all I’d have to do would be pleat it at the back bodice armscye and call it done. No such luck.

The problem is that the bodice is too big for the sleeve. In a ridiculously overemphasized 3-D view it would look like a mixing bowl set upside down over marble. The curve of the sleeve being the marble, and the mixing bowl being the way-too-big bodice armscye…and I can’t gather or pleat the bodice to bring to down to the match the sleeve cap.

I’ve put this bodice through all manner of tortured origami with no luck. When I used my original approach it distorted the bodice armscye to the point where I would have needed to go back to the original sleeve (before trimming down the cap) to even come close.

Yesterday, I spent nearly four hours fiddling with this problem and getting nowhere. One obvious solution is to just cut another bodice and/or another set of sleeves, but there’s no more fabric left. I bought it years ago and that fabric run is long gone: I had just enough to cut this one garment. (Which serves to reinforce the value of making a muslin for everything first, which there wasn’t enough class time to do.)

So, it’s time to call in the pros. Fortunately, the next SITU sewing circle is in a couple of weeks and I know Bobbie Kalben will spot the problem in an instant.

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As I see it, the worst case scenario is that I end up ditching the bodice and the sleeves and turning the skirt into a “petticoat” with shoulder straps. Then I could make a spencer to go with it and not lose this beautiful fabric altogether.

(Lemons…lemonade…you know.)

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4 thoughts on “Curses, Foiled Again!

  1. Okay – taking a swing here: if the circumference of the armscye is bigger than the circumference of the top of the sleeve then you need to piece in a section into the bodice to make it smaller, right? Piecing is “period” right? (Chances are that you can match in the piecing well enough with your scraps.)

    • Hi Val – all “swings” appreciated and thanks for your input…I’ve so much to learn! I’m confused about the terminology, though. I thought piecing was used to add fabric in order to make the edge (or whatever) larger, and the bodice armscye is already too large. By “piecing” do you mean the reverse – taking a wedge out (like a dart) or making a tuck or something along those lines?

      Hmmm…or perhaps finding a way to covertly piece the sleeve cap back to its original size? Now you’ve got me thinking. 😉

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