It’s down to the wire again, it seems, but everything is moving pretty quickly and the hardest part is done. I’m confident that I will finish the bodice and underskirt this weekend, possibly also the overskirt.

We last left the bodice in a limp state in desperate want of some support. A quick trip to Lacis later and I had all of the boning I’d need plus the casings. I also brought my green Ren Faire bodice to be grommeted and it fits great, but more on that later. (Side note: I always use the term “grommeting/-ed” but I actually just use the 00 Eyelets. It sounds better that getting something “eyeletted”.)

I picked up an extra package of eyelets to give my own table grommeter another chance, armed with a bit more knowledge of where the hell the washers played into the whole process. Unfortunately, Lacis is closed on Sundays (I don’t get it) and I knew I’d need to have the striped bodice grommeted before I left for a sewing get together, which meant doing it myself. But, I’m jumping ahead!

Boning channels attached! The two center front channels were sewn from the seam allowance (as were the ones at the center back) but the rest were made from the casing I purchased. As you can see, my boning placement didn’t exactly happen as I anticipated. I keep forgetting to leave extra room for the casing to sit on the sides and wound up having to adjust the position of quite a few. I also decided to forgo the two outer bones since they didn’t seem necessary.

Next I sewed the canvas to the outer fabric, right sides together, top and bottom, and then turned them right side out. I’d already sewn the outer edges of the back pieces prior to inserting the boning so I could use the seam allowance as a channel, which meant my back pieces had one open raw edge and the the front had one on each side. After trimming, poking, snipping, and doing a little dance at how great things were progressing, I overlocked the sides to keep them from fraying.

Then came the last step in the pattern matching test – matching the sides. I was determined that after getting this far there was no way these sides weren’t going to match up.I pinned, adjusted, repinned, swore, crossed my fingers, and sewed. And then…

Looking clean on the inside! Now to turn it over…



Yes! It’s such a pain to get a good shot of the colors using just my phone, but it’s pretty obvious that those stripes match up perfectly.

Yep, back stripes still match, too!

Before I can make the shoulder straps, the bodice needs to be grommeted so I can check the fit and placement. Break out the table press!

Just a little dusty….

Conveniently, I’d already marked where I wanted the eyelets to be, which is good because at this point it was nearing midnight and I don’t think I could have sewn a straight line if I’d had a ruler.

Now, quick step by step of the process:

Insert the eyelet in bottom portion.

After using an awl to make all of the necessary holes (I manged to only stab myself a couple times), put the bodice on top of the eyelet, right side down. Sometimes I’d get little strands stuck across the top of the eyelet, but the awl is also handy for dragging them to one side or the other.

Place the washer over the eyelet and push it down. After making sure the tension on the press is set, push the handle all the way down *slowly* and firmly. This should help minimize the eyelet breaking on the wrong side of the fabric.

Voila! Still some splitting, but I find that having the washer there makes them not as sharp for some reason. Now, do this 17 more times!


Now I’m off for some group sewing. My plans are to finish the bodice and underskirt, at least get the panels cut for the overskirt, and make a new chemise for next weekend’s Valhalla ren faire.

-Cut the outer fabric.
-Sew the front and side pieces of each section together. Don’t connect the side pieces.
-Attach boning channels as needed to canvas.
-Sew the front/canvas pieces together at outer, top, and bottom edge, leaving sides open. Turn. Sew the raw edges closed or just overlock them.
-Sew front/back pieces together at sides.
-Try on and cry/scream/cheer about how terrible/crooked/painful the stripes look.
-Cut the remaining panels.
-Overlock any inside raw edges, sew all panels together.
-Overlock and hem bottom edge.
Pleat, sew down pleats.
-Make waistband. Attach pleats to waistband.
-Skirt hooks!
-Take a spin break.
-Take existing skirt apart.
-Recut pieces to fit the new waistband. Adjust and sew the drawstring channels for the swags..
-Recut waistband.
-Attach skirt to waistband.
-Skirt hooks!
-Take another spin break.
-Cut the horizontal length of fabric into multiple lengths, sew together.
-Hem until eyes go blurry.
-Pleat until there are no more pins. Possibly need to buy more pins. Keep pleating.
-Attach to underskirt.
-This might be thinking a little far ahead…