December 4th, 2012

Riding Habit Bodice

I love when things fit. I made the mock-up for the zone-front riding habit bodice, and it fits! I based the front piece off of the floral robe a l'anglaise from last year, modified to a zone front and to a neckline that will cover my stays straps, and taken in about 1.5" since that one is too big now. I made the back like a quarter back (I think that's the term, right?) with four pieces, roughly equaling the pieces from the old bodice. My mock-up was almost perfect - all I had to do was take in about 3/4" around the shoulder-blades in the center back seam. I am going to wind up tweaking the front neckline a tiny bit, since it's looking more bodice-y than habit-y.

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I've been trying to decide whether to have the skirts of the habit bodice cut in one with the bodice pieces, or to make separate skirts. At this point, I'm leaning towards the latter, but I'm having real problems finding evidence that leads more to one way or the other in portraits/extant, etc. Just as a reminder, this is the portrait I'm basing my habit off of: It looks like her skirts are cut in one, but I also kind of doubt that hers is a zone front. I wish I could see the front!

Does anyone have any suggestions one way or the other for which type of skirts would make more sense with a 1780s zone-front riding habit?

Decisions decisions...

To line, or flat-line? I really want to flat-line it, because, frankly, I don't care if you can see the serging and seams on the inside of the bodice, and that will make it easier to (hopefully) take in in the future. I know the period thing to do would be to line it, though. And I don't know how to go about doing the historical sleeve setting method (which I have decided to do with this project) without having a lining in which to sandwich the sleeve heads.

Any advice?

Oh, and I've decided to cut the skirts separately. Mostly because I didn't feel like waiting around for more responses to my last post before cutting out the fabric. And it would make the patterning process longer. :)