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Women's Clothing Discussion => For Our Younger Sisters 12-20 => Topic started by: Allison vV on November 20, 2013, 08:41:14 PM



Title: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Allison vV on November 20, 2013, 08:41:14 PM
Hello, Everyone

I am in the process of designing/making a "finer" dress for an indoor, special occasion.  I would like to make a fine cotton body to be worn with a blue silk skirt over starched petticoats for a mid-late 1850s impression.  I don't want a "white blouse/calico skirt" look; I would like to execute this correctly :).

I was thinking of making a separate underbody to be worn under my white cotton sheer.  That way I could wear the underbody with interchangeable sheer tops.

Now . . . I have done quite a bit of research on the forum, but didn't find anything speaking specifically to my application.  So, here is my question ~ I would like to have something of a "tucked in" look for the bodice ~ similar to Margaret Hale's (North & South) white body/blue skirt ensemble.  How could I best accomplish this?  Here are a couple of pictures of my design inspiration (stills from the movie):

(http://gatheringwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Margaret-Hale1.jpg)

(http://gatheringwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Margaret-Hale-21.jpg)

Here are some ways I see for doing this:

     A.   Wear the sheer bodice and underbody (separate) under the skirt waistband.  Is it okay to not attach the skirt to the bodice in this case?  Or would I have problems with the bodice becoming "untucked"?

     B.    Attach the skirt to (under) the underbody with the sheer bodice worn over (separate), and wear a belt of the silk skirt material.  Again, would the sheer bodice stay inside the belt?

     C.    Or, maybe I need to abandon the idea of a separate underbody, attach the sheer bodice to the underbody and baste to the skirt as usual.  Please don't tell me I have to do this :).

I hope this isn't too confusing;  I know I'm confused.  How can this look be accomplished; or rather, how would it have been?  Any help would be much appreciated.

[edited to fix image links]


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: EKorsmo on November 20, 2013, 11:16:28 PM
If I understand correctly, white bodices and colored skirts are not to be basted together, but should instead should each have a well-fitted waistband to keep them in place.  Keep everything properly fitted, and you'll be miles away from "white blouse"-land.

While waiting for the experts, here are some old threads which may be of interest:
http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=9451.0
http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=2002.0
http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=5168.0


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: FriedaFauve on November 21, 2013, 09:06:47 AM
I have seen extant examples of sheer bodice with the lower underbodice built in (attached at the closure, armscythes and waistband) and assumedly with a separate underbodice (as in, I have seen very sheer bodices, evidently worn over something more proper.)

I second that it should definitely be gathered to a separate waistband and not attached to the skirt.  If you are worried about gaps and slippage, maybe a nice swiss waist or belt to cover just in case.

(And I do commend your choice in period drama - North in South is my absolute favorite!!!)


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Stephanie Brennan on November 21, 2013, 11:19:26 AM
This painting came to mind- http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hughes-april-love-n02476


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Marta Vincent on November 21, 2013, 12:36:14 PM
Your plan sounds lovely!

The extant patterns I have for white bodices typically show them with an attached waistband.  I have one that adds a separate gathered extension that is about 4" wide and can have a narrow lace on it's bottom edge that will allow the blouse to be worn outside or inside of the skirt.  It is specifically for a girl of 13 - 15 years.

Many, but not all come with a pattern for a fitted lining, attached at waist, armscye, and sometimes the front opening.  The front opening can also be made with hooks & eyes on the lining and the opening of the outer bodice with no fastening as is fairly common in gathered dress bodices.  Many of these linings are cut low and so do not extend all the way to the neck edge.  The sleeves on the linings typically are a small cap which would hide the sleeve of the chemise.  But, as I said, not all come with an attached lining, so a separate, darted underbodice with short sleeves would make good sense.

In the 50's, white bodies also can be made as a basque in a jacket style.


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Allison vV on November 22, 2013, 05:57:02 PM
Thank you, ladies, for all your help!  I feel much reassured ~ now I have information from original sources, and can proceed with more confidence.

I completely forgot about a bodice waistband.  I think that I shall make my darted underbody separate and on a waistband, my gathered sheer separate and on a waistband, and wear all under my skirt waistband.  Perhaps if I have some extra silk, I shall make a belt for extra stability.

I shall post pictures when my ensemble is complete for your approval  :D (as well as those for my previous dress ~ so many projects; so little time . . .).

Once again, thank you for all your help!


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Marta Vincent on November 23, 2013, 07:52:45 AM
Allison, I also forgot to mention that for children & teens, separates like this often had buttoned at the waist; and even teen girls might have a skirt buttoned to the waistband of the bodice.  When covered with a pretty belt, no one would ever know...  ;)


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Allison vV on November 23, 2013, 09:49:03 AM
Thank you, Mrs. Vincent, for the tip about the buttoning waistbands ~ what a great idea.  Now I won't have to worry about any gaping!  I did some checking on some other threads to better understand ~ I had never heard of this method before.

So to make sure I understand what you mean . . . I will put buttons on the inside of the skirt waistband and corresponding buttonholes on the sheer and underbody waistbands (sides, front, and back).

I know putting the buttons on the bodice and buttonholes on the skirt is also an option, but I may not have enough extra silk to make a covering belt and don't want to risk the buttons showing.

However, I won't be able to wear the sheer over skirts anymore, because of the buttonholes, right?  Maybe I wouldn't want to anyway?


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Marta Vincent on November 24, 2013, 06:59:37 AM
That should work fine.  Buttons on the waistband of the bodice would be how most children's outfits would be made, but hidden should work as well. 


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Elizabeth on November 24, 2013, 07:48:46 AM
Allison, you may well be able to skip any mode of fastening the skirt and white bodice together, and get a great result. These factors need to be in place for that to work:

1: Wearing a good, well-fitted corset that defines a waist.
2: The white bodice having a good fit and cut with an armscye high under the armpit (this reduces the bodice shifting during normal body movement to nearly nothing)
3: The bodice having a waistband firmly fitted to the body (over the corset.)
4: The skirt having a waistband firmly fitted to the body (over the corset.)
5: A personal style that doesn't have a lot of raucous movement, gallivanting, or other high-spirited shenanigans.

Just in case you wanted to skip the whole process. :)

when you're wearing a well-fitted corset, and the white bodiceand the waistbands of bodice and skirt all fit well and snug, and if you're not doing a load of raucous things, an


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: BetsyConnolly on November 24, 2013, 07:57:38 AM
Just to attest to Liz's comments - I have a silk skirt/sheer waist ensemble and have not needed buttons or fastenings to keep it tucked in. It is firmly fitted to my corseted body, as is the skirt waistband (with stiffener inside it, to keep it extra firm) and it doesn't move around. And yes, such ensembles work best when you are sitting quietly, looking pretty ;)


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Allison vV on December 06, 2013, 04:54:20 PM
Please forgive my late response.  I got busy over the holiday week, and have been feverishly working on my outfit.  Thank you, ladies, so much for your advice.  I would really rather not attach the bodice and skirt ~ so it is nice to know that I can safely do this.

I have an emergency question, for which I need to have answer before tomorrow!  I know I'm crazy ;D.  For my ensemble of separates, where do I put the closure/overlap of the waistband?  side front, centre front, centre back?  I know I could just cover it all with a belt, but in case I don't have time . . .

Help  :'(


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: EKorsmo on December 06, 2013, 06:27:41 PM
The skirt opening will probably be less obvious if placed off-center front instead of dead center, just like the "dog-leg" closure of a one-piece dress, sans bodice. Center back should also work, though I personally find it easier to fasten everything in the front, having no maid.


Title: Re: White Bodice and Blue Skirt
Post by: Allison vV on December 09, 2013, 12:21:08 PM
Thank you, Mrs. Korsmo.  I put the skirt opening at the front-left and am quite pleased with it.  Thank you for your quick help!

I wish I had a maid  :) . . .