After making the skirt, I started with the mourning bodice. This bodice is form-fitting and it consists of 12 panels in total. I like how elegant the simple bodice is, although it is a bit old-fashioned to be an 1894 bodice as the sleeves are pretty modest.
The bodice has a center-front hook and eye closure and a stand-up collar. The sleeves are two-part sleeves and they have cute slits at the cuffs. The edges of the bodice are decorated with looped soutache. The bodice is to be interlined with hair-canvas from the center-front all the way to the dart.
Just like with the skirt, I tried to stay in period methods. I must admit that the collar construction was something that I have learned from modern couture sewing techniques but those mostly derive from Victorian sewing methods, or at least that’s how I justified using that technique.
Here is my video on the bodice construction:
And here are some still pictures. This dress was very difficult to photograph. In most photos, the black color sucked in all the light and left a big black hole where the dress should be. I tried my best to lighten up the shadows while still keeping the dress black. And I couldn’t resist those Halloweenish colours!
And here is the mourning bodice and the skirt from the back.
In the third and final part, I’ll make some important accessories with which I can turn this simple black dress into a mourning costume. I have also dug out some Victorian mourning customs, of which I bet some are completely new to you!
See you soon!