Wedding Gown Diary-
Making The Gown.
 Summer 1999. (cont'd)
At the end of the Summer of 1999, I bought myself my trusty sewing machine (over the past 7 years ALL my costumes have been  entirely hand-sewn!). 
I also cut out the initial paper patterns, which were based on the underkirtle by Ninya Mikhaila.
I then started to cut out my gown! (Frightening point, especially regarding the expensive silk damask!)
   Autumn 1999. 
Waist pleats are of the White silk 
underkirtle by Ninya Mikhaila.
Once the paper patterns were prepared, I used an interlining material  to make my toiles.  The back of the toile fitted me very well, but the side panels had to be reduced drastically to fit correctly.
The front of the bodice also had to be altered.  Initially, I had altered the original pattern so that the neckline would be an inch higher than the underkirtle neckline.  This was not correct and I had to add two more curved pattern pieces to raise the neckline and also to create a neat curve.
The toile was then used to remake the paper pattern pieces and then to be an interlining for the main gown.
The image on the Left is the initial Front Toile.  This is before I had to raise the height of the neckline.  For an Elizabethan gown, I would only have raised the neckline by 2 inches.  For the 1540s Wedding gown, I wanted the neckline to be much higher - I think I raised it by 4-5 inches.  I think raising the height of the neckline improved the fit of the bodice.
The image to the right, is how the bodice looked from the side.   I did need to pull in the side panels 3 inches on both sides!
   Winter 1999.
  Once the toile was perfected in fit and in shape, I had the task of cutting out the new paper patterns from the silk damask.  This worried me greatly as the damask was expensive and I was terrified of making a big mistake!

    I cut out the bodice ensuring that the "Lattice"  design was centred correctly down the Centre Front and the two pieces which formed the back and its lacing matched up perfectly.  The side panels I didn't mind too much whether the patterns matched up as they tended to be cut nearly on the bias of the silk.

    Ninya Mikhaila, Historical Costumier very kindly sent me a pattern for the over sleeve cuffs of the typical  1540s period.  This was a huge help to me - drafting these patterns is not an easy task! I drew up my own undersleeve pattern which you can see below with the other bodice patterns.  This patterns I generated in MS Paint.

Hanging Sleeve with Undersleeve and 'Puffs'

1540s - Bodice and Boning Pattern - Back Lacing

 The three images here, show the basic patterns that I used for my wedding gown. 
 The first image shows the Hanging cuff/sleeve as it should look when completed.
 The secondimage shows the pattern of the bodice with the boning channels.
  And the third image shows half the undersleeve pattern.  This is cut on a fold - the straight line above 'wrist'.
Centre Fold.

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