I could spend a long time explaining the very long trips that I had around London trying to find the correct coloured fabric for what I wanted to achieve.
However I will instead explain in short the very many problems I had trying to find fabric.
For some reason I wanted to use the same colour that was described in the Janet Arnold book, in a bid to attempt to be as historically accurate as possible. However it turns out that terrecotta is no longer a popular colour in silk, and so that made finding the correct colour and texture of fabric very difficult.
I did not ever find this very wonderful fabric, in a perfect terrecotta fabric in Gold Hawk road. It was £16 per metre, not too expensive.
With that out of the way I got all of my pieces cut out in cotton drill, and then cut out in the top fabric.
Cotton drill is a very strong fabric that doesn’t stretch, which we used to back all of our top fabric. The reasoning behind using cotton drill is so that when the bodice get pulled tightly over the corset the fabric won’t stretch and distort it’s shape over time and wear.
Also it mean that we should draw all of the stitching lined on to the cotton drill, then the drill could simply to laid out individually on to the top fabric and all pin marks would be in the seam allowance rather than potentially marking the top fabric.
I am incredibly smart and managed to neglect to get photos of the flat tacking process or the cutting out in the terrecotta fabric. However with a good enough explanation I can sure you get the idea.
So all of the pieces of cotton drill-having been carbon papered for all of the correct construction lines- were separated out individually and laid out on the top fabric, wrong sides together. All of the pieces were then pinned down and cut out.
From there the task was to flat tack all of the pieces together. This meant using flat surface and drawing a running stitch just nest to all of the seam allowance lines, flat tacking in the seam allowance. Flat tacking allows the fabric to be held together so that when you move to construction the pieces all act as one layer of fabric.
With it all flat tacked together I moved on to the construction of the garment ready for a second and final fitting.
First the darts at the front were sewn, then the side seams and the panels. With the two sides constructed the next step was to sew up the back seam and then finally the shoulder seams.
With it all ready, i was ready for my second and final fitting of my Victorian bodice.