Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday the Forty Fourth...

Yet again, a few more rows of progress has been made on both the scarf and the baby blanket - but not as much as I planned or wanted. I've been reading a lot lately: I finished volume 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead comic, Jane Austen and the Ghosts of Netley Hall, Miss Lacey's Legacy, and The World We Live In (which is the third book in the Life As We Knew It trilogy)

While The Walking Dead comic, Jane Austen and the Ghosts of Netley Hall, and Miss Lacey's Legacy were fun reads, The World We Live In was not. It's a good book, but it's also very depressing. So much so that I immediately came home and hugged the husband and the cats. I then proceeded to reassure them that if an asteroid hit the moon and caused a world wide catastrophe that I would do whatever I had to to ensure we all had food to eat and didn't starve to death. Needless to say the husband just laughed at me and the cats promptly started squirming until I put them down.

The process of making myself a new bodice for Renn Faire has been started. I went over to my friend Jeffrie's house - she has a lovely foodie blog - on Friday and was duct taped up. 

Now a lot of you are probably raising your eyebrows at this point. I don't blame you, the first thing I thought of when making a bodice for the first time was not duct taping - I'd actually read a number of websites on how to adjust commercial patterns and make them period appropriate prior to my first bodice and all I could think was: aw, crap... I'm going to have to do math and sew muslins... what's a muslin?

That first bodice turned out okay, but the shoulders were a bit big, so there was some gaping going on. Still not bad for someone who had only shown chemises and skirts before. Then another friend explained that duct taping was the way to go. 

Basically with a duct tape pattern you wear an over sized shirt - big enough that you are comfortable, and that it hits your hips or thigh, but not so big that you're swimming in it. A friend then proceeds to wrap duct tape around your torso starting from either your waist up, or from your chest down. Duct tape is applied over the shoulders and built up in the front and the back to a desired height. Over time more layers are applied until it's not as flimsy, but not too thick. Normally at this point the design for the bodice is sketched onto the duct tape with a pen and then the victim is cut free. I usually go one more step and I'll even measure the person while they're in the duct tape - but that's only because I sometimes have a hard time finding the middle... sometimes I can be off a little. 

There more details on how to do a duct tape bodice pattern here, here, and here.

Here's what three rolls of duct tape looked like once I escaped:

Jeffrie is an amazing seamstress (in addition to being an amazing cook) and was able to make a pattern from the bodice without any sketching on the duct tape or measuring. She simply folded the duct tape pattern in a couple of different ways, took her scissors to it, and viola!

Now all I have to do is transfer the pattern to paper, clean up the lines, add seam allowances and then I'll be good to start cutting out fabric. 

I bought some yellow gold gimp braid to use as trim this weekend, but I recently read about Petersham ribbon, and I'm sorely tempted to get some in gold and use that instead of the braid. It's pretty inexpensive, and would be easier to sew with as it's not as bulky. Hmmmmm.

Next week, making a pattern from a duct tape pattern, and possibly cutting out the fabric. 


  1. What a cool way to make a pattern - very clever :)

  2. Very Interesting! I've seen people use duct tape to make a dress form before, but I haven't seen it used for a pattern!