The Vermeer Project: Stage 4

project-vermeer-bodiceLast night, I found myself with an hour to spare before bedtime so I decided to get a start on the working version of the jacket bodice (the main part without the sleeves).

First step, cut out pattern pieces from old sheets. This is easy enough. Just pin the paper pattern piece to fabric and cut. Normally, I iron the fabric and iron the pieces so that everything is super perfect. But, because this is the sloppy-copy, rough draft version, I didn’t bother. Ten minutes later, mission accomplished. I’m additionally pleased because considering I’m cutting out the fabric on my bed, I’m always happy when I only cut the fabric and not my duvet cover.

Next step, sew the pieces together. Dragging out my machine is a pain in the toochas and not something for a week night, so I sewed the pieces together by hand. The working version of a garment is typically dismantled and adjusted and resewn several times so a loose running stitch that can be easily removed is optimal. I used bright pink thread so I can see what I’m doing. Not only am I seeing where the pieces best fit together, I’m also testing the seam allowance, or distance from the stitching to the edge of the fabric.

I decided to skip the sleeves for a few reasons. I will probably not make a working version because they have very detailed pleating which I don’t want to do more than once. Also, the sleeves in the painting are not the same as the ones in the pattern so not much sense in working up a version of the sleeves that I won’t use.

Once everything is put together, it’s the moment of truth. Did I enlarge the pattern correctly? Does everything line up? Does it even look like a bodice? You have to have a lot of bravery for the first time you put on the garment. You have to prepare for the worst.

I am very happy to share that the bodice fits great! I am so, so, so very pleased about this and also relieved. I could have had to rework the bodice endlessly. So, thumbs up for the grid pattern enlarging method! Thumbs up for planning things in advance! And, thumbs up for ample preparation!

Next steps are:

  • Cut out the fabric in both the gold outside fabric and white lining fabric and reconstruct the bodice.
  • Cut the sleeves and sew by hand to the bodice.
  • Sew the tabs onto the bodice.
  • Sew the black trim to the jacket.
  • Hem the skirt and put the final fastener on the skirt.

And that’s it!

I am very happy (I’m just a ridiculously happy woman these days)  that this is going well because I wanted to work on the Pumpkin’s Halloween costume as well. She’s directing the project and I will try my best to realize her vision.


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