Friday, March 29, 2013

Front-opening bodice with exposed lacing holes

Over the Easter long weekend I have been working on a blue drill dress that I started in about August or September last year. There have been lots of changes to the plan as I work on this dress in dribs and drabs. I re-made a pattern which has straps further off the shoulders and a pointed bodice. I wanted a front lacing dress so that I can dress myself, as often I don't have anyone to help me dress.

I had planned to close the front of the dress with hooks and eyes, but when I basted them in, they didn't seem terribly secure. Because I am big busted, I plan to wear a pair of bodies underneath the dress anyway, but I didn't want to take a chance on the closures opening up when I bend or move. I also considered ladder lacing, but I have not done it before and I need this dress to be finished within a month. So I am planning on doing ladder lacing through eyelets. This is not a very common bodice closure based on what I have seen of period portraiture.

I have a whole roll of some very nice blue and gold trim, so I can 'go to town' with the decoration. The real trouble is making a decision on which way to go with it! I am also unsure about what type of sleeve head decoration to use. I played around with the pattern for several hours this week and am completely fed up with the whole concept of sleeves, so the sleeve head pattern is on the back burner while I work on pleats and eyelets.

Here are some portraits that have been an inspiration to me:

Titziano Vecellio (Titian) Portrait of Titian's Daughter Lavinia

Giovanni Antonio Fasolo Portrait of a Lady

Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) Portrait of a Young Woman

Anonymous Venetian (maybe Jacopo Robusti) Portrait of a Lady


  1. Fascinating collection of portraits, I particularly like the dress in pic 3, even though it's a gruesome composition.
    Maybe that's a good idea re the sleeves, to have a separate garment under the dress.
    Good luck with it, hope you will post some pics when it's finished.

  2. Thanks Sharon, I will certainly post pics when it is finished - unless it looks REALLY awful :-)
    I agree with you about the Judith portrait; that gruesome head distracts a bit from the lovely jewelled trim!