First thing I did was to unpack Mom's ballgown bodice and sort out all the pattern pieces in the file (that took a while as she used two different patterns!). That is when I discovered that it really wasn’t going to be of much help. Mom made a lot of changes to the original pattern and all the changes were marked on the fitting toile, which was thrown away 15 years ago. This ladies and gentlemen is why we trace of "master patterns" when we make changes to a toile. Oh well! It was nice to try on the bodice and at least get an idea of what that would look like on me and where it should hit my shoulder and all that.
So I went back to the Hunnisett pattern. This time around I decided to use it as an actual pattern, enlarge it to the "original" size, sew it up as is and fit from there (as opposed to using it as a base to drape from).
To prep Narcissa for the fitting I padded her up to better match my natural bum roll *ahem*, then laced on my 18th century stays (similar cone shape - kudos to Kendra for the idea!) and added rolls of batting to simulate arms (my thanks to Bess for that idea!). I sewed up the front and back of the toile, leaving the side seams unstitched, and began pinning it on Narcissa. I decided to ignore the neckline for the time being and focus on the fit and seaming of the bodice.
Once I got the side seams pinned in I turned my attention to the front seams. I decided I wanted the seaming to match my trimming so I spent a few hours pinning, layering and otherwise playing around with my metallic lace. Thanks to a slim budget my trim is rather narrow so I'm taking inspiration from this painting of Vermeer and using multiple rows of it.
After my experimenting I decided on the slightly higher and more dramatic placement. Mom thought it would be more flattering on me and I thought it was more visually interesting - important since my fabric and trim are simple. I think it knocks my dress back into the 1660s rather than my initial concept of the mid 1670s but it's okay. No biggie!
I then decided to follow the patterning of the 1660s bodice in Bath and create a seam right where the trim is (Waugh shows this) and one that ends where the skirt goes from under the front of the bodice to over the tabs. I then lengthened the toile, using my stays as a guide, so I can add the tabs (which the Hunnisett pattern lacks).
So after marking the heck out of it I took the toile apart and used a combination of the marked toile and my Diderot stays pattern to create new pattern pieces. I then cut and stitched a new toile and this was the result. Wrinkles and bunching in the very front and the side doesn't fit. *sigh*
I decided to tackle one problem at a time and work on the front section first. I decided to try a simple solution and to simply take out the center front seam and cut it on the fold instead. I also cleaned up the curve a bit, with the help of a French curve, and then sewed up the new piece into my toile. You can't see it well in the pic because of the black fabric but it is perfect, not a wrinkle or bunch to be seen. Yay! I hope this works when I go to fir the neckline becasue it looks so pretty here! :P