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Unread 01-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
genkimami
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Boned bodice instead of pair of bodies?

I plan on making an elizabethan dress and while doing research on the construction of a pair of bodies, I've come across some references mentionning dresses having heavily boned bodices instead of wearing a pair of bodies. Unfortunately, I haven't found many sources mentionning this.

From http://www.elizabethancostume.net/corsets/history.html
Quote:
A petticoat with a heavily boned bodice is a convenient alternative to a separate corset and skirt. It eliminates bulk at the waist, as well.
From http://store.reconstructinghistory.c...n-corsets.html
Quote:
Waistlines rose and fell during the 17th century, and bodices changed with them. For the most part, the bodice of the dress was boned instead of a separate pair of bodys being worn underneath the garment. This changed by the end of the century. After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1666, corsets really started to become what we think of today.
My question is: would it be historically accurate to not wear a pair of bodies under an elizabethan dress and instead put boning in the bodice of the dress?

I've only recently started reading about elizabethan fashion, so I'm sorry if I made any mistake in terminology!

Last edited by genkimami : 01-03-2012 at 04:56 PM.
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Unread 02-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
Ororo Monroe
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I don't know about elizabethian garb, but I do know victorian. In victorian garb, there were cases where the dress was boned and the wearer also had on a corset. The reason for this is the bulk of undergarments. The lady would wear a chemise, pantelets, corset and corset cover and then layer on the petticoats and hoop. This could cause a thicking effect and make the wearer look dumpy. Think back to your Barbie days, two and three layers made Barbie look fat but not fat. The solution as to put boning in the dress bodice to give the dress a smooth fitted look.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
Elycium
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It actually depends on the style of Eliabethan dress that you are doing, actually. I mean, you can do it regardless of style, if you're not worried about complete authenticity, but some styles actually called for a boned bodice rather than the pair of bodies.

A friend of mine made a dress based on a portrait of a woman from Italy during the Elizabethan era and discovered that the style of dress she'd made would have been boned in the bodice, rather than having the pair of bodies under it.
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Unread 03-12-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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Thank you for taking the time to reply ladies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elycium View Post
It actually depends on the style of Eliabethan dress that you are doing, actually. I mean, you can do it regardless of style, if you're not worried about complete authenticity, but some styles actually called for a boned bodice rather than the pair of bodies.

A friend of mine made a dress based on a portrait of a woman from Italy during the Elizabethan era and discovered that the style of dress she'd made would have been boned in the bodice, rather than having the pair of bodies under it.
I'm not worried about being 100 % historically accurate, since I'll be doing a Snow White gown inspired by Elizabethan fashion. So I suppose the question of "is this a style that calls for a boned bodice or a pair of bodies" is not relevant, unfortunately.

Even though it will be more work, I'm now leaning towards making my pair of bodies since I'll be able to reuse it for other costumes if I wish
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Unread 03-14-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
Ororo Monroe
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In a way it is...your costume will look loads better then anything Simplicy would come up with because your concerned with questions like this. I also know that I move and act differently in all my layers when I'm in historical garb then when I'm not.
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Unread 03-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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And if you are looking to buy a bodice from someone I highly recommend damseldress.com!
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Unread 03-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link, but none of the corsets they make are elizabethan pair of bodies! I don't think I'll be able to find a store that sells those for a price I can afford, so I'll be making it myself.
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Unread 03-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ororo Monroe View Post
In a way it is...your costume will look loads better then anything Simplicy would come up with because your concerned with questions like this. I also know that I move and act differently in all my layers when I'm in historical garb then when I'm not.
not necessarily. Both my Florentine gown (the one in my avatar) and my Tudor gown were made using the Simplicity patterns as a base and they turned out wonderful.

Whether you use a pair of bodies or not, the real key is to make sure that you have someone help you fit the mock-up. Since you're making the pair of bodies, a plain muslin mock up of the bodice will be fine (duck canvas works great for a mock up of a bodice you plan to bone instead).

out of curiosity, what are you planning to use for boning?
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Unread 03-16-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elycium View Post
not necessarily. Both my Florentine gown (the one in my avatar) and my Tudor gown were made using the Simplicity patterns as a base and they turned out wonderful.

Whether you use a pair of bodies or not, the real key is to make sure that you have someone help you fit the mock-up. Since you're making the pair of bodies, a plain muslin mock up of the bodice will be fine (duck canvas works great for a mock up of a bodice you plan to bone instead).

out of curiosity, what are you planning to use for boning?
I haven't decided that yet! I remember finding a website that listed modern materials to use for boning, but I can't remember the url at the moment.

I bought Simplicity 0679 (the Shakespeare in love pattern) that I plan to use as a general base for my dress. I think this pattern has the boning in the bodice of the dress, but I'll check if I can skip that and wear the final dress over a pair of bodies.

The gown in your avatar is really lovely, by the way!
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Unread 03-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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I think all of the Simplicity patterns call for the use of boning in the bodice, but most of the time their placement is meh, and if its not done right it looks kind of silly.

For the pair of bodies that we made my friend (and later my own) we used steel boning for the busk, and for support by the lacing, and the rest of the boning we used heavy duty zip ties (you can find them at any home depot or lowes). And they work wonderfully / are super cheap. And yes, they do work (friend is a DD, I'm a D and they support just fine).

And thank you very much
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Unread 03-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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Heavy duty zip ties are a great idea! I think I'll go with that too. I'm a D so it's good to know I'll have enough support with some zip ties and steel boning. For the steel boning, did you use spring steel bones (such as this link)?

Oh also, do you recommend a pattern in particular for making a pair of bodies?
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Unread 03-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Boning has always been an issue for me. I have bent and twisted a fair number of corsets. Three things make a sturdy corset or pair of bodies. 1) material 2) type of support (boning, busk, layers) 3) amount of support and where it is placed. Also, bust size and body type should be considered when factoring support.

PS I didn't mean to bad mouth Simplicty or any of the other main lines. They do make good costumes. But depending on the patterns they can take shortcuts like zippers, attaching the visible parts of the chemise to the dress, false under skirts, etc. I've used them as a base in the past too. But I've also almost always improved on them using other sources, especially for a historical event.
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Unread 03-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #13
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Genkimami, yep similar to the bones in your link. As for patterns for a pair of bodies, my friend and I used different patterns. My friend scaled up a pattern from the Effigy bodies shown in the Tudor Tailor and then fit it to her. I used the Simplicity pattern and just made a mock-up so that I could do some fitting (because I have broad shoulders and a super narrow back XD). The Simplicity pattern worked just fine too. Its just another matter of getting someone to help do a fitting.

And like Ororo said, the fabric you use plays a bit in how well the corset works. My friend and I both used duck cloth and lined it in twill.

Ororo: I know that the older ones used to give all kinds of short cuts. The newer ones, at least, seem to avoid that most of the time, which is nice.
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Unread 03-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #14
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Thanks to both of you for the input.

I was considering buying the Elizabethan Corsets pattern from Reconstructing history, but my friend has the Tudor Tailor book, so I'll look into that first before making a decision.
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Unread 03-27-2012, 04:00 PM   #15
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oh god, do NOT use anything from Reconstructing History. Its the biggest waste of money ever. Their patterns are horrible. The only problem with the Tudor Tailor is that the patterns in it are drafted for someone very small, so you'll have to do some modifications.
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