During my...hiatus...my poor little Venetian dress has been languishing with my sewing things, sad and neglected. Until now! I'll dusted it off, made a few changes, and now I'm making progress on it again.
I decided that the fabric was more suited to something relatively simple, like Titian's Lady in White. I will probably change the sleeves a little, but I like the over-all lines of that gown. I also had a really convoluted scheme for getting in and out of the dress, and I threw that out the window for a more straight forward approach. The original bodice was nearly done, but I took it apart so I could make some adjustments (like shortening the point of the bodice).
Inside that bodice we have: two layers of canvas, plastic boning at the front edges and center back, one layer of thin cotton quilt batting, and one layer of muslin on top. But the exciting part is the stomacher underneath the lacing! That's the part actually doing the heavy lifting. It's also two layers of canvas, but it is heavily boned with lots of padding and a layer of buckram. The padding is what gives that straight down the front - even with lost of boning, bodices tend to curve in at the waist (see what I mean?) unless you fill in that natural gap underneath the bust.
Here is the front view of the stomacher. You can see all the boning in there. I've also added a layer of buckram to the front to keep it from collapsing on itself when I lace the bodice over it. It will be covered with some gathered while linen, to mimic the look of my chemise.
And here you can see what all that padding actually looks like. It's layers of cotton quilt batting loosely stitched to the foundation. The highest part sits right below my bust.
Stay tuned for more...