New Project: Leather Renaissance Bodice

The front and back pieces of my new leather bodice.

This is a new bodice I’m working on for next faire season. It started life as a black leather skirt I snagged off ebay for about $25. The pattern is one I purchased many many years ago and made precisely once. It’s a completely different style than I typically make–more a corset-style bodice with straps cut separately. Although with this one, I’m eliminating the straps because the structure of the bodice, which will include steel boning and closely spaced eyelets, will be sufficient to support itself without needing straps to hold it up.

Fantasy Fashions' Renaissance Maiden pattern.

The pattern actually is all one piece, as you can see from the photo of the lining piece, but because the leather skirt was pieced in smaller sections, I cut the pattern at the side dart for the outer leather and added about 3/8 inch for a seam allowance. I cut along the line of the dart, so the shaping will be retained at the side when sewn. It will have a corset coutil interlining and lining.

The lining piece. The bodice/corset pattern is all one piece with a side dart.

I’ve found this style very comfortable in the past, and I’m really looking forward to wearing this one when complete.

An idea sketch of the trim and applique, which will be executed in lavender suede.

It won’t just be plain black leather either. No, I’m sacrificing an old lavender suede shirt-jacket that has a lovely hand to cut up into trim and applique. Appliques will be cut as stylized floral or leaf motifs. The trim will be cut in a lace edging pattern similar to this: