As I wrote in my last post I finished the bodice for my Hobbit outfit last week. I’m tolerably satisfied with it, though I will make a change or two on the next one (lowering the neckline a tad in front, taking it in more so the back doesn’t meet). I’ll also add some more boning in the back of this one, as it wrinkles in an unsightly way. I might very likely have made it slightly too long, and must remedy that at some point.
I obviously won’t wear a tricot shirt with the finished costume…
I wanted to go for classic Hobbit colours, green and yellow, but as blue is my favourite colour, I wanted that as well. All theese colours also look good with the skirt fabric. The bodice is made from five pieces: two in the back, two side-front pieces (all from herringbone woven cotton) and one centre front piece in a contrasting cotton fabric. That is decorted with a lattice from finger looped braids. All the sahaping of the bodice are in the seams, so no darts.
It’s lined and interlined with a medium weight, checked cotton fabric that can be glimpsed in the top of the above picture. The lining, interlining and fashion fabric are treated as one when stitched together. The bodice is boned in the back on each side of the hand sewn eyelets, at the sides, and at regular intervals on the centre front panel. The bodice is bound with straight strips of linen, and is laced up the back with cotton tape – the colour in this picture is not at all representative of the real one.
Most of the sewing on the bodice is done by hand, as I doubt Hobbits had sewing machines: “They do not and did not understand or like machines more complicated than a forge-billows, a water-mill, or a hand loom, though they were skilful with tools.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, Prologue I – Concerning Hobbits). Only some of the interior seams, that will never show, are machine sewn.
All of the materials but the tape for lacing is taken from my stash, which is always nice. As for the rest of the costume, the first skirt is mostly done; I’m currently weaving tapes to tie it with, and when they’re attached the skirt will be ready to wear.