Making Angelica’s bodice- Schuyler Sisters

Sorry it’s been so long guys! I can’t explain why (it’s a secret!) but you’ll know in a few weeks. I’ve not really had time to do any Schuyler sisters work because I’ve had other projects that needed doing.

I’m not just sorry you had to wait, but I’m also sorry this explanation is quite complex and wordy. I hope that the pictures are pretty informative, here is how to get Angelica’s bodice from the pattern from my previous post.

To make the bodice you need:DSCN0560.JPG

  • about half a meter of taffeta
  • about half a meter of cotton fabric (for lining)
  • at least 2 meters of plastic boning
  • at least 2 meters of cotton tape for boning channels (you don’t need this if you buy boning with fabric around it)
  • Some interfacing for the lacing panels. (I used medium weight sew-in but you could use iron on)
  • metal eyelets (don’t hand sew them, polyester taffeta hates hand sewn eyelets, you can hand sew over metal ones to make them look more natural but don’t hand sew at the beginning)
  • roughly 1 meter of bias binding for the arm holes (this is optional- it depends on how you attach your sleeves. If you use the method I’ve suggested below you won’t need it)
  • I chose to put Angelica’s lace on her over gown, but you could use lace here too. If you want to gather your lace you’ll probably need around 3 meters of it, if you want it normal you’ll only need 1 meter.

I started with cutting all the pattern pieces out of the lining and fabric. Your lining has a smaller seam allowance at the back than the outer layer as shown below. This is to allow for the lacing panels. The interfacing should be the same shape as the leftover bit of the outer fabric- you can see below how the lining+interfacing is the same shape as the outer fabric


I also cut a panel 10 cm by the length of my bodice back (minus 1″) to act as a modesty panel from both the lining, taffeta and interfacing (shown in green, black and red above)

The lining should be sewn first because if there are any glaring issues with fit (which there really shouldn’t be but things do go wrong) you can catch it before sewing your expensive fabric.

  • The first step is to sew the center front seam together
  • Then attach the boning as below (use sew through boning like rigeline, or pre-cased boning)DSCN0562.JPG
  • The last step to prepare the lining is to sew the shoulder seams together.DSCN0565.JPG

The modesty panel is something I like, but some find a bit annoying, but it’s really simple to make and could save you from showing of your stay laces. I’ll explain how to attach the modesty panel to the bodice when the lining and outer are joined, but making it’s really simple.

  • If you’re using iron on interfacing, interface the taffeta rectangle, then place the taffeta and lining wrong sides together
  • If you’re using ‘sew in’ interfacing make a sandwich with the lining fabric in the middle and the taffeta and interfacing on either side
  • Sew around the two short sides and one of the long sides
  • Turn the right way round and top sew the edge.DSCN0564

You should next make up your sleeves to be put aside for later. Make sure before you start that you’ve marked some notches matching your sleeve with the armhole.

  • Sew the side seam
  • Turn the hem of the sleeve under and sew a large rolled hem as shown below.DSCN0566

Angelica’s outer bodice is the simplest of all the sisters because it’s identical to the lining. You need to;

  • Sew the center front seam together on the outer. DON’T SEW THE SHOULDERS
  • Attach interfacing at the back seam allowance- as I explained above your outer seam allowance should be at least 2″ more than your lining seam allowance, this is where you apply interfacing.DSCN0567.JPG
  • Sew a 0.5″ hem on the two back edges (where you’ve interfaced)DSCN0568.JPG
  • Attach the modesty panel to one side of your back on the area you’ve just hemmedDSCN0569
  • You need to fold this extra seam allowance like below (left) and pin the lining like below (right)
    • NB: before you start pinning the rest of the lining, match up the center front and side seams first so nothing gets out of line
  • Then attach the lining to the outer at all the bottom and top, but don’t sew the back or around the arm holes. Be careful sewing the neckline because you haven’t attached the shoulder seams yet- leave a 1″ gap either side of where the shoulder seam will be to hand sew later.
  • Turn the bodice right side out through the sides and press lots– you should have two ‘pockets’ on either side like below, and lining shoulders sewn together but outer shoulders not.SUNP0009.JPG
  • Placing a cable tie in the pocket, use a zipper foot to make a boning channel around the cable tie.


  • Hand sew the edges of the pocket to the lining
  • Insert the eyelets in the back, I just used a modern alignment where the eyelets are evenly placed on both sides. I also used metal eyelets because I was fed up with hand sewing them by this point.
  • Attach the sleeves using the method described here and here.
  • Hand sew the shoulder together.

Some notes for you to be aware of;

  • Because I’m also making an over dress for Angelica I decided not to put lace on her bodice. For guidance on adding the lace you’d need to head over to my Eliza ‘how to’ (which is currently being written).
  • Technically boning should be put on the right side of the lining i.e. touching your stays. This is so there is an extra layer of fabric between the bones and the outer to produce a smoother shape, however this can produce extra wear on the corset so be careful. If you don’t want your bones touching your stays you can put them inside the lining, but I’d advise you then lightly interface your outer pieces so they don’t show bulges where the bones are.
  • Please try on everything at every stage so if something really doesn’t fit you can change it. My arm hole (for some reason) wasn’t deep enough and luckily I caught it at the lining stage so could change it without fuss, however if I hadn’t noticed until I was sewing my sleeves in I would have struggled. In theory if you’ve fitted your pattern enough times everything should fit perfectly- but that is not guaranteed.

I haven’t managed to get any pictures of the bodice on me yet, but I should be able to in the next few days. Happy sewing!


One thought on “Making Angelica’s bodice- Schuyler Sisters

  1. Thank you for these wonderful posts!! This is super helpful! I’m working on dresses for myself and a few friends. I was wondering when the other tutorials on Eliza and Peggy would be up? It would be extremely helpful to my project.


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