Evil, thy name is Bodice Inset.

There you go. Two works that I can go the whole rest of my life without running into again. “Bodice Inset”. If you don’t know what a bodice inset is….make no further inquiries and put it right out of your mind. I finished the dress last night (well, I hemmed it this morning as Meg stood ready) and managed to make a cloak for her as well.
(None of us are feeling well. Meg is on the mend, but is only capable of looking this thrilled. Trust me, she is very happy)
Highlights of the evening include the following:
-Managing to sew all pieces of the bodice backs together so that all four of them (the bodice is lined. Did I mention the bodice is lined?) were “left backs”. Unpicking two so I could re-sew them and get two “right backs” then sewing them up in exactly the same way.
– Getting Ken over here to put in the zipper, (Ken and I have a long-standing agreement about zippers. I do all the making up on his knitting, and he puts in all my zippers) then watching him bail out when he ran into the Bodice Inset. He claims that he had to work. I don’t believe him.
-A creative and stunning display of expletives (even for me…and I practice) when I realized that I’d sewn the filthy zipper in so crooked that I no longer zipped. (Which sort of defeats the *&^%$$ purpose doesn’t it? I’ll get Ken for this.)
-A very quiet period of reflection when I disovered, shortly after I finished the dress that I had pattern piece #11 left over. It claims to be an “underlap”. Probably related to the execrable Bodice Inset….seems to be unimportant, since it is on the dining room table, and the dress is at the school. Makes me wonder how many of the other 17 pieces were unnecessary.
-Very calmly, (probably *too* calmly) putting the dress and the half-way set in sleeve with contrast lined cuff down on the floor. Muttering the words “ease stitch this you #$%^&*(*&^% ” and sitting in the corner knitting a mitten for a while, just to take the edge off.
This morning I have a wicked sewing hangover (and probably the virus that everyone else got, though I will die blaming the Bodice Inset) , but my buddy Norma has rescued me…
Norma my pet, I’m using it all today. ( I miss you too) That, a nap, a little mitten knitting and I won’t even remember the word “staystitch”. Bodice Inset my arse.
(PS….if you need a Halloween costume, read yesterdays comments. Keep leaving them if you like, and I’ll post a page of ideas when Halloween is over. Brilliant. Simply Brilliant.)

61 thoughts on “Evil, thy name is Bodice Inset.

  1. Fantastic job on the costume! My concerns about my yarn stash growing too large are really overshadowed by my quiet concerns about my fabric and pattern stash. In fact, it’s made me feel so guilty, I’ve hidden it in a closet. I really should get that sewing machine out…

  2. Daughter number three left for school today dressed as an animal cell. Seemed strange to mutter “Nice vacuole.” over my morning coffee but I’m grateful that the years of benign neglect in the ‘costume making’ department have not scarred her too much. Last year she went disguised as ‘the centre of the universe’: wde brimmed hat with hand-painted styrofoam planets suspended in proper orbital order. No, we haven’t screwed them up too much ;0)

  3. More Halloween ideas:
    get a clear plastic bag (like a trash bag) and some colorful balloons. Get in the trash bag (making holes for arms and legs). Blow up the balloons and fill up the bag with them. Tape the openings shut around your various extremeties and you are–A Bag of Jellybeans!!

  4. Oh, but that bodice inset is GORGEOUS — as is the entire ensemble, not to mention Meg. I hate to say it, but that bodice inset makes the dress, as Meg and you knew from the beginning, the difference between Disney princess and Lord of the Rings princess. PERFECT! Get some rest and sip some of those hot things.

  5. Dear Harlot,
    my X-mas knitting plans this year will involve lots of knitted mittens, I bought the mitten-knitting instruction book by … as usual cannot recall a name, and am nearly ready to go. BUT where in all the world can I find yarn with htis gauge? I want to have something like 32 per 10 cm (yes, metric is the way to go!!! who wants to have a system where you have to multiply anything by TWELVE? power to the zero.) to make the pattern stand out nicely… where do you get the yarns for your FABULOUS mitten adventures?
    The colors are also great…
    P.S. fabulous costume

  6. A bodice with lining and an inset? Yikes. But the end result looks lovely, as does Meg.
    Another FYI – satin and fleece do *not*, I repeat, DO NOT play well together. I learned this (again) around midnight last night.

  7. I saw a great one today: a young girl had rolls of Smartie candies (still in the wrapper) glued all over her blue jeans. Her white t-shirt read “Smarty Pants”. Given her age (10 or 11), I wonder who came up with that one-her or her mother. Great costume on your *beautiful* daughter. You just never cease to amaze me.

  8. Oh MY! What a wonderful job you did! My 1/2 a bat costume pales in comparison. And I didn’t even have anything close to a Bodice Inset (I bow down to you, mighty Harlot). However- you think you have zip issues? You should see what mine looks like! Let’s just say that I wasn’t too concerned that the supposedly centred zip lie exactly in the centre of the opening, so you can imagine how it looks. Yikes.
    I am getting a real kick out of reading other readers’ ideas. I am looking forward to the Official Yarn Harlot Readers’ Halloween Costume Idea Bible. Should be great!

  9. Pretty funny, in the time it took me to post my easy lotr dress instructions, you finish sewing a dress and posting a new blog entry.
    Don’t they have velcro in Canada? Beats zippers.
    Reapeat this mantra for next year…
    “Goodwill and glue gun, Goodwill and glue gun…”

  10. Sorry to join the ranks of your fawning minions, but that dress is stunning. I bow down, Harlot!

  11. You did an amazing job on the costume (despite your dughters less than inthused look). Hope you can ditch the virus soon, but until then enjoy some quality knitting time. Right now “mitten” is my “bodice inset”, just don’t mention them! Actually, since I’m into that self torture/masochism thing I think I’m going to pick up the cursed hand adornments now…

  12. Beautiful dress despite it’s frustrations. As for the left over piece, it must be something like what happens to mechanics. They take apart your car, put it back together and always have a few pieces left over. Can’t be very important!

  13. Harlot, you should win an award of some kind for that dress. Beautiful! And appropriately Lord of the Rings-esque. Now all Meg needs is some pointy ears, and she’d be Galadriel reincarnated.
    Awesome mittens, by the way.

  14. I’ve got another costume to add to your list: a picnic table. In sixth grade, I took an enormous piece of cardboard and painted it red and white checks. I glued paper plates to it, and cut out food from magazines to glue to the plates. I had a string that went around my neck to hold it on me. It was a lot of fun until the string broke and I had to carry that *#&$^%%@(!(* thing around town with me for the rest of the night.
    The upside, though, was that I WAS the only picnic table in town!

  15. Only YOU would knit a mitten like that as a relaxing break from sewing!!!
    The costume is wonderful. Some day I will post a picture of my daughter’s angel costume (which I sewed), which was made of white satin and chiffon. Never again will I do chiffon!
    It looks beautiful. I can only hope that Meg doesn’t scramble around on a filthy floor nabbing candy from a pinata. (Yes, my daughter did that on the very first night she wore the costume!) Luckily, she survived.

  16. My hat is off to you. I still have a bodice with 72 grommets to finish (more like start) and the chemise to construct. Looks great

  17. Oh, the only bad thing about todays entry is that your daughter probably has no idea how beautiful she is… or maybe that’s a good thing, else Joe might have frequent heart palpitations….
    Beautiful dress, beautiful mitten, and exquisitely beautiful offspring!

  18. The dress looks amazing, and Meg looks great in it. Even if she is a little scowly in that photo (isn’t that the official facial expression of teenagerhood anyways?). I have to admit, I’m kind of jealous–I wish I had a costume that cute to wear this year.

  19. That dress looks very princess-like. Though that’s the happiest she gets? I know attitude is a teenage perogative but hey, she looks great, her mama made her a costume even though she’s a teen and she could do it herself, her face isn’t covered in zits, and the top of her dress is actually filled (pardon me for noticing but at 24 I may never fill out dress tops without a bit of “help”). Glad she’s feeling better and hope you feel better soon, too.
    Is it funny or depressing that so much stress is self-induced…

  20. Lovely – just lovely!!
    Now, my daughter’s cat costume is still a pile of fabric. (fortunately, they went bowling today – and the rule was no costumes. Fortunately for me. For her, it pretty much sucks. She was dissapointed….)

  21. Great job on the costume! I’ve been sewing longer than I care to remember, certainly longer than Knitting with any sort of regularity or passion. But now the sewing machine and serger collect dust while the stash keeps growing. Just started a new pair of socks using Patons classic Wool Merino on size 2.5mm, k2 p2 rib for the whole leg portion. I love it. Hopefully they won’t slip like store bought sock (hate that!) Anyway, you deserve to relax. Love your new mug!!

  22. Stephanie,
    I hope you get over the Bodice Virus soon. The costume was lovely-and I’m sure Meg really was thrilled. 😉
    That sheepy mug is adorable! Did Norma tell you were she got it? I broke my favorite sheepy mug Weds and need to find a new one.

  23. I am SO THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED! DANG GIRL! You made that in ONE DAY?!?!?!
    Now, again, please tell me… what is the benefit to sewing vs buying the costume? My mom never touched a sewing machine (that I knew of ) in her adult life! I mean, it’s really sweet to make them, and it makes them more special, but it hardly seems worth the crazy effort!
    beautiful job though!!! amazing!

  24. I’m beginning to suspect that Yarn Harlot Inc. is a dirty little sweatshop with a staff of 10. Meg was up all night slaving away on her own dress just so that her mother could look good. Yep, we’ve heard this all before from Martha’s daughter . . . Gorgeous dress! If the average wedding dress was half this pretty, I might consider attending more weddings. Now go get some sleep, would ya?

  25. Okay, everyone else is too polite to say it. You are sick because you live in an arctic chilled home. Put on the #&^$&#*& heat! 🙂
    All that and a cloak too? With your little frozen hands? I’m impressed.

  26. The dress is beautiful. I look at it, though, and think “future prom dress made by mom” and “future wedding dress made by mom”.
    Carol’s right — chiffon is inherently evil.

  27. That’s stunning! You did a much better job than I did. Well, did last year that is. I got REALLY lucky and my kid decided that the dress I slaved over last year would work again this year. You can see the dress on my blog if you want.

  28. This Megan princess is shockingly, achingly beautiful.
    Most girls aren’t suited to a large tiara.
    Megan is.
    She’d seem even more beautiful if I were gazing at her while watching Beau Benoit Bourque.
    Alas I am not, as he hasn’t arrived.
    Sad that.

  29. That costume is bee-yewtiful. The best costume I ever had was a Garfield one made by my long-suffering mother… but it was great.
    Today I offended all my students (who are about your daughter’s age) with my geekiness by wearing a star trek uniform and making them all call me “Captain”… hehehe.

  30. Hooray for you and hooray for me!! The dress looks awesome, and Meg is stunning. She has the perfect pout, models have to learn that look, she has it down pat. Smiling is out, don’t ya know.
    Isn’t it always crunch time when we make and remake those mistakes. I have been sewing half my life and it still happens to me with shocking regularity.
    COSTUME idea: One year I dressed my husband in all black and attached Barbies all over him. He was a “chick magnet”. Or attach sponges to your entire self and be “self-absorbed”. I love the Center of the Universe idea. I have a daughter that would have no stretch to be that!

  31. You are insane in the best possible way. I can’t even believe how fast you sewed that costume, zipper, extra pieces and all. But I’m *really* loving that mitten. I even picked up the Latvian mitten book at the library thanks to you. I’m thinking a mitten is my best bet for a first fairisle project. If I’m crazy, please don’t tell me.

  32. When I first saw the picture, I thought your daughter was going as vintage Courtney Love (though much cuter). Bodice inset looks good, but I sense its innate evilness. Should you ever run across “underarm gusset” pray and run like hell.

  33. Truly masterful, of mistress of wool.
    I amd glad that I am not alone in blogland in this Hallowe’en marathon. I finished this week a WoodFairy, and Frog King (with a knit crown, no lie) and what my fifteen year old role-playing fantasy freak assures me is instantly recognizable as a “cultist in the second mutation”. Hm. It was fun making all the tentacles.

  34. And another thing, why is it that yarn shops all have cute names based on puns like “Wooly Buns” and “Elegant Ewe” and fabric places all have names that are a crime against the imagination like “FabricPlace” and Fabricland”? Why not something like “Sew and Sews?” or “Let Quilting Bee?”
    It’s a mystery for the season.

  35. I don’t think I’ve ever really wanted to make a mitten until I saw the picture of the one you you are making now! That’s my kinda mitt, my colors exactly. Feel better. Next year, maybe Meg would like to go as a lamb (fleece)? Great job.

  36. Meg looks gorgeous if not “thrilled”
    I love the ease stitch this you #%@&* comment I am going to hold on to that.
    And lady for the love of great mittens you amaze me.

  37. Great costume!! I cannot believe that I once spent hours, days, weeks….on halloween costumes for my kids. When they were little we always had theme costumes. Peter Pan/Tinkerbell, Robin Hood/Maid Marion, Dracula/Bride of Franenstein, Captain Hook/Pirate and my daughter’s fair share of princess costumes. They are now teenagers and this is the first year they are not going Trick or Treating in the neighborhood….though my 13 year old son IS on the edge about going out. When told I needed advance notice to help with a costume, he replied with “Don’t worry. If I do go out I’ll be a kid who likes candy, has no imagination and wear my regular clothes.” Sounds good to me!!

  38. Even for being on the mend, her less-than-thrilled look has a dramatic edge to it. Beautiful job on the costume–good to know I’m not the only one that equate sewing with Olympic swearing.

  39. And, um — what is Samantha’s costume? (No rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need it.)

  40. I have an URGENT QUESTION! If you finish all the knitting, and Ken puts in all the zippers, then when you KNIT something with a zipper, who puts in the zipper? Because that would violate your “no zipper” rule and his “no making up” rule and MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE THINKING ABOUT THIS…. Clearly a third party must handle the putting of zippers into knitted items.

  41. Your daughter looks beautiful in her finery! Great job Mom 🙂 Love the mitten, you do that to RELAX?!?

  42. Great job on the Halloween costume. It looks fantastic. And the mitten is looking good!
    BTW how’s Meg’s knitting coming along?
    I hope you feel better soon!

  43. Aww … I’m glad to hear that Meg is on the mend, and I hope she does so quickly, as I hope the same for you and everyone else not feeling well.
    And I’ll echo the other comments, that’s an amazing costume. I can’t wait until I have daughters and get to dress them up like that. You’re truly fortunate to have such lovely young ladies who can’t truthfully argue against the fact that you’re their mother ^_^

  44. I have been steadily teaching my best friend all I know of sewing for the past seven years. This is a considerable heap of knowledge, made somewhat more difficult to pass on when my general philosophy toward sewing “rules” is that they’re “more like guidelines, really” (n.b. we tend to watch Pirates of the Carribean when we’re sewing lately, hence the quote). We bought patterns and makings for Renaissance festival for Friend and Small Friend (her 1 year old daughter) at the beginning of the summer and used the pattern to cut out the pieces. I then looked at the pattern directions for about an hour, then tossed them to the far end of the table for future reference when my way didn’t work out. I think they’re still there.

  45. My oldest is 23, she’s a Stepford Wife this year, my middle is 19, she’s Miss America this year…yepm that’s right..the night before their OFFICE party..I was up until 3am sewing and baking (ala Desparate Housewives style) a basketfull of oatmeal cookies, banana muffins, complete with fabric napkins and bows. One would think that when they have adult jobs…they’d do the adult thing and make their own! NOPE!…not happening. Son is going to be the President, he’s away at school. He’s on his own to drag his suit out of the closet. Baby is in high school and it’s was a football day, she had to wear her cheer uniform to school…got outta that one!
    Happy knitting once again..and don’t step on the pins..and remember- it’s not nice to hurt the machine when it’s not sewing what you told it to. I promise, the machines always bite back.

  46. I’ve been finishing up a St. Therese of Lisieux costume for my daughter to wear on Monday. Only problem is, my sewing machine mysteriously broke last night. Not sure if a serged 19th century nun outfit is appropriate, but who cares. . .

  47. Ummm, I want that mitten. Pretty, pretty mitten. My precious…
    Anyhow, one of my fave Halloween costumes of yore was actually from a movie – “DOA” – Meg Ryan wore a skimpy piece of ladies’ lingerie and had taped the letters F R E U & D to the front of it. Yup, she was a Freudian Slip.

  48. Fantastic job on the dress. It brings back memories, sewing costumes and getting them done just in time for the kid to put it on and leave the house. (Note that sleep is not mentioned here) At the time, my husband and my friends said I was nuts. Today they are 21 and 24 and 450 km. away. I got all misty eyed reliving those memories. And last weekend, while visiting for a late Thanksgiving, the boys got talking about those costumes “remember the Cat in the Hat? the Ninja turtles? GI Joe? remember how Mom never used a pattern?” etc. Then came the big hugs. Is it worth it? You bet!
    Barb Brown

  49. I’ve oput glow in the dark stars on me and worn a moon mask and gone as the night sky, and put movie theater tickets and Reese’s wrappers and popcorn on me and gone as the floor of a movie theater.
    This year I was so slutty my friends tried to sell me as a prostitute for 50 cents. My goal was to get arrested in an interesting enough manner to make the police blotter of the alternative newspaper. Alas, ’twas not to be.

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