Bioshock Infinite Part 2: Elizabeth’s Bolero

After you are done making yourself a pattern for your Bioshock Infinite Elizabeth costume, it’s time to get sewing!

1)  Attach 2 jacket fronts to jacket back at shoulder seams (right sides together).  Do this twice if you cut lining pieces.
2)  Right sides together with the extra firm interfacing on the bottom (NOT in between the pieces), stitch the collar pieces together.  Turn so the right sides are out and the interfacing is between, and baste across the bottom.
3)  Attach collar to the outside jacket piece.  I pinned this so that the edge was straight, making it easier to sew.
4)  Right sides together with the collar in between, attach the jacket lining to the jacket outside by stitching along the neckline.
5)  Stitch lining and jacket outside together along bottom front seams (right sides together).    Then fold right sides together and stitch the side seams.  The lower back seam of the jacket should be open as should the armhole seams.  You may notice that in my picture, I also stitched the armhole seams together, and I did the sides out of order.  It worked out okay, but for sizing reasons I wouldn’t recommend it.
6)  Turn the jacket right side out, through the open seam at the lower back of the jacket.
7)  Slip stitch (or press seams in and top stitch if you hate slip stitching like I do) the lower back jacket seam.
8)  Ease stitch the curved top of the sleeves.  Ease stitch is pretty much a fancy word for basting (a slightly longer straight stitch).  One line of ease stitching should be fine, but two is ok as well.
9)  Stitch sides and longer edge of cuff together with interfacing as you did with the collar.  Turn cuffs right side out and baste shorter edge.
10)  Place cuff at wrist edge of sleeve so that the longer edge is closest to the shoulder, and stitch sleeve and cuff together along the shorter edge.  Cover this seam with 1″ wide single fold bias tape.  Do it now, or else you will be forced to do it like I did below.  Painful.  And just so you know, cutting yourself with sewing scissors hurts a little more than stabbing yourself with sewing pins.  That purple bandaid was there to prevent my scissor cut from bleeding all over my white cuffs.
11)  Stitch underarm edge of sleeve, right sides together from armpit to cuff.
12)  Gather at the ease stitches and fit the sleeve armhole to the jacket armhole (you could baste the jacket armhole together first if you like).  The jacket should be inside out.  The sleeve should be right side out, but inside the jacket, pinned at the armhole seam (apologies for the lack of picture).  Stitch the armhole seam.
13)  Do this a second time for the other sleeve.  And you’re done!  The bolero is shown with the fairy corset below.
Working with crushed panne velvet is weird.  It is kind of like a knit, but doesn’t suffer as much from the wavy seam syndrome that requires the tissue paper trick.  It does move a lot as you are sewing.  I had to do a lot of seam ripping for things like this, where the fabric moved and bunched inappropriately at a seam line:
Which brings me to my next point – use contrasting thread!  The fuzzy nature of crushed panne looks nice, but makes it kind of hellish to find your thread when ripping seams.  I switched to white thread later.  Fred also betrayed me by poking a whole in the fabric while I was seam ripping, ugh.  Realistically I should blame not being able to see the thread.  Regardless, the piece with the hole in it is now the lining of the coat rather than the outside. 😛
The pattern worked out pretty well, though I have to say, the lack of instructions for the lining part was a bit confusing.  Thankfully it didn’t result in unrecoverable errors!  Cheers!

3 comments for “Bioshock Infinite Part 2: Elizabeth’s Bolero

  1. Aunt Patty
    June 21, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Nice work!

    • Tyraenna
      June 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Thanks 🙂

  2. June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    It’s kind of disturbing how much crushed velvet appeals to me. Stick me in a time machine and shoot me back to the 70s, I guess. Gorgeous jacket, my friend.


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