My Version of the McCall's Red Reign Costume - The Bolero

My Version of the McCall's Red Reign Costume - The Bolero

I've written about the McCall's Red Reign corset and now I'm onto the jacket or bolero part of the costume. I'm writing about the costume pieces in the order that I made them, not in the order listed in the instructions. I'll admit I'm not inclined to following sewing pattern instructions (which my brother and husband would be surprised at, since I follow most rules even when no one is around). I've got forty plus years of sewing behind me and ... I like to do things my way, when it comes to sewing. So, not only did I only use the instructions as a guide I also exercised artistic license on the design, and more so on the jacket than the other pieces.

This is the original pattern.

As you can see the little bolero does not have two identical sleeves according to the pattern. This somehow just didn't feel right to me, and since the great thing about sewing is making what you want - I made two identical sleeves that are a variation of the left sleeve above.

The fabric that I used for the bolero was red/black shot light weight taffeta for the body and spotted black net for the outer sleeve (both from mail order) and black "corset fabric" (not coutil) for the lining, along with tutu net to support the outer sleeve and to create the stand up collar and a small piece of woven boning sometimes called "Rigelene" to support the center back of the collar. You can see it in the image above and it will keep the collar up despite hair or head movement. (all these items are from The ruffled trim is all from my stash and some of that is from my local Fabricland here in Canada.

I used the upper sleeve pattern; both the inner and outer sleeve for both sleeves, keeping my sleeves symmetrical. I had thought of adding the longer sleeve and the cuff ruffle but the longer (forearm) sleeve required stretch fabric and I wasn't sure my fabric had enough stretch to allow arm movement. I also happened to have some long gloves in an almost perfect shade of red and the gloves seemed like a much cooler look. 

Cutting the collar from tutu net meant it would be sheer but would still stand upright really well. I cut the tutu net using the same collar pattern but I added ruffled lace trim along the outer edge and didn't need the interfacing layer called for in the pattern. The net pleated really easily and I could see the collar shape even as it lay on the table. I was having some difficulty handling the light taffeta fabric so I didn't sew the collar between the lining and the outer layer, instead I sewed the lining to the outer layer, clipped the curves turned the pieces right side out and top stitched at 1/4" from the edge. Then I added the collar, pinning it to the outer layer and sewing through all layers. To hid the raw edge of the tutu net collar I added a layer of black organza ruffle. The same organza ruffle trim that I put on the bottom of the corset after everything else was finished. It finished the whole perimeter of the bolero perfectly.

The back of the bolero is two pieces and they get laced together in the pattern. It was my plan to do the same but once I had added my black 2" braid (yep, more stash) and saw the bolero over the corset I really liked the way it looked open, so I'm not lacing it. 

The pattern included pieces to make applique's that could be added to the back, but I wanted to use up more scrap that I had so I skipped the applique bits and cut strips of black lace for the shoulders and a small piece of different lace for the upper center back - the shape of this last trim worked perfectly (gotta love when that happens). I added heat set crystals to add a bit of bling. I also added a strip of black crystals to the woven boning collar support, but I did that after this picture was taken.

I'm still thinking about possibly adding more bling, maybe in the way of a broach. I'll likely decide once I see this on my friend and model Grace.

Okay, onto the next blog post - the cage and skirt.

Reading next

My Version of McCall's Red Reign Costume - the Cage & Skirt
Spiral Bones - How to Choose which to Use

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.