I played around with the tabbed waist treatment on my bodice mockup for about 30 minutes earlier this weekend, then realized it was going to be too fiddly and time consuming, so I gave up. I decided to go with one of the longer coat shaped bodices instead, like the one on the left side of this 1883 illustration. I also added pleats in the back like the bodice shown here. I liked how both of these bodices have 3/4 sleeves as well, which I think looks more summery than the full length sleeves.
So once that was finally decided, I forced myself to be brave and started cutting and assembling my real jacket. I'm using wool twill for my bodice, and it is flatlined with cotton in a reproduction print that I didn't particularly like, but it was cheap and I figured it would make a fun lining.
The first time I tried it on, it was a wrinkly disaster, so I've been making adjustments and steaming and pressing for hours now. I went back and used the fitting instructions in Fashions of the Gilded Age where you add darts to the lining layer at the bust, side waist, and back of the shoulders and then press and shrink the outer fabric. This is supposed to make it fit the curves of the body better without having lots of darts on your outer fabric. It seems to be working, but I could definitely do more steaming still. The wool has a fair amount of stretch to it, so I think some areas like the side-back piece are just too stretched out, so I'm going to open up the seams and re-stretch and iron and try again. It's a pain to have to unpick and redo the seams, but I'm determined to get this thing as smooth as possible before I add the sleeves. I'm also going to add boning to the front bust darts, so I think the front is going to be okay, but the sides and back are annoying me.
Anyway. I know it's not a very exciting post, but I just wanted to show you an in-progress shot of the jacket so hopefully we can compare it to a much smoother finished version once it is done.