A proper Victorian costumer would never make the bodice without the corset so that you have the proper silhouette (the corset being the foundation underwear.. But, in this case, I have little time, plus as I am going as a Can-Can dancer, I think I'm allowed a little leeway in not wearing a corset.
I could wear either one without the other. But, the bodice might be less work intensive, especially if I forgo sleeves and try to match the skirt. I would still need to make a mockup for the bodice and have my Viking help me fit.
Regardless of which one I made, I still faced the problem of matching the existing colors of the skirt. Did I have left over yardage of the original fabric in one of our many fabric bins? Possibly. Or I could just make something that matches exactly in color, if not fabric (which was a low-pile velvet).
I decided to hedge my bets and try making the bodice, using lining material for the mockup. Why? So that if it fit well, I didn't have to make 3 separate bodices --- mockup, lining, and fashion fabric.
After work & practice, I quickly made the mockup for the bodice, and miracle of all miracles, IT FIT PERFECTLY ON THE FIRST TRY!
(Except for the shoulders. I always have problems with the line of the shoulders because I work out, but this is a relatively minor fix. Also, pay no mind to the seams. At this point, I hadn't properly pressed anything because I was a bit worried that I would have to pick out the seams and do some alterations.....)
And also another miracle happened this evening. My Viking and I dug around our million boxes of fabric and he managed to locate the last remaining remnants of the original fabric! It was just enough red and blue to make the entire bodice and possibly 1-2 more gores of the skirt if necessary.
The third and final miracle of the evening happened after I finished the bodice. For the skirt, I thought I might have to either let out the seams or add 1-2 more gores to get the fullness & fit. I carefully picked out the entire waistband of the skirt to assess what modifications needed to happen.
It turned out that I had gathered the skirt ever-so-slightly into the waistband, which meant that once I opened up the gathers, the entire skirt fit! All I needed was to create a new waistband and attach it to the skirt without any fuss.
Having three costuming miracles for the night, I decided to call it quits and start fresh the next evening. It looks like I might make my goal of finishing the bodice.