Shira, the evening of the prom.
Shira wanted something really special for her prom.
She designed her gown.

Always test! The canvas’ seam had to be lapped
 as it would have caused ridges in the bodice if sewn
 the traditional way seams are sewn.
The canvas fits Shira, the reason it doesn’t fit the form.

Designing the Bodice to Fit

Drafting to fit, then testing in muslin is essential
if the bodice is to fit the bust correctly.

Using canvas to support a strapless bodice works well. But there are cautions. The bodice pattern must be fitted to the model’s bust. The seam line on both sides of the seam must be EXACTLY the same length, and MUST be tested in canvas, as shown in the picture, before making the actual canvas bodice. The seam allowance should be 3/8 inch wide. Make sure to test the seam, as shown in the diagram above, before cutting the canvas bodice. 

Sewing the canvas requires a machine that can handle stiff fabric. The seam sews best if it is clipped before it is sewn, then lapped as it is sewn. Sew up to just before the bust point. Then sew in from the armhole into the previous seam. Finally stay stitch the seam allowances in place.   

The result is a custom-fitted bodice that stays perfectly in place.

The lace was sewn to two plies of tullenette to give the lace the
stiffening it needs. This enabled the lace flowers to stand in relief.

Sewing the Lace Embellishment

Inexpensive lace was used to create the separate sleeves’ embellishments. The edges of the lace was trimmed away. the lace was then sewn to two plies of tullenette (see picture on the left, above). The lace was then cut in half. One half was laid over the second half. The top half’s flowers were gathered and pearls sewn (with a beading needle) into their centers. The top half’s flowers were sewn to the bottom half’s flowers.
The finished lace before it was sewn to the sleeves.
Finally the lace surrounding the top half’s flowers were cut away and discarded, allowing the top flowers to stand out in relief.
What’s happening:

  • Still working furiously to hopefully have Grading to Fit, and its sequel, Grading and Sewing a Blouse ready for sale by the end of this year, hopefully sooner. 
  • My new, professional website should be up by the end of July, or sooner. 
  • Look for the article about seam allowance modification that I wrote for Threads Magazine in their 199 issue that will be on the newsstands in late August (2018). 

Thanks for reading.

Your comments are most welcome – Laurel


Phone: 215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2018.  

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