The Silk Dress - Part 2
Bodice and Midriff
Well, I didn't think I was beastly, either! Thank you all for the comments. This is why it's so helpful to have more than one pair of eyes to objectively look at a project. For the most part, I'm pretty good and picking what style works with my body shape. Every once in a while, I come up with something I *think* will look good and really doesn't. I know that isn't true with this dress - it's got some of my favorite elements, a defined waist and full skirt!
Today I'll show you how I made the midriff bands. In the previous post, you can see the fabric I'm working with that has a wide border with paisleys that runs width-wise across the fabric, and a narrow border running parallel to the selvedge. In order to determine what would fit in the midriff section, I tried out various things using my traced pattern pieces. As a side note, when I trace off BWOF patterns, I don't add any seam allowances until I cut out the fabric - I then determine how big of an allowance I want. One advantage is that I can accurately line up motifs, stripes, etc. In this case, nothing worked as printed. In order to come up with the correct width, I had to carefully seam two smaller sections of border together to create a larger border piece.
In order for this to look like it was originally printed this way, I needed to very carefully seam the pieces. There's only way one to make sure that everything is where it should be and stays there during stitching: hand basting. This may seem like a lot of trouble to some of you, but it is worth the time investment. Go check out Tany's creations. She spends many hours thread tracing and basting her garments, and the results are in the finished products - just gorgeous!
Firstly, I figured out where the seam needed to be and pressed under the seam allowances on one piece only. This piece is then place over the piece that it will attached to so that I can check the placement and make sure the motifs line up properly. The pieces are then placed right sides together and pinned.
I then slip baste the folded edge to the second piece of fabric that is laying flat. Slip basting is much like slip stitching, except that it's a temporary stitch and will be removed later. This basting allows me to get the piece to match exactly where I want them. When I'm done, I open the piece and make sure everything is where I want it.
I press the seam allowances flat again and then stitch the seam. The seam is then pressed properly and all the basting is removed, resulting in a perfectly matched and seamed piece.
In order to attach the midriff piece to the bodice, it must be properly prepared. Because midriff pieces are prone to wrinkling, I always interface them. I've used fusible interfacing and fused it to the underlining, not the silk. I've also trimmed all the seam allowances off the interfacing to reduce bulk. The underlining and fashion fabric are layer and then basted together along the seam lines, and the excess fabric is trimmed away. BTW, all of the bodice pieces were prepared this same way before seaming.
To attach the midriff piece to the bodice, I went through the same steps as I did to attach the midriff band sections together. I folded the one seam allowance, slip basted, checked for position and then permanently stitched, pressed and removed the basting. Here's what the completed bodice looks like so far:
I hope to get the skirt prepared today and finish up the dress early next week!
Parting Shot: It's Sunday afternoon and time to watch European Formula 1 Grand Prix auto racing. My husband tapes them because they air at really weird times here. This race must have been extremely riveting.