Friday, March 19, 2010

Size matters!

Yes it does! The last week and a half I've been working on my red gown. It is fitted with a boned corset type foundation so I needed to make sure that it would fit perfectly before cutting into the silk crepe. One thing I've learned is that the body measurements listed on the commercial patterns (with the exception of Burda) are completely off. They leave entirely too much ease for the measurements listed. I've learned that it is best to take your measurements then look at the finished measurements for the pattern and choose the size that has the correct amount of ease. It is helpful to refer to an ease chart like this one. The gown I've been working on is a perfect example. My bust measures 35 inches. According to Vogue's size chart, this would be between a size 12 and 14. I made a size 10 and sized it 1/2 inch smaller than the pattern. The finished bust measurement for the 10 was 36 inches. The foundation of this dress has 10 strips of boning to hold it up since it is an off the shoulder style. If I made the size that corresponded to my measurement, it would have been huge. As it were, I made the muslin using the 10 minus 1/2 inch at the bust, plus 1/2 inch at the waist and plus 4 inches at the hips. The muslin fit perfectly. I was afraid that the added bulk of the foundation might make it tighter than the muslin so I cut the garment with 1 inch seam allowances at the side seams so that I could fine tune the fit.

I tried something new. I bought stainless steel flat chain boning. Typically this comes in precut lengths with little tips on both ends of the boning strips. I purchased a 12 foot roll, cut it with bolt cutters and applied the ends myself using two pairs of needle nose pliers. I needed all different lengths for this and I have several more projects that need boning. I have to say that I love this stuff! The plastic stuff curls and it is uncomfortable. This stuff curves in all directions so it moves with your body. It is typically used in dance and theatre wear. Here is a peek at what the inside of the foundation looked like:

The foundation is covered with drapes that twist together at the left front and get stitched down to the top edge of the foundation layer. I was really pleased with this dress and I think it may be my favorite gown so far. I love the Belville Sassoon styles and I have several of their gown patterns in my queue. Here are the finished photos:

Here is me in the gown!

There was a photographer at the banquet who took some lovely photos of our group of six and I will post them when I get those copies. Of course we DAR-lings all had our proper white gloves on in the photos taken there! We must always be prim and proper at our DAR functions!

Kitty Cam: This one is from Ems--Chelsea takes a snooze on the window sill.


  1. The dress turned out great!! My pattern calls for boning, but I left it out for this particular project. It works well on your dress - I have never worked with it before so I wouldn't have known the differences in the types before reading your post. Very informative!

  2. lovely gown you are a talent but i can't quite imagine one having the need for so many gorgeous gowns. lucky you huh?