Sunday, August 22, 2021

Rambling Rose

And now for the bodice!  I knew early on that I wanted to use McCalls 7929 as a starting point.  I used the pattern to make this top and loved how it turned out.  The only major change necessary would be to alter the button back to a zipper, which is extremely simple.

I actually began cutting out the bodice and sleeves prior to all of those ruffle calculations

That way I would know exactly how much fabric was available for the skirt.

The pattern recommends using purchased bias tape, but I really don't like the poly/cotton blend stuff, so I made my own out of self-fabric.

It really doesn't take much effort, and this ensures that the weight of the bias is the same as the garment fabric.

I highly recommend doing this even when a pattern suggests otherwise.

And while I am not a huge fan of elastic casings in general, for some reason I really like this sleeve.  For the arm casing, I decided to use some plain cotton from the stash because I was worried about the print bleed through after cutting out the bodice lining.  When both layers were held up to the light, there was an obvious shadow from the lining.  This bothered me for a couple of days, and I thought about recutting the lining, but soon realized that when the bodice was on a solid body and light was unable to filer through, all was well.

I even managed to find suitable elastic on hand.  I rarely use elastic in my sewing projects, so this is no small feat.  I probably should stock up on more at this point because I really dislike having to put sewing on hold for a silly thing like no elastic.

And since I can't imagine any bra strap working with these really wide-set sleeves, I added bra cups.  They get loosely stitched into place along available seamlines and any edges that don't fit the design are trimmed away.  This makes the dress much easier to wear in the long run, just step in, zip it up, and go.

The major surprise for this dress was the amount of torso length that I ended up removing from the bodice.  Granted, I had added in a bit to begin with, but I removed that, and then some. The only explanation is the weight of the ruffled skirt.  Well, that, and maybe the elastic in the sleeve cap. 

I also added a few boning channels to the bodice lining (I did this on my previous version as well).  I find it extremely odd that the pattern includes a strapless version, and yet there is no mention of boning. How on earth would that stay up?!  Oh, and this pattern also contains a fair amount of ease, so I would wager that the strapless version was a late addition to the design, and it is not going to go well for someone attempting to make it as drafted.  The pattern even recommends lawn as one of the fabric choices!  How on earth is that going to stay put, even in the best of circumstances, let alone with a couple of extra inches of ease at the waist???!!!!  I cry foul.

For my purposes, the boning just adds a bit of structure to the lightweight cotton.

And that's about all there is to the bodice.

I did have to re-open those side seams even though I knew I would be adding ties right from the start, because somehow I always manage to forget something along the way.  But so far, she's looking good!


  1. That really turned out well with the boning and bra cups you added. I think the tiered skirt will make the dress look like something you must have paid at least $1000 for. Only yours is even better. You inspire all of us to continue to take the time to add couture techniques to our garments.

  2. Mucho trabajo, muchos detalles importantes y un bonito resultado final. BESICOS.