The Grey Lady, Part VIII: Fixing the Bodice

Once my back closures were finished I eagerly tried on the dress, figuring I’d swan around in it for a while and gloat over how well it had gone so far. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way, and I blame it squarely on my dress form. Or rather, on the fact that my dress form isn’t shaped quite the same way I am. Because while the dress bodice looks fine on the form, with all the seams in the right places, it does not fit all that well on me.

Sure, it fits in terms of circumference, but the seams are just awkwardly placed. Princess seams are supposed to be flattering, which is usually accomplished by curving the seams in a bit at the waist to suggest an hourglass shape. Here, the princess seams aren’t quite far enough apart over the bust and they don’t narrow much at the waist, so they make my whole torso look kind of barrel-shaped. The curve of the bust is also very shallow and doesn’t have much definition, exacerbating the “barrel” issue.

Annoyingly, I’d already clipped the curves of the seam allowance before I realized this (my fault for not paying closer attention when I’d tried it on in the past), so I couldn’t just re-do the seams and make them further apart at the top to balance things out. Nor could I just make the seams closer together at the bottom, because that made the whole bodice look weird.

GL front before

I thought long and hard about whether it was worth fixing, particularly given my limited fabric supply, but decided in the end that it was necessary.

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The Grey Lady, Part VI: Gores and Princess Seams

Before assembling the dress itself, I had to make the gores to be inserted in the seams. The gores were easy– I just cut 45-degree arcs of fabric with a radius the same length as the skirt section, then stitched one side of each gore to the side front panels. After that, I just ran all of the princess seams through the sewing machine to assemble the body of the dress.

GL gores

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