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Women's Clothing Discussion => Dresses => Topic started by: Miss Whitlock on January 28, 2017, 02:16:17 PM

Title: Wool Dress
Post by: Miss Whitlock on January 28, 2017, 02:16:17 PM
I am making a new dress for myself! And it's wool! I am so excited!  ;D

I have a question about the back bodice. The lady who helped me fit it essentially put a set of princess seams in the back piece.

I am pretty sure that in Liz's book she said that the curved seams on the back piece are usually just tucks in the fashion fabric only. Should I finagle my pattern so that the shaping from those princess seams is transferred to the darts/seams? ??? Then all the shaping would be elsewhere, and the tucks could be put in only the fashion fabric.

Title: Re: Wool Dress
Post by: Jessamyn on January 28, 2017, 06:52:13 PM
Yay new wool dress!  :)

To answer your question, it depends whether you'd rather do the work of rejiggering your back into one piece, or do the work of fiddling with three pieces when you make the dress.

A three-piece back isn't by any means wrong, just somewhat less common. Here's a true three-piece back on an extant dress, seen from the inside:

...and a fake one, with barely visible lines of stitching on the lining to show where the tucks on the outer fabric were topstitched.

Title: Re: Wool Dress
Post by: Miss Whitlock on January 30, 2017, 12:14:24 PM
Thanks for digging out those pics Jessamyn! That solves my dilemma...  :D

Title: Re: Wool Dress
Post by: Elizabeth on February 15, 2017, 12:00:42 PM
How wide is the center back waist of your 3pc back? That's the deciding factor, to me. If it's been done to a period size (about 1-1.5" wide at the waist), then you could keep it. If it's wider, either get a new back draped, or stack the stitching lines of a copy of your base pattern, and cut a one-piece back to see if you can just do a faux-3-pc, or if you require shaping in those seams. You can still do *some* shaping in the tucks--I do a deepening tuck on my girls' dresses, as they have narrow back ribs/waist. But sometimes you'll actually need the shaping in seams over the shoulderblade.

Title: Re: Wool Dress
Post by: Michaela C on February 19, 2017, 01:46:16 PM
Hi there! That is a good question....typically, the back curved seams don't have to do any shaping, and it's easier to fiddle with the fit if it's in the darts. I've had the problem of it shaping when I don't mean it to, so what I'll do is press down the seam allowance on both pieces (or just draw the seam allowance with a pencil or disappearing pen), then lay them over each other. They should exactly line up (if you don't want them to shape). If they don't, then I'll draw a new seam allowance on one of the pieces so that they do. Usually for me it means releasing the seam allowance on the curved part, and the seam allowances might not be perfectly 1/2'' at the bottom (or whatever size you use). I like to transfer my pattern to something semi-transparent to do this, so I can see the markings, but I've even adjusted the back part on the final product with success. My favorite transparent pattern-making tool is plastic table-cloths that come on a roll that you usually throw away when you're done with it.

I went to my local museum and saw a couple different back finishes. One was a true 3 piece back, two of them had the fold-and-topstitch method that Mrs. Clark describes in her book...and one had a line of stitching put in, that didn't even have a fold.  :o I don't know if that was a lazy thing, but it definitely didn't stand out as much as with a fold, or with a true seam line.