Last week one of the Mother-of-the-Brides visited with a lovely floor length dress from Nordstroms. It fit her well but she wanted a little more coverage for her, as she described “industrial bra” and the little spaghetti straps of the lining did nothing for her.
The length was also too long for her so after shortening the dress to tea length I was able to use the remnants to make the straps. It’s always so nice to have a real good chunk of fabric running the right direction to make auxiliary pieces. Even though clients request/
assume incorrectly you can cut straps and all sorts of extensions out of cut off hems, using scraps cross grain is not always the best idea since they stretch.
I draped some muslin over her dress using the bra underneath as a guide for front and back and then made a pattern adding seam allowances. I cut lining pieces as well and you can see that the pieces are a but unusual but this is custom sewing. Be sure to click on the thumbnails for a closer look!
When sewing the straps like with things like collars as well, one section, the one you want to show and roll from the right side to the underside has to be larger after sewing so the rule I use is “smaller first, larger last”.
This means one (preferably the right side) has to be “slipped” slightly from 1/8 to 1/4 inch away from the cut edge as seen in this photo.
Then when trimmed, clipped and turned and pressed the strap looks like this:
Using pinking shears helps get close and allows fabrics to relax especially around curves.
Here you can see the edge of the right side just showing so you know that it was slipped the right amount and pressed flat…Yippee! Not that it will be seen but if you get into the habit if always slipping one section it makes your work look good. I had a teacher once that said when making collars just sew them together and use whatever side looked best. What? Like life isn’t a gamble enough, you just wing it on collars and cuffs and straps!
OK, so now we have these professional straps…what’s next? Attach them somehow to the knit lining…knit lining in a satin dress? Yes, the sheer top is knit so after removing the spaghetti straps the new straps are slid under the top edge and stitched flat. And we are done …on to the wedding!
Wishing you a great short week after a “cracker” of a weekend!
You are so right how people think you can do anything with even a slither of a hem….! Industrial bra, lol! That’s as bad as people coming into David’s wanted to get “alternated”…WHAT~LOL!! You know I hear it all! It’s great to see that I’m not the only one still using pinking shears. 🙂
From miracle worker to another, be blessed!