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Tutorial 18. Duplicating the Pieces. Marking Bone Positions.

Tutorial 18. Duplicating the Pieces. Marking Bone Positions.

I start duplicating the pieces.

I secured them all with pins after cutting them out.

The side front pieces:

I only remove the pins from the iron-on fabric leaving the ones at the bottom to prevent the layers from shifting against each other. Then I separate the lay into main pieces and batiste pieces.




I make a “sandwich”: first I put a batiste piece fusible side up, then I cover it with a pair of main fabric pieces put together face to face, then I put down another batiste piece fusible side down, cover it with the remaining pair of main fabric pieces, and put down the last batiste piece fusible side down.

The sandwich lay allows me to duplicate all pieces in one go. And they will be as close as possible to one another in this case. If you unpin the pieces and duplicate each one separately, then they will all come out slightly different making further work a lot harder. Besides, it will simply take much longer.

I press the fabric.

And then I remove all pins and separate the lay grouping the lining pieces separately from the face pieces. I put the face pieces on a hanger, secure them with a pin, and put them aside. 

I duplicate the cups of the side front lining pieces with hard iron-on fabric. 

The central front piece:

You should keep in mind that this piece needs to be unfolded before duplicating. To do this, I need to remove pins not only from the iron-on batiste but partially from the skirt too.


First of all, I need to carefully press open the fold line to make it perfectly smooth. You should never press the fold line when preparing your fabric for cutting.

I put the batiste piece fusible side down on the main piece and fuse them together by pressing. I try to align the edges as neatly as possible.

I turn the piece around and press it from the other side.

Then, I put the second piece on top of it, cover it with the second batiste piece, and fuse it on. 




I press the skirt and separate the face from the lining. I put the face pieces on a hanger, secure them with a pin, and put them aside.

I duplicate the cups of the lining with hard iron-on fabric.

I press the skirt part of the lining and put it aside on a hanger too.

It is turn to duplicate the back pieces now.

I recommend you should fully concentrate on the process. Try not to get distracted by anything because you are forming the foundation of your dress at this point.

The central back pieces:

I duplicate the pieces using the sandwich method just like I did with the side front pieces. 

I separate the face from the lining, press the skirt a little, and put the face pieces on a hanger.

Next, I duplicate the side back pieces.

I separate the face from the lining.

It is time to mark the positions of bones.

You may be wondering why add any bones at all when the bride is so well-built and the dress has a low back anyway. Is there a point in reinforcing the cups? A slender woman like my client surely needs no body control effect!

Let me explain it. These bones will spread out the dress and help it hold its shape and stay smooth. They will eliminate possible tucks and creases that may otherwise spoil the overall look of the dress.

Trust me and be sure to explain it to your client that these bones will not obstruct her movements but, vice versa, she will feel a lot more comfortable in a dress reinforced with bones. Even when there is no need in a body control effect, the dress is supposed to be snug and not get wrinkled at the sides and along the princess seams.

And this is why I use bones even when I am sewing for a slender woman.

I mark guidelines on the side front pieces.

I draw the waistline and the bust line.

There will be a horizontal bone running along the bust line (1). It will pass across the central piece and stop on the other side front piece.

A half-circle bone (2) will go along the bottom border of the cup. Its position is already marked by the edge of the hard iron-on fabric. This bone also passes across all front pieces.

I step 2cm from the bottom end of the half-circle bone and draw an inclined bone (3) that stops in about the middle of the top edge of the piece.

I draw another bone 3.5cm below the bust line for additional support at the bottom of the cups (4).

And I draw a bone 3.5cm above the bust line to reinforce the top of the cups (5).

Bones 4 and 5 also pass across all front pieces.

Next, I mark a vertical bone perpendicular to the waistline (6). This bone supports the horizontal bone (1) and, as a rule, starts from the intersection of the bust line and the bottom border of the cup. Make sure to step at least 2cm from the seam allowance of the side seam so you can adjust the dress down if needed.

Another vertical bone (7) divides the area between bone 6 and the princess seam in about half.

I mark symmetric bones on the second side front piece.

Bones 1, 2, 4, and 5 pass across the entire front of the cups.

There is an inclined vertical bone (8) and two straight vertical bones (9 and 10).


I mark bone positions on the side front pieces.


Bones 1, 2, 4, and 5 pass across the entire front part of the cups.

I step 2cm from the front princess seams and mark bones 11 and 12 at an angle.

Vertical bones 13 and 14 are placed 3cm from the central vertical line on the piece. They must be symmetric – otherwise they are likely to deform the shape of the neckline.

Sometimes, easing in the cups to give them a round shape may result in a small fold along the under-bust line. I usually solve this problem by sewing a 5mm-1cm dart. This dart will get overlaid by the face fabric. You can even sew darts on the face if you plan to decorate these areas are with appliqué or other embellishments.

Now I need to mark bones on the back of the dress.

Another thing people often ask me is why put bones on the back of the dress when the back pieces are so small?

I believe it always depends on the situation. I usually put bones on the back of a garment to reinforce the back princess seams and to prevent the zipper from "sinking in" in the middle.

The central back pieces:

I place a bone along the back princess seam (15) and another vertical bone (16) in about the middle of the piece (i.e. dividing in half the area between the seam allowance of the side seam and the princess seam.

Then I mark symmetric bones on the other central back piece.

The side back pieces:

After marking a bone along the back princess seam, I mark a vertical bone (17) in the middle of the piece perpendicular to the waistline.

Symmetric bones are then marked on the other side back piece.


I recommend you press the bones before sewing them on because otherwise they will shrink later when you press the dress, which will result in deformation.

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