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Tutorial 3. Cutting the Cups.

Tutorial 3. Cutting the Cups.

Required Materials.

Let me say a few words about the required materials before I start preparing fabric for cutting.

These are basically all materials that I use for sewing a corset.

For sewing my dress I need:

 - iron-on batiste for fusing the face and the lining;

 - hard iron-on fabric for fusing the cups;

 - Rigilene bones, both wide (0.5”) and narrow (0.3”). It’s enough to just use narrow bones for this very design;

 - main fabric. I have chosen rather dense stretch satin as the main fabric. This dress can be made either with or without an additional lining. Additional lining is desirable if you use a thin material as the main fabric. However if the main fabric is dense enough and there is also an overlay of decorative fabric atop (in my case it is a lace overlay embroidered with glass beads and sequins) - then you don’t really need a lining.

 - ribbons for the lacing;

 - narrow ribbon for hanging loops;

 - zipper;

 - thread, needles, pins;

 - scissors, pruner for cutting bones.

You can see all tools required for sewing the dress in the picture below:

Fabric consumption.

Fabric consumption is very low if you cut your garment crosswise.

In my case I need 1m of main fabric and 1m of lace.

Cutting the Cups.

I start cutting the dress from the cups.

I have prepared 2 pieces of fabric for the face side and the lining:

I use the same stretch satin fabric as for the lining. Both pieces have been fused with thin iron-on batiste.

I start laying out pieces.

I lay out the cup pieces crosswise, i.e. along the shoot, but I have decided to arrange the back pieces along the grain of fabric to save up some material.

I remove 0.4 inches along the centre of the front because according to the calculations I need to go 0.8 inches inwards in order to reduce the standard pattern along the middle of the bust. I outline the pattern as is for now remembering to mark notches.

I will alter the patterns later and for now I just outline all pieces as they are.

I have cut the back piece crosswise against the front piece of the cups. I am fully aware that laying out fabric in different directions may result in having different kinds of shades or shimmer. But I also know that there will be an appliqué going along the top of the cups and that’s why I’ve taken this decision to spare some fabric.

I start altering the standard pattern.

I take the final table with all calculations (Table 10).

I start from the “clip” measurement.

I step 1.6 inches atop from the curve, 0.5 inches - from the neckline, and 0.7 inches - on the side piece of the front.

I look for the location of the bust-line to find out how much the neckline should be lowered. I would like the depth of the triangle in its actual size to match the bust-line precisely. That’s why I step upwards from the bust-line by a distance of the seam allowance and mark the end point of the neckline cut.

However upon looking at the shape of the neckline I can tell that removing 1.6 inches along the curve would be too much! The neckline cut won’t look good and the cup pieces won’t match properly. I have most probably recommended the client to have the neckline cut lowered significantly when taking off her measurements, or maybe she just wanted a very low neckline cut. But I can see that it won’t look good, the shape of the cup will be deformed. And that is why I have decided to remove 0.8 inches along the top instead of 1.6 inches. This way the beautiful proportional shape of the top will be preserved.

I move on to the side piece of the cup.

As I have decided, I need to remove 0.7 inches from the scye and 0.8 inches from the top.

I remove 0.2 inches along the side seam and 0.4 inches under the bust.

I draw a new top line using the pattern.

You can see how pretty and well-proportioned the new top line is:

You shouldn’t forget to remove 0.4 inches along the length atop the side.

Altering the back.

I remove 1 inch along the bust-line, 1.2 inches under the bust and 0.4 inches - along the side length.

I pin the pattern pieces together.

I place some folded hard iron-on fabric underneath the front cup pieces that have been pinned together.

I match the creases of the iron-on fabric and the pattern fabric and pin them together again:

The cup pieces are ready for cutting.

I cut the cups very carefully along the marked lines. It is necessary to make notches. I don’t put any hard iron-on material underneath the back pieces.

Once I’ve cut out all pieces, I check them comparing the cut out pieces with the pattern.

Apart from that I always check how well these cut out pieces match:

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