Tutorial 3. Cutting the Cups.
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;
- thread, needles, pins;
- scissors, pruner for cutting bones.
You can see all tools required for sewing the dress in the picture below:
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: