Monday, 26 November 2012

Finished Project: A bodice NOT cut on 'centre fold'.

#selfie :P
I have always cut my 'front bodice' pieces on the 'centre fold' as instructed by the pattern, and so far have not had any issues with prints landing on awkward places. Example...

Carrie Bickmore got flack for wearing this dress on the  last night. 
Do you see something rude? 
.... I'm thinking the designer intended it that way cos I doubt they would miss *that*! I also see a crab and an alien.

Gorgeous dress.

When I started cutting out the bodice for my 'Christmas Party' dress, I had my front bodice on the centre fold but could not find a flower arrangement I was happy with. The flowers on this fabric vary from small to large and are scattered about. 

I didn't want to end up with a front bodice with mostly 'white' and little flowers, or flowers smack bang on my lady lumps so I did something different - I didn't cut on the centre fold!

The collage below shows:

  • Pic 1 - My fabric
  • Pic 2 - Option 1 if cut on centre fold - not enough big roses, bit meh
  • Pic 3 - Option 2 if cut on centre fold - three big roses... but something still not right
  • Pic 4 - Bodice if cut away from centre fold. Me likey.

To do this, I had to trace out another pattern piece as if it were the actual front bodice, use the 'centre' of the bodice as the grainline, un-fold the fabric and measure-measure-measure my grainline.

It is trickier than cutting on the fold, but I am far happier with how the flowers are arranged on the front bodice now. I deliberately placed the large rose up on the chest/shoulder so it looks like a corsage.

I didn't have enough fabric to play around with the pattern placement for the back bodice because the remainder was for my gathered skirt so I had to make do with the fabric left over from the front bodice.

Doesn't look too bad though.

The pattern I used for this dress is old faithful M5845 (oop). I've made this bodice many times with a circle skirt, wiggle skirt and it's original skirt for myself, but never a full gathered skirt.

I did make a version with a full gathered skirt once, but that dress was for my sister and I always envied her version, so I decided to make myself one too!

Isn't my sister gorgeous! Dress blogged here. 

I used the same size pattern pieces, except I made an adjustment to the shoulder line. I took off 1cm.

I followed this tutorial by Anna (::Paunnet::).

The M5845 bodice is dart central. A total of 16 darts on shell and lining. I used this tutorial  by Rochelle (Lucky Lucille) to trace my darts the easy way.

It was a bit hard to do this technique on the lining because the chalk didn't stay on the polyester, but on cotton, it's perfect. My darts have never been so straight!

The fabric I used for the shell of the dress is a cotton sateen I bought from Spotlight. You know by now how much I love florals, so I just had to have this.

The lining is red sunsilky polyester.

I decided to line the bodice only. I think I'm going to skip the skirt lining from now on unless it's a fitted skirt.

Inside the bodice lining...
I handpicked the zipper, french seamed the side skirt seams...
...lined the bodice, added a white grosgrain ribbon waist-stay,
 hand sewed the hem (yes!! I hand sewed 2 meters of hem, took 1 hour).

Summary: Floral 'corsage' dress.

Pattern: M5845 bodice, self drafted full gathered skirt
Size: Size 6 bust, 8 waist
Fabric: 1.5m cotton sateen (Spotlight), 70cm sunsilky lining (red)
Notions: Dress zipper 16" (hot red), Gutermann thread (800, 156), 1m grosgrain ribbon (white), bikini hook (1)
Time: 8-10 hours over 3 days, didn't really keep track, only remember that the bodice was finished in record time of 3.5 hours
Cost: Fabric $25; Lining $10, Zipper $2; Grosgrain ribbon $2; Bikini Hook 50c
Techniques used: 
    • French seam
    • Darts
    • Lined bodice
    • Gathering
    • Handpicked zip
    • Blind catch stitch on the hem 
Pattern Modification/Adjustments:
    • Shoulder line adjustment
    • Side seam allowance 2cm
    • Raised back by 5cm
    • Lowered front neckline by 2cm

I'm so happy with how the bodice turned out, my favorite feature of the dress is the huge 'corsage'.

I read somewhere that the only reason the pattern companies design the pattern piece to be cut on the centre fold is so they can save paper (and money). 

If I ever work with fabric that has scattered prints everywhere, I will use this technique to cut out the pattern pieces so I can control where the prints end up. 

What about you guys, do you ever not cut on the fold? 


  1. This is so cute! There's nothing wrong with not cutting it on the center fold as long as you're checking your grain lines carefully. It's much better to have a print arrangement that you're happy with!

  2. You totally did the right thing here - the pattern placement couldn't be better! Ginger's right, you don't have to cut on the centre fold if you don't want to... makes a bit more work with the extra tracing and what not, but well worth it! This is such a fabulous pattern too - I love a good deep neckline, even better if its at the back! You look gorgeous... hope you've give yourself a bit of room at the waist for all that extra Christmas feasting ;)

    1. Hehehehe, there's not much ease around the waist, but the full skirt should hide all my feasting haha. I went and bought a belt yesterday for security ;)

  3. For a print like that I always cut it in the best spot to make the most of the print, well done for thinking it through and then experimenting. Cutting layouts are really just a guideline for the most efficient way to cut but if I have a bold print like that half a meter extra can really help with print placement. Tour dress is super cute! xx

    1. I'm really glad I experimented because the print placement is just perfect in my eyes! So happy :):)

  4. The dress turned out SO cute. Nice work with the floral/pattern placement. The bodice looks perfect. :)

    1. Thanks Sue! I love the M5845 and now that I'm getting better at darts, I'm not so bothered by them.

  5. I love the giant red flowers for a holiday dress! It's so festive! I've cut front halves on the bias before, but never in half just to keep the straight grain...I think I'm just too lazy to try for ideal pattern placement!

    1. Also, I am revisiting my own M5845 just recently for a dress and I thought of funny that you should happen to have just used yours again too!

    2. I'll never stop using this pattern!!!! Hope my blog doesn't turn into a blog all about the M5845 hahahah...

  6. Always pays to work with the pattern - takes time, but great results! Looks awesome, well done!!

  7. That is too cute!!

  8. Wow, totally gorgeous dress! Beautiful!

  9. Wow another beautiful dress and you look so stunning in it!! Your too clever missy!!

  10. You did it again! I always think when I see your last dress .. "Wow! It's unbeatable!" ... but then you make another dress and again beat the last one .... You are my hero!

    1. Thank you for those kind words Rosy :) I'm always striving to improve and use the new skills I learn at class, via blogs and from mistakes haha

  11. This is a sucessful look. I like how you paid particular attention to the pattern of the fabric. nice work:)


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