Picture at right.
Done in Part Two.
Done in Part Three.
Part Four — Attaching Bodice to Skirts.
The first step in attaching the bodice to the skirts is to determine where we want the skirts to attach. I marked my waistline on the bodice with tailor’s chalk when I last tried it on. Finding your waist on a garment that draws tightly is pretty easy. Your waist is where you get this big wrinkle that you could keep loose change in. If you don’t pull it down, the fabric will actually fold up at this point. See?
After you mark the waistline, take off the bodice and make sure it actually makes a line all the way around your body. I find that it’s easier to write on some parts with chalk than others. And sometimes your hand moves and you get a line that doesn’t line up.
A word of caution: Don’t “fix” your waistline if it is higher over one hip than the other. Most people are not perfectly symetrical. I have one hip higher than the other. My back waistline is also lower than my front. If you want to cover these “flaws”, redraw your waistline at the highest level of all the lines you’ve marked. The lower point will get hidden by your pleated skirts. However I find it’s more comfortable to wear a garment that’s made for your particular shape. So I trace my true waist onto the bodice and make the skirts match.
“But if my waistline is higher on one side than the other, won’t my skirt hems be too?” you ask. No, my darlings! Do this: Put on the skirts. Tie a cord around your waist, over the skirts. Have a friend adjust the bottom of your skirts so the hem is parallel to the floor all the way around. Mark the skirts where the string is. After pleating the skirt tops, sew that mark on the skirts to the waistline mark on your bodice. Don’t worry that the line on the skirts looks all woobly. That’s how your waist is. And there’s no shame in that!
This is especially important for those of us whose bottoms… “protrude” shall we say? Seriously. Ever see someone with a skirt hem that’s higher in the back than in the front? It’s because she’s bigger in back than in the front and her hem needs to be longer in back to make up for it. So align you hem so it is parallel to the floor and you won’t go wrong.
Did I mention that one of the glories of good tailoring is that it can make a hunchback look like a beauty queen? Ain’t it grand?
Next, measure your front waist from side seam to side seam and your back waist from side seam to side seam. This is how much you’re going to have to pleat up the tops of your skirts to fit the bodice. I did this a few weeks ago in this installment of the Katherine of Aragon Project. Go there to see how it’s done. You can pleat the skirts into a band (as I did) or sew them directly onto the bodice. It’s your choice. I’m sewing directly onto the bodice.
Tomorrow… Covering Up
© 2009 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice, the author’s name and website, and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.