Baste Pattern

Before everything can begin, calculate the difference between the length of the front/back panels and the length of the side gores. This allows you to set the gores at the proper distance for the armhole.

6) Difference (1) - (3)=_______

The pieces need to be basted together, either by hand or using the longest stitch on your sewing machine. Sew the pattern together starting at the front, then alternate from side to side. This helps to prevent confusion when attaching the pieces. Measure the difference measurement (#6) down the front panel on both sides. Place the bias side of the new gore to the straight cut of the first gore, then repeat on the other side.

Note: Busty women will want to attach the first gore a bit (1") higher (toward the shoulder) to provide more coverage. If you do this, attach the second gore at the 'natural' level (6).

Note: To confirm which is a bias or a straight cut, hold up the gore piece and check to see how the threads fray. If they pull out in line, then it is a straight cut. If they fray to form a tiny fringe, then it is a bias cut.

Sew a second gore to the first, attaching a bias side of the new gore to the straight cut of the first gore, then repeat on the other side. Repeat this process for the back panel.

Now there are two halves of the garment, each with straight edges for the remaining seams. This is unavoidable, but it won't matter because the rest of the seams will allow for the tremendous drape. Sew together the two middle seams, straight cut to straight cut. This is better than having two bias seams meet, which would tend to pull the garment out of shape over time.

If there is to be an opening in the garment, now is the time to mark it. Draw a line down CF or CB where the opening is to go. Mark a number of lines perpendicular to this, so that when you cut down the line you can match it up. Cut along the line and then sew a narrow strip (2") of muslin behind the opening and extending into it. When you put the garment on you can pin the opening closed using the strip while matching the marks.

Note: When making a very fitted bodice it is often expedient to baste a long separating zipper into the center front of the garment to prevent frustrating pinning and repining of the mockup while fine tuning the fit.

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