Ease and the Bodice

I mentioned in my Truffle post that the rayon shirting forms soft vertical wrinkles around the waistline when my posture is anything but perfectly static. You can see what I’m talking about in the picture above. This is something that didn’t show up in my muslin nor does it show up in the lining if I try the dress on inside out. I imagine that it is more pronounced in the rayon because of the drape of the fabric. The drape is perfect for the skirt but I wish the bodice was stiffer. The issue could be solved by bringing in the side seams but if I took any more ease from the dress I would need to install a zipper. I’m wondering if there might have been a solution to this problem so I’m asking you: how does one sew a bodice with ease that doesn’t look sloppy and unfitted? Could an underlining give the rayon more structure?


21 Comments to “Ease and the Bodice”

  1. An underlining of organza (silk for soft structure, polyester for more structure), would definitely help this situation. And you could keep the ease!

  2. What about a couple of pieces of light boning at the front and back darts?

  3. Hello! I have been following your blog for a while but don’t think I’ve ever commented… I would suggest using some sort of underlining also – organza would be a good option! Good luck! Frankie

  4. is it at all possible there’s too much length in the bodice? does the waistline sit at your natural waist? i’m assuming yes, you being so thorough…

    • I’m glad you mentioned this, Oona, because this was what I originally thought was the culprit. Although the waistline is stable and sits at my natural waist, I can’t help but wonder if the self-fabric bodice stretched out at some point. I staystitched at the necklines and armholes but nowhere else in the bodice. It’s cut from the same pattern as the lining but yet the lining seemed smaller when I was assembling.
      I’ve tried to pinch out the excess but it’s not always consistent around the circumference – if that makes sense.

  5. I, too, was going to suggest underlining. I’ve only just tried it for the first time recently, but it definitely helped beef up my lightweight fabric and made the bodice of the dress I used it on feel more…substantial, and not drapey/wrinkly.

    I hope you find a good solution…though the dress is really adorable, as is. 🙂

    • When I first started sewing, I used underlining in almost all of my garments. Somewhere I’ve gotten out of the habit but I think it’s time that I start using the technique again. This dress is great as is but I’m happy to learn some solutions for the next versions! Thanks for your comment, Sue.

  6. Hi Lizz,
    I have to agree with everyone else, this dress is super cute on you-you’ve done a really great job!

    Have you attached the lining and self together at the waist seam? I ask because there is a possibility that the self bodice is showing these wrinkles because it’s draping quality is different from your lining.

    Linings tend to be quite stable weaves so it may not hang or drape the way your rayon self fabric does. To help combat this difference it’s a good idea to add about 1/4″ extra length to the bodice of your lining pattern. The extra length you need will depend on the hang of your self fabric and will prevent the lining from holding up the natural drape your bodice.

    • Yes. Yes. Yes. I think this is exactly what is happening. When I went to attach the lining and the self at the waist the lining was causing the seams and darts to pull so I let down the lining’s seam allowance, serged, and attached again. This helped the pulls but then the wrinkles appeared. I’m so glad you commented Alexandra!

  7. Hi,
    I don’t know if you are still thinking of underlining. I am a beginner but I recently read this in the threads article on underlining:

    “One fabric that’s always tricky to underline is rayon, since even the most well-behaved rayon sags when “hung” on the body. Because this sagging is more obvious over time when the garment is underlined, I don’t underline rayon.”

    Just something to think about. Hope you find your solution. Sounds like Alexandra’s info about lining might be the answer!

  8. I’d leave it how it is and just wear it with a constrast belt!

  9. Ugh, in trying to be more organized and switching to bloglovin, I fudged up! I’ve been wondering for weeks why you’ve been so quiet. I suck. The Pretty Things blouse I recently made was a rayon twill. It was shifty in the cutting process, and the twill made my less-than-sharp rotary blade skip over in jagged edges. Anyway, I did notice that it stretched and sagged really easily while sewing. A few days after it was done, an article was published on Threads (see Jo’s comment). I think it’s just the nature of the textile. Now I’m afraid the placket, faced in interline chiffon, will hold shape, and the rest will sag and pull over time.

    After all my rambling, I have to say your outfit is so fantastic! I love the echo of polka dots and splash of red.

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