Monday, August 29, 2011

About 30 hrs of pleating and sewing and pleating and sewing and...

My bustier is done and I'm pretty happy with it.  So much hand sewing went into it!  So you saw what I started with:

I decided it would be easier to pre-pleat the fabric, then cut out the pattern pieces using the same foundation pattern pieces.  So I made a muslin of pleated fabric and was like,
           "What the hell am I doing? I need to get started on the shantung!"  So I went to pleating the shantung, only after one muslin panel.  And I pleated and pleated and pleated the rest of the day.   I went home and hand sewed and hand sewed and hand sewed those pleats down.  (just tacked them down using the blind slip stitch).  Then I realized, 
          "What the hell am I doing?  I need to cut out the pieces and then tack down the pleats.  I'm wasting my time!"  So I  traced the pattern onto the pleats, took the fabric to my sewing machine and basted down the pleats around the sew line perimeter to hold them in place.  I then cut out the pieces and hand sewed and hand sewed and hand sewed some more.  Once again I started to hyperventilate and thought,
         "What the hell and I doing?  I need to get this thing put together.  It's only the first drape I need to turn in, not the final!"  I sewed the panels together, basted it to foundation and was done!  I turned it in, got a good review and used the rest of the week to finish tacking down the pleats, adding a pleated trim along the neckline, and inserting the lining.  I didn't want to add anything else, because I was tired, didn't want to make a separate pattern piece, and I like things simple.  I added a Judith Lieber pin I was trying to sell on Ebay.  Perfect!  If Valentino can add a pin and call it "done," then so can I.  

Here it is in all its glory, ie. pleating and hand sewing:

The front

The back and the lining..

Close-up of the pleats!
Another close-up.  a little blurry.

Don't worry about the fit in the back.  It is supposed to fit like this.  The dressform has no "squish" like a real body...On a size 8 person, this would fit properly.   

I'm applying for  FIDM special project class and turned this in as an example of my work.  I hope I get in!


  1. It looks lovely! What pic has the most accurate color? I love the wine color in the first pics the best!

  2. The last picture of the back has the most accurate color. The silk is very very purple, but in different lights it changes colors. In some light it does look like wine.

  3. You did a super job! I hope you get in the class you applied for. I bet you do!

  4. I can finally stop holding my breath and it's perfect! I'm sure you will get in!

  5. WOW! It looks absolutely fantastic! And with that pin it looks positively regal!
    re your comment on the sleeve placket, I just used the instructions that came with the Burda pattern. They are perfectly fine for explaining how to insert a placket.

  6. Good luck with your application. Beautiful work on the bustier.