The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Here’s another goodie courtesy of the Duchess of Cambridge

Kate never fails, does she?

The new hot couple went to a 3-D science show

But as you scroll on down in the article (click the photo above for the full article), you see her dress – another killer one.

I’m not going to make this one smaller so you can examine the lace work here.  It’s really beautiful.  Here are some things to notice about this and some things we can learn from the construction of this.  Why?  Cause lace is so hot now, and it’s worth it to see how it all goes together.

First look at the bodice, and it has a seam in the center front, and (on the view on the left) you can see a very subtle side dart – it slants from the bust point to the waist/side seam area.  Also notice how the pattern doesn’t match in front.

This is the first time I noticed that; they tried to make it match and worked very hard at getting the designs very close to matching, but they don’t.  This usually means there’s a design issue with the garment that won’t allow matching.
TAKEAWAY – Don’t be so panicked about matching.  Yes, it’s great if you can, but some styles, designs and patterns just don’t allow it.  If the Duchess of Cambridge can wear something not matched on center front (the most obvious of all seams), then you can let it pass on your side seams.

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Next – the dress design is really outstanding….it’s a bodice that is long to the hips, and at the hips there is a seam where a circular skirt (albeit not too circular) is attached.  This means that the grain of the lace is all over the place, as lace is rather stretchy anyway.  But look at that seam.  Notice that there’s an overlap and there’s a very specific design on the overlap.  It looks as if the bodice was cut so that the bottom of the bodice was on the scalloped edge of the lace.  It’s not.  It’s a mirage – a trick of the eye.  What they have done is taken the scalloped edge and applied it over the seam (probably a very small seam anyway) and made the seam look extra finished by this application.

The other thing to notice here is that she’s wearing a full slip under, and in a nude color which is high in contrast to the lace.  This shows off the lace much better than if the background were in a dark color.

The most interesting thing I notice about this dress is the detail in finishing.  Believe it or not this technique doesn’t have to be that hard and it is fabulously effective.  Basically this allows you to cut just about any shape you want and then edge it with the scallop or whatever edge design is on the selvedge which not only makes the garment much more economical to cut, but more versatile, as your edges do not have to all be placed so that they are on the selvedge or scalloped edges.  This is really great when you’re cutting curved edging, like jewel-neck necklines, curved skirt hems, and for bodice endings as in Kate’s design above.

[private] In this month’s mini newsletter, I detail this technique which isn’t all that hard, but does have several useful points that make this easier and a really beautiful garment to boot.  Look for this in the next week.[/private]

There’s so much you can do with lace, and with it being so popular now, let your imagination run!closing

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