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How to Make a Bias Design

The most successful artistic designs come from a thorough knowledge of the medium used. In fashion, beautifully executed designs create form with the medium of fabric. Designers who use bias-cut fabric with striking results delve deeply into each functional and decorative nuance the fabric offers.

With bias clothing, there are two ways to cut and use the fabric. In this article, Sandra Ericson discusses solving more complex design and construction problems that arise from the malleable nature of bias-cut fabric and bias seams.

When you work on the bias, the garment’s design is usually more important to the success of the garment than its construction, even though the construction often requires better-than-average sewing skills.

The garment design starts with a concept. From there, using the tools and methods described in this article, you can breathe life into a fabulous bias design. This article is from Threads #158, Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012.

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  1. seamster | | #1

    I recently had to alter a bias cut dress for a client who had
    borrowed it from someone larger. The client wanted the dress
    very close fitting, and against my better judgement I did what
    she requested. It involved taking in side seams and the zipper. I interfaced the zipper even tho it was not originally
    sewn that way. When completed, it looked perfect --- until she
    tried it on. From the front it looked great, but in the back
    there were two horizontal bulges across the back of the dress(above and below the bustline). Fortunately, I did not
    cut a lot out of the seam allowance, so I had enough in the
    side seams to put more ease back into the sides. She was leaving for a cruise the next day and picked up the dress without trying it on again. Was my solution to the problem
    the correct one for a bias cut garment? I know bias is tricky to work with and I have not been able to find another
    solution in my sewing book library. I am hoping Sandra Erickson can answer this post. Thank you. Seamster

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Your solution of adding some ease back in sounds appropriate. It seems as if the bias was fully stretched at bust level, creating bulges above and below. The client may have wanted a close fit, but her request likely rendered the dress too tight, and bias stretches only so far.
    Threads editors

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