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Making a ruching pattern

Lyda | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am trying to make a ruching pattern that crosses over a strapless bodice top. Any tips?

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  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Ruching can be done either via flat-pattern drafting or by draping.

    If you have access to a public library (or try online), you can probably find a book that demonstrates flat-pattern drafting.  Basically, if the ruching is equal on both sides of the bodice, you slash a copy of the bodice pattern several times and spread it the desired amount of fullness, then tape it to a larger piece of tissue and re-draw the outlines.  If you are ruching just one side, you slash through the pattern, spread the ruched side like fan, and leave the un-ruched side intact.  (Or, you can buy an on-sale pattern that has a similar ruched bodice, and use that piece for yours!)

    The draping method is sometimes easier, even if you don't have a dress dummy.  Cut and baste the basic bodice (or a muslin of it) darts and side seams.  Press, try on, and have someone pin the back seam closed for you.  Take a length of the extra fabric, hold it on grain, and drape away, using safety pins or masking tape just inside the side seams and unfinished neckline to attach the drape to the bodice until you get the effect you like.  You might like a bias or pleated drape.

    Take off the bodice, lay it flat, and run a gathering stitch by hand on the drape just outside the seamlines without catching the underbodice. Mark the seam lines with chalk. Remove the pins, lift the drape away, and cut it out with seam allowances.  Remove the side seams from the underbodice, and lay the drape on top, pin, and re-stitch the seams.

    This isn't really as complicated as it seems in writing!  It's rather like playing dress-up with fabric.  If your fashion fabric is expensive, try it out on a cheaper fabric that is similar in weight and hand.  Have fun and let us know what works.

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