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Sewmanysewers | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello again to everyone,

I’m having a great time planning my sewing room. I’ve made a cardboard 3D model and I am trying to incorportate all the great tips I have been sent or have read about.  So, thanks to all those people who made suggestions. I promise to post a photo of the finished project…might be next year!?!?!?!?

In the meantime I need some help with something else. I am making my daughter’s wedding dress and she wants the bodice ruched. No problem with that. However, she would like the ruching to be on an angle across her body instead of just straight across. Can anyone help me with this technique? The fabric is plain organza.

Thank you in anticipation, Mary


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    If you have back issues of Threads mag... take a look at July 2006 (#125) page 64.  The Ruffle challenge turned up some interesting interpretations of "ruffle". I like the green ruched bodice on page 64, maybe it will give you some ideas for your bride!


    1. Sewmanysewers | | #2

      Hi Becky,

      I appreciate your reply. Unfortunatly, I don't have that particular issue because I have just signed up for a subscription. I do have some odd issues but not that one.

      Thank you, Mary

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        OK, second attempt at an answer!....

        Does the pattern you are using call for ruching across the front? or are you starting with a 'flat' front? is your pattern current in the big 3 catalogues (so I can see a picture of it)?

        With out the above info. I'll take a stab at some advice...take some cheap, light weight lining material and gather it along 2 sides. Now lay this 'ruched' piece over your bodice front (traced out full, not "on fold" ) and arrange the edges and folds to look the way you like.  Now trace through the lining material the shape of the bodice pattern, adding some registration marks so you can recreate the look in your chosen fabric. Take out the gathering stitches and lay the lining material flat, fill in any lines that did not get inked because of the gathers evening up quirky lines and you should have a pattern for a piece to be ruched across the bodice.

        Now the question of grain line must be addressed. Whether you cut this new piece on the grain or on the bias depends on the look you wish to achieve and the available fabric (if already purchased). You may want to do a little experimenting with a similar type of fabric. Since you mentioned organza, I assume you will line and maybe underline the bodice?


        Edited 5/29/2007 8:23 am ET by Becky-book

        1. Sewmanysewers | | #6

          Thank you  again for your help. I will give it a go and let you know how it works.

          It is great that people in this group take such an interest in each others work.

          I really appreciate you following up a second time.

          Cheers, Mary

  2. Teaf5 | | #4

    Interesting question! Here's something to try, using a cheap sheer fabric for a sample. I read about this in a 1930s design textbook and will try to explain it simply here. Ruching is just like gathering, except that you secure it on both sides. A good gather for sheers is about 4-6 times the desired finished length. To keep the sample simple, make it on the straight grain.Copy the full bodice front pattern. Lay a yardstick across the pattern at the angle she wants; draw a line on it. Every few inches above and below that line, draw parallel lines. Cut the lines and lay the strips- in order-- on top of a larger piece of tissue, leaving space between them (this is where the 4-6 comes in), but keeping them lined up along the side seams. In this way, you are creating a very bizarrely shaped, very long bodice pattern piece, but as soon as you run gathering stitches inside the side seams and pull them up, you'll have your ruched bodice. Place the original pattern piece on top to make sure it conforms exactly, or stitch the ruched layer to an interlining cut exactly to the original bodice pattern.If you don't like the drape on the straight grain, you can try it on the bias. Please let us know what works!

    1. Sewmanysewers | | #5

      Thank you so much for your reply and for the detailed instructions. I will try it and will let you know how it goes.  I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing all that. Thank you once again. Mary

      1. Teaf5 | | #7

        Let us know how your experiments turn out! I learn a lot from other people's experiences and enjoy sharing what I've learned from my own.

        1. Sewmanysewers | | #8

          I have started experimenting and find that it takes lots of fabric. My daughter might have to settle for horizontal ruching. She has told me that will be fine but I will perservere.  Thanks for your interest. I will be sure to post the outcome of my endeavours.

          Thanks Mary

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