Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

strapless bodice construction info neede

Lyda | Posted in The Archives on

Can anyone send me a copy of the article from Kenneth King in Threads #46 pages 52-56 about strapless bodice construction?


  1. Ocrafty1 | | #1

    I recently emailed Threads and asked for the issue. It is out of print, but they sent me a photocopy. I'm sure they'd do the same for you. It is a wonderful article and I can't wait to use the techniques.


    1. designsbysue | | #2

      What is the title of the article on constructing a strapless dress?  I have a client who not only wants the dress strapless - but she wants it backless with a straight skirt.  I am not sure the dress will stay up without any back????  I do have some tape for holding garments close to the skin - not sure that that would work?

      Any suggestions?

      I would like to read the article that you were talking about.


      1. Ocrafty1 | | #3

        Hi Sue,

        The article was 'A Strapless that Stays Put' by Kenneth D. King, in Threads Issue # 46, pp 51-56. It has a lot of great construction details for keeping a garment up.

        Not sure if it would work for backless. This utilizes a grosgrain waistband to keep the garment in place on the figure. I'd read it if you have the old Threads...if not, email them like I did and ask for a photocopy...be sure to email them your land address...they had to email me back to request it...duh!

        Hope this helps....even if you don't use it for this garment, I'm sure it will be beneficial for any others you make....even if they are not strapless.  I have another old Threads...# 51, that shows Hilary's inaugural ball gown and the "inside" of it. That is another article that could be of some help for future reference. That gown wasn't strapless, but it has fantastic construction details...and also that grosgrain waistband.  I only have 4 old Threads  and I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I just subscribed a couple of weeks ago...can't wait to get my first issue...and the rest that will follow!


        1. Ralphetta | | #4

          that article in #51 is one of my favorites. It has a wealth of information.

          1. Ocrafty1 | | #5

            I love that article, but I wish it went more in depth about how to do the bust cups. I'm just getting started in doing lingerie and feel like that info would be particularly helpful...as well as in construction of gowns. Any suggestions about the 'bust cups?' A client and myself, have large, heavy busts, (gravity has definitely taken over, LOL) and support is an issue. I think the bust cups would be a big part of the solution. I've read the article over and over, and am not sure how to construct them.  HELP!


          2. lorisews | | #13

            Kenneth D King on his web site sells a whole e-book (adobe pdf on a cd) on the bustier which might have more detail.

          3. Ocrafty1 | | #14

            I'll have to check it out.  Thanks!!!

        2. designsbysue | | #8

          Thanks for all the information.  I really appreciate it - I am going to try to convince her that she will need a little bit of a back at least.  You are right the articles are great no matter what I do - so thanks again for your help.


      2. suesew | | #6

        Strapless and Backless? Sometimes clients ask for things that really can't be done and they don't understand why. I would expect that you could do a fairly low V in the back and still manage it, but there has to be some tension from somewhere to hold it against the body, especially if she has any bust of the size that needs support in the front.

        1. designsbysue | | #7

          Thanks for your advice.  I hate to disappoint her - buy I know you are right.


        2. Ocrafty1 | | #9

          Sue, I had to laugh when I read your reply...Good thing one of us read the discription thoroughly.  I didn't even notice that she wanted both strapless AND backless. How in the world would it stay up?  If I tried to make one for myself like that (with my DD's)  it would be around my knees....it would be frontless and backless!  LOL

          Seriously, I don't think anyone can wear a gown that is strapless and backless. There is nothing that would keep it up, unless you used some kind of glue to attach it to the body. There would have to be some kind of strap around the neck or on the shoulders.


      3. scrubble4 | | #10

        Sue:   "wants the dress strapless - but she wants it backless with a straight skirt. "

        Sue:  Maybe it will help your client understand what is possible if you explain the basics of what holds a garment on our body.  First if we have material over the shoulder there is the center back neck bone, the side neck/shoulder point and the front neck centre point as well as shoulder sleeve point.  Maybe equating these upper body points to a suspension bridge will help her understand these are the usual points for keeping a garment adjusted, straight and riding nicely on our bodies.  

        Then there are designs that don't use suspension cables  but go from the ground up.  If we don't use the neck and shoulder to anchor and hang clothes from then we build them up or down from the waist.  Understanding the tipping points that can happen when there is no back and no shoulder/neck points may help her to understand that at least a 1/3 or 1/2 back is necessary to keep essentials from tipping out in the front. 

        Having said all that, I am working from a purely theoretical, logical viewpoint.  If you are building up from the waist, I think you need more than two reference points, (waist and bust) to keep it all from tipping forward. 

        Watching the young starlets prance before the cameras, when they go with bare minimums I am always holding my breath as I can see them seeping forward.  Suggest if she doesn't want constant hand adjustments, some backing (on the back) to anchor the front to is necessary as well as anchoring it all to the waist with boning. 

        I hope this is helpful, along with the excellent suggestions you have already received. 



        1. Ocrafty1 | | #11

          Wonderfully stated!!

        2. designsbysue | | #12

          Thanks for your advice - it made me laugh because that is exactly the approach I was going to take with her - having worked in the engineering field for a number of years.

          Or we could paste it to her body???  Just kidding!

          It was good to hear from everyone - just in case there was something newly invented that I did not know about - and you are right - when you watch all the starlets in their gowns makes you wonder how they do keep them up.

          Thanks again, Sue

          1. scrubble4 | | #15

            designsbysue:  Sue there is one more sight that is a visual.  I tried to do it before but I have experienced some wireless challenges and was unable to do this.  It is a view of a backless gown by Charles Kleibacker.  It is backless but shows very fine and high straps.  This might reinforce the message for her.  I am a firm believer in one picture worth the thousand words.  Good luck.  You are so well placed for this persuasion conversation with your engineering background.


            Let us know how it goes.  Scrubble4

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All