Why not just sew the whole gosh darned thing? Well, because all of our seams angle a little bit, the piece at the bottom is a little smaller than the piece at the bottom seam allowance. I find that sewing all the way from top to bottom makes it harder to put the bodice together. I’m working at 1/4 scale, so every little bit I can do to make my life easier helps.
Speaking of things that help, here’s a little trick: when you’re sewing your interlining, take a slightly larger seam allowance than the pattern calls for (1/8″ for humans, and a hair for dolls). That makes the interlining slightly smaller than the outer fabric (by about 3/4″ in humans and a generous 1/8″ in dolls). That’s such a small difference that you won’t even notice it when you join the layers. What it does is to make sure that the interlining of the bodice takes the strain when it’s worn. Also, by giving the outer fabric a teeny little bit of ease, we’re making it skim over the interlining instead of being pulled so tightly to it that you can see the boning right through.
The girl cat is curled up on the desk between me and the laptop right now, sleeping with her head on my arm and snoring. It’s adorable, but her foot keeps slipping on to the trackpad and it’s really awkward to type this way….
Our boning channels will need to be just slightly wider than the bones. If you’re using 1/2″ cable ties, made a 5/8″ wide channel. For my little plastic rods, 1/16″ is plenty wide. Generally speaking, you don’t want the boning to be able to wiggle around too much in the channels.
For a human sized bodice, I generally have the front two lines of bone that follow the front edge, and 3-5 additional fanned out lines of boning. I try never to have a bone land in the line of the strap – you can always see the line through the bodice.
Making the boning slightly shorter than the fininished measurement of the channel helps to avoid that odd saw-tooth effect you see on bodices sometimes. That’s caused by boning that’s too long and stretching the fabric.
You can do this while you’re putting in your boning channels, but I thought it would look very confusing in the demo.
Next: Finishing the Bodice