Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bias Fitting Advice Needed - Help Me, I'm Wrinkling

Okay readers, I need advice!

I am working on a 1930's style bias cut dress (more on that to come soon) and *thought* I had the fitting issues worked out. Yet now that I'm sewing the actual dress together I am noticing some wrinkling at the seam between the bust and the torso. Eeeek!!

When I move, these wrinkles shift. Is this due to poor cutting? Fabric? (it's quite lightweight gingham) or poor fitting? Or all three? I made this seam line hit at what I thought was the exact point of the bottom of the bra, but now that I try the dress on, this seam has seemed to shift upwards a bit. Hmmm. . .I wonder if my bra straps need to be shortened.

How do I fix this? Or should I just plow ahead and finish the darn thing and be wrinkly? And try again in a different fabric?

Ugh. I love how bias dresses look and how they feel on the body but I do NOT like sewing them. . . .



  1. I'm no expert but I once remember reading about fitting bias. Unlike in straight grain wrinkles often are a tell tale sign of the garment being too small - if I remember correctly. So if that's right then you might have taken the side seams in a tad too much and need to let out (waist?) if you can.
    Bias is evil :)

  2. You see for me...I wouldn't worry about the little wrinkle. Wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out. But then I have a laziefaire attitude to fitting. ;)

  3. Well, I've never sewed '30's clothes, but it almost looks like your underbust seam isn't really under your bust? It looks like it's coming a fourth of the way up... Am I crazy? It reminds me of when I tighten my bra straps too tight! lol

  4. Ruth, no! You are not crazy! You are totally right. . .it does not sit under the bust.

    When I fitted the mock up I fitted it exactly, with very little ease (perhaps that was a mistake?) and the seam line was exactly at the bottom of my bra.

    Today, I am wearing the same bra I used for fitting but the seam is now shifted upwards. I did check my bra straps and they have actually slipped out a bit, so they are longer than they were yesterday when I fitted this. So I will try tightening them and see if that helps. I love this bra since it gives a great vintage silhouette but it needs to be tightened so the bust is lifted as high as it can go, or else I get a droopy and saggy appearance.

    Now that I think of it, the wrinling is probably because the top edge of the torso piece is now forced to go up and over a portion of the bust instead of laying smoothly in the smaller circumference beneath it.

    Ugh. . .too much math. . .too much thinking. . .yes, I totally agree, bias is evil!

  5. I find that a lot of times seams shifting like this is just the sewing gremlins at work--everything looks perfect in your final muslin, but then you stitch up your real garment and hello...that is not how it fit when you did the mockup!

  6. I hate sewing gremlins.

    I think I fixed it, though, for now. I tried it on and pinned til the wrinkles went away and the bust seam was where it should be. I think the torso piece was just too tall. It fits much better now. Not perfect, but the dress at least will be wearable.

  7. Hi Sarah! I haven't visited your blog in a while, but as always, I'm jealous of your beautiful things! You inspired me a while back to sew a doll dress (it's all I could muster). I put a picture of it up on my blog, I thought you might like to see the product of your inspiration.

  8. First off, I think your dress is beautiful and I wouldnt worry about the wrinkles.

    Second, I concur with Paula that wrinkles on a bias dress signify not enough ease. I do know that bias dresses require more ease than you would think.

    Third, I have a similar style dress that had the same problem with the underbust seam migrating upwards. I have no clue what caused it so will be interested to see how you solve it!!

  9. Thanks for your advice and helpful suggestions!

    I fiddled with it all day yesterday and ended up shortening the torso piece. This pulls the bodice down lower, over the bustline. Then I tried the dress on with the homemade bra I made a few years ago, and it seems to work better than the modern Bali Flower bra I was using for fittings.

    I can certainly see why extra ease is necessary, now. . .I guess I am so used to making straight grain garments, fitted so that the garment shapes the body, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept that a bias dress does not shape the body at all, but the body itself gives the dress shape. Therefore extra ease is necessary so the dress can be fluid and move with you. . .I wish I had thought of that before fitting this! I fit it like I would have fit something cut on the straight. :(

    Anyway, I still think it will be cute and I'll know better for next time! I have a darling rayon print that I think would look cute in this style. So we'll try again! With extra ease! :D

  10. No advice, but I love the dress so far. Can't wait to see the finished results!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!