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Topic: empire waist dress help  (Read 2398 times)
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« on: August 16, 2012 10:08:20 AM »

this is a problem i have a lot. i seem to be able to make dresses just fine with stretchy knit fabric but i am completely lost on how to make a dress out of non stretchy fabric woven type fabric with a flowy skirt and a fitted bodice.

I like the look of an empire waist on me as long as the bodice is fitted because its very flattering to my body--I am smallest right under my bust and then I just get larger from there till you get to the bottom of my hips, which are the size of Texas.

So I have tried to stitch elastic into the top of the skirt portion, but then when i stitch that to the bottom of the bodice, it billows out at the top of the waist, making my hips look much larger.
I was thinking of gathering the skirt at the waist and then stitching it to the bodice but i am not experienced enough to know how to do that.
and would that even work?  Huh

thanks for any advice

« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012 10:40:34 AM »

Try looking for stretch cotton or stretch polin .
Ditch the elastic idea .

You need the right pattern .

i have the same shape and this pattern is a blast , use it all the time .

Make a mock up of the "top "first  since  you probely will have to add a couple of cm to it  to make it fit under your bust .
It's a really easy pattern  it just takes a couple of hours to make a dress .
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012 05:18:08 PM »


I make lots of dresses that are gathered or pleated at an empire waist. In fact, I have one pattern I used so much that I had to order a second pattern (I didn't use a copy of the original but I won't make that mistake again!)

If you have an okay tummy, you might prefer a pattern like this one -
It has insets in the skirt that make it larger. 

However, if your tummy is like mine - I'm kinda sorta pear-shaped - this kind of dress would be a better bet -
It gathers under the bodice and is really comfy. I made this one last year and I really like it.

Gathers aren't all that hard. It's just a matter of stitching the gathering line and then pulling the thread to make the gathers; then, you pin the gathered fabric to the bodice and sew the pieces together. One of the nice things about gathers is that they don't have to be perfect in order to look good. Like anything else, you'll get better at it with time.

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