New Look 6454, The Couture Version – Part III

Once the bodice had been hand basted together and I had another fitting, I stitched the dress together by machine. Notice that I took a smidgen off the bust curve of the Princess seam.


All of the seams were then trimmed, well clipped, pressed and


catchstitched to the underlining.


The next step is to insert the zipper – yay, we are coming down the home stretch! I pinned and then hand basted the zipper opening and will now insert the zipper by hand. Notice that I included the silk crepe de chine lining in my pleats to give them additional fullness and support. The skirt is also underlined with muslin.



I hope to get back to this by the weekend. I have no a/c right now and the thought of standing over a hot iron isn’t very appealing!

Phyllis had asked about my underlining yesterday so I thought I’d go into that a little more. Since my dress has a waist seam (it’s actually slightly low waisted but that’s fine) I was able to sew the boning channels through the two underlining layers. Had I not had two layers I would have stitched separate channels to the underlining. The underlining/boning unit is then treated as one with the fashion fabric. My waist stay will exit the lining (through the use of buttonholes) a few inches from the zipper opening.

When working with a dress that doesn’t have a waistline seam, a separate corselette must be made (which will end at the waist). The corselette can simply be two layers of cotton which are stitched wrong sides together and then boning channels made through those layers. Once the dress and lining have been put together, the corselette is attached to the dress at the top edge only. The corselette has it’s own closure (I like hook/eye tape the best) and is tighter than the dress itself. Here are some photos I took of one of Susan Khalje’s dresses to illustrate:



Notice that the waist stay is incorporated into the corselette whereas mine will simply be hand-tacked to each bodice seam and is otherwise left loose.


Filed under Couture Boot Camp, New Look

22 responses to “New Look 6454, The Couture Version – Part III

  1. Hello, I’m a real french fan…We have here a blog, it’s communauty blog (sorry I speak a bad english!), call “Toile de Jouy”. I’m a member. Now that your banner is such a nice fabric, could I make a post about your blog, to make it known? dyslike make it without asking the question…..
    Thanks for answer

  2. Marie-Christine

    Why would you clip straight seams? That’s only to allow concave seams to lie flat, as in over the bust. It’s not just to show you can clip without zinging into your outside fabric :-).

    • There are no straight seams in this bodice. They are all either concave or convex. You will notice that on the straight areas of a seam I did not clip or notch.

  3. Rosie

    Thanks for showing us the progress Gigi! It’s looking great (as usual).

  4. Gigi, that is looking so beautiful!

  5. Lindsay T

    Brings back my days of making a strapless, boned dress in Susan’s class. Can’t wait to see this.

  6. Thanks for showing the inner workings of this dress, I am about to make a strapless dress and got some great ideas from your post. Love your fabric.

  7. I’m really loving your dress, it’s sooo beautiful and elegant, I can not wait to see it finished.

  8. I love your detailed descriptions of how you are making your current projects. No matter how much/little you have sewn before you can always learn from someone elses work. Please don’t ever stop!

  9. So can I post something about your blog? on a commun blog call “lecondecouture”? Thanks for the answer Flo

  10. mem

    Hello Gigi , off topic I know but Just wanted to say thanks for your post about reducing the pressure for using my professional buttonholer . It worked beautifully , so thankyou again.Mem

  11. mem

    Hello Again Gigi, I am wondering if Susan had any opinion on “Ridgiline” as boneing . It is attached to the seams after having the pointy sharp ends wrapped in muslin so they dont poke in . It comes in di9fferent widths and can be attached to each seam allowance with a Zig Zag of the underlining or indeed onto a seperate corselette .It what seems to be used here in Australia the most and I wondered if we are committing a horrible Couture Crime or if its ok to use it?

    • Susan stated that the spiral steel boning is the best to use because it allows for lateral movement which plastic boning does not. I have used Rigilene in the past and the difference between the two is quite remarkeable. The steel boning is very light, pliable and more comfortable as compared to plastic. However, I doubt you are committing any type of Couture Crime if this is what is available to you! Were it not for online sources, I’d be in the same boat as you. šŸ™‚

  12. Gorgeous, as usual! It’s always such a treat to see what you’re working on.

  13. is just fabulous !

  14. Kathy

    Hi Gigi,
    Thank you so much for all your postings. I check (more than) daily to see what you’ve done! One question about boning: did the pattern indicate placement or was that intuitive for you? Also how did you determine how high the boning should go? Thanks again-

    • The front bit of boning stops just below the curvature of the bust. The rest of it goes from seam to seam (or as close as you can get given the pre-cut lengths of boning). The boning channels are not marked on the pattern (at least not on mine) so Susan helped me decide where they should go. The narrower panels have one channel and the wider ones have two. There are three channels on the front panel: one along each seam and one in the center. Basically, you can’t have too much!

  15. Hi gigi – love your blog.

    Do you have a recommendation on where to order boning? Thank you!

    – Jessy