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Subject: Problem with front panel

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Date Posted: 19:49:22 03/15/01 Thu
In reply to: 's message, "Make Side Panels Stick Out" on 13:39:50 03/15/01 Thu

I hope someone here can help me. My daughter's new school dress is beautiful but the front panel doesn't lay flat when it is on. It seems to be bowing out in the center. I didn't make the dress, but I used to design and sew girls victorian dresses and christening gowns so I'm not afraid to try to fix it, rather than bothering the seamstress ( who still has about 12 more dresses to make). I wondered if possibly taking the dress apart at the waist and raising the skirt on the sides might help or if I should try to insert boning in the front of the panel. If I do use boning, can i just buy the kind that they sell in fabric stores like Joanne's or the Fabric Place or is there a special type? The fabric stores sell it on a roll and I'm not sure if the curve comes out or not.

-This is what I think is wrong... a classmate of my daughter has this problem with her solo dress. She has the dress for 2 years and it has never corrected itself even after laying the dress flat with weights on the front panel, the panel still bowed in. What I think may have caused this problem is that the seamstress inserted the stiffener incorrectly. The stiffener I used comes on a roll, so there is a natural curve when it is cut. I insert the stiffener with the curve facing foward, not toward the leg, so when you sew the seams, it flattens the stiffener. This has worked well for me and the front panel always lays nice and flat. If you sew the stiffener with the curve toward the legs, sewing the seams will only make the front panel follow the curve of the stiffener and bow out. If you're going to take the dress apart, new stiffener or reversing the stiffener may help. I used the boning they sell in sewing stores on my daughter's first dress, along with stiffener. I didn't feel it did anything to help with panel stay stiff. It's basically a flexible plastic with material over it. I have seen metal boning, but haven't tried it. I don't using boning any longer, just a good stiff vilene and her dress looks great.

-How I corrected a similar problem..... When I first started making dresses I had this problem. It turned out to be the cut angle of the front panel. By narrowing the top of the front panel you can fix this. It was hit and miss until I got my pattern designed correctly. Boning doesnt seem to help because it is flexible and just follows the bend of the garment.

-As a full time Irish dance dressmaker I have found 2 causes of this problem . The main one being the shape of the top of the panel . It should be almost straight with very little curve to it .A curve here will always cause the panel to bow out . The other thing is how you crease the pleats under . They should be folded under and basted in place while the panel is flat and they should lay perfectly flat.Don't force the seam allowances at the top to be even beacause if the pleat buckles up the panel will bow . As for boning the stuff in the stores is meant to curve with your body so it will not help at all. Irish Threads sell a boning that works great.

-Here's what I've done to correct similar problem. Recently I had to fix a dress for a friend here is what I did. Check how the skirt is attached to the bodice. Sometimes when they are stitched together the skirt can get caught up so that it is pulled up higher in one area than another. This will cause it to bow out. If you open the seam in that area and let the part that is caught up drop down and restitch it the panel should lie flat. Hope this helps.

-I recieved a used school costume instead of a new one, and it had what sounds like a similar problem. I was told to lay the dress flat for storage and put a few heavy books on the place it sticks out. I dont know if this will work for you, but I always store my dress like this and when I dance the pannel stays flat.

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[> [> Subject: Extra pleat added to pattern for side panels

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Date Posted: 16:41:12 09/15/01 Sat

In the high-end solo dresses (Threads of Green, in particular), they add a small, 1" (approx) pleat in the top of the skirt right at the side seam to help the side panels face front instead of flattening out. I've been using the Irish Threads pattern for my daughter's school's dresses. It does not have this pleat and I'm wondering if it's simply a matter of adding an inch or so to the side seams and making a tuck, or is there some more advanced drafting technique required?

-Hopefully I can help. When I started making dresses 6 years ago, I just added what I needed to the waist to make a pleat. I also agree that a pleat is needed at the side seam to make the skirt sides face forward. I've tried making a skirt with no side pleat and it didn't lay right. The key to having the sides stand out, is getting a pattern that does not have a full circle skirt (Irish threads is the only one I know of), and to use stiff vilene and possibly boning. Pat sells both of these as well.

-I adjust the side panel piece as follows: Measure in about 1 inch at the top side seam and mark it. Then with a straight edge, mark down to the actual bottom side corner. This changes the angle of the piece and makes it stick out better, not so much falls into the pleat. I also use boning in the side panel along the bottom, from the side seam to the point where the pleat will fold. Hope this helps, I've tried alot of different things, and this works best for me.

--I'm not understanding either. If you're measuring in an inch at the top side seam, you are decreasing the waist measurement of the skirt, and moving the skirt side seam closer to the front (away from the side seam of the bodice.) Where do you make up the inch you moved in--at back side seams or center back? I'm not sure I can see how this would help. I see on many top-of-the-line dresses (ie. Threads of Green and Sciopa Rince) an actual pleat at the side seam, but am unsure of how it is drafted into the pattern.

---The inch lost comes out of the top portion of the pleat. It just changes the angle of the sides so they stick out more. I believe the new Irish Threads patterns are going to be doing something similar...from what I have heard on this board. I have also made a pleat at the side on some of the larger dresses I do. I altered a pattern using stiff felt and a dressmaker's dummy. It was just a matter of trial and error (lots of them).

-I have not had trouble getting my side panels to stick out. Just follow the instructions with the pattern and that will do the trick.

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