Revolution Dress – Front Meets Back

Some more progress and problems on the Revolution Dress…

First, I was having trouble getting the front pieces to lay smoothly after I stiffened the silk with fused interlining.  Bugger.  I decided I needed more control, so cut the piece apart at the side, to create a side seam, to help stretch across the front.  It was a good decision, but it was still difficult.

You can see wrinkles on the front, UGH.  I sometimes wonder if this Quest For the Wrinkle-Free Bodice is all in vain…is it? I mean, has anybody actually achieved a totally wrinkle-free bodice? Please tell me how you did it if you have…

The back pleats look good, all sewn down with running stitches.  I did the back pleats wrong, but only became aware of that mistake after I’d sewn them all down by hand.  They’re going to stay, as I’m on a deadline, but I know better for next time (p.s., special thanks to Abby and Hallie for setting me straight)

Up next is pleating the en fourreau part of the skirt (the piece that was all cut in one with the bodice back pleats) into the waist, then pleating up and adding the two additional skirt panels that will come around to the front.


  • Katherine Caron-Greig

    May 30, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    I'm not sure it is possible to get silk entirely smooth–it's much easier to get a smooth line in wool or linen, and even then, due to movement, etc., it's not perfect.

    I have a friend who when making her first silk taffeta dress had issues with wrinkles. She went to just about every costumers' site and found the same wrinkles she was getting.

    Even movie costumes have them, and historically once photography came in, you can see loads of wrinkles. It's an age old problem!

    Anyway, your dress is coming along great. I love the buttons, and the pleats are still quite pretty 🙂

  • The Dreamstress

    May 30, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    I strongly suspect that the perfectly wrinkle free dress is an impossibility – after all, we have be able to move in them!

    And I am TOTALLY scandalised that you use fusible interfacing with historical clothes 😉

    How did you do the pleats wrong? What is right?

  • Abby

    May 30, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    The pleats are commonly just a normal pleat top stitched down (most common is inside out, but there are examples of outside-in), two on either side (maybe more), but for your standard run of the mill fitted back gown 4 pleats total usually suffice) and they are usually tapered to help create a "V" shape…if that makes any sense describing verbally. Lauren just made it was more complicated on herself than she needed too.

    And a "wrinkle free" bodice can be found when pinning your gown shut, cause you can pull where you need to. 😉

    You can see an example of the pleating from the Burnley & Trowbridge gown workshop here:


  • Lauren R

    May 30, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    Yep, Abby summed it up. I made it much harder on myself.

    As for the wrinkles in front, I suspect (and some others pointed this out on FB too) that some of them are coming from the placement of the buttons, so I am going to remove those and re-position them. I've never been one for pinning fronts, it just doesn't appeal to me, I think it looks "naked," lol, but perhaps I can use the method to help me get the buttons in the right place.

  • Anonymous

    May 31, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    The trick to creating a wrinkle-free bodice is to cut the front panel on the bias. It doesn't work with all fabrics, but with solid colors and some stripes it is perfect. I'm not sure how everyone seems to have missed this, because check out Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold pages 37, 38, 39. Those gowns have bias-cut front panels. I think I need to make a public service announcement.

  • Lauren R

    June 3, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    ah, that makes total sense, Taylor. I should have paid more attention to the JA pattern…or in general. This is quite a learning experience.


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