#012 The Elizabethan Bodice: CONSTRUCTING YOUR FLATLINING

Posted by Margo Anderson on




Welcome back to The Elizabethan Bodice Sew Along!  Today we will be showing how to construct your flatlining, by adding in stiffening and boning.
In our last blog post, we showed you how to properly cut out your flatlining and fashion fabric.  The next thing you need to cut out is your stiffening.

Cutting out your bodice stiffening pieces.
The purpose of your bodice stiffening is to give additional support at the front of your garment.  Bodice stiffening can be made from cotton batting, or (as we used here) wool felt.  Because our bodice opens in the front, we cut four pieces of stiffening instead of two on the fold.

Trimming the edges of the stiffening pieces, and doing a messy job of it.
The next thing you do is trim 1/2 off all edges of 2 of the stiffening pieces.  The idea is to reduce some of the bulk in what will be the seams.  

Lining up your trimmed piece.
Place your trimmed piece of stiffening on the WRONG side of your flatlining fabric, and make sure it is 5/8 inches from the center front edge.  

Pinning your sitffening pieces to your flatlining.
Pin your untrimmed piece of stiffening on top of your trimmed piece, but make sure the untrimmed piece is 1/2 inch from the center front edge.  Baste it in place.

Showing the basted seam on the good side of the flatlining.
Next you want to mark your stitching lines.  Mark points at the inner and outer edges, and center points of stiffening upper and lower edges.  Then connect those lines.  As you can see in my example below, mine got a little close together.

First set of marked lines.
Then you mark additional lines between the previous lines marked.  This is where my lines got less symmetrical.  However, they are used as guidelines, so I was okay.

Adding the additional lines.
Using a wide, long zigzag or triple zigzag stitch, stitch rows approximately 1/4 apart, using the lines as guides.
My lines as stitched.
I stitched this late at night when I was tired, and so I focused less on the guidelines, and more on the "1/4 inch apart."  I maintained the angle, though, and it seems very solid.  Much stiffer than it was before.  

Sewing on boning casings.
Because Gilah is very busty, I wanted additional support for her in the front, so I also added boning casings.  Those are added on the good side of the fabric.  Margo has directions on how to make boning casings in her Techniques Manual, but I used some tightly woven grosgrain ribbon, because it is what I had on hand.  

I sewed the boning casing following the placement on Margo's technical drawings in the manual.  I did not close the top or bottom of the casings, as directed.  

Finished boning cases.  The right side looks angled, but it is the fabric over my keyboard.
And now the flatlining is ready to be stacked with the fashion fabric!  
NEXT BLOG POST:  Stacking your layers and cinching your armsyce.

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