#012 The Elizabethan Bodice: CUTTING OUT YOUR FLATLINING AND FASHION FABRIC

Posted by Margo Anderson on

Welcome back to The Elizabethan Bodice Sew Along!  Today we will be using our modified and fitted pattern to cut out your flatlining and your fashion fabric!
 
In our last blog post, we fitted the muslin mockup to Gilah, and had to make some adjustments.  We snipped the bottom to the natural waist, took it up a bit at the shoulders, and took a dart at each armpit.  
Transferring the markings from the mockup to the pattern.
We took the finished mockup, made the adjustments to it, and transferred those adjustments to our traced pattern.  Then the pattern was ready for cutting fabric.

Cutting the flatlining fabric.

Let's talk a bit about flatlining fabrics.  Because we used a fabric that wound up having a bit more stretch than we liked, we chose not to use the mockup as a flatlining.  Instead, we went with a tighter woven polished cotton.  It is actually a fairly expensive fabric that was in the clearance section at our local fabric store, and the color was a lovely match to the fashion fabric we were using.  Also, with polished cotton, you can more easily tell which is the "good" side and which is the "wrong" side.  
 
I have always been a fan of washing my fabrics first, particularly if it has a bright color, in order to prevent bleed.  This garment will only ever be hand-washed, so we threw caution to the wind and decided not to pre-wash.  
As we did with the cutting out of the mockup, all pattern pieces were placed on the fabric according to the grainline.  If you have questions about what the grainline is, or how to find it, please refer to #012 The Elizabethan Bodice:  CUTTING OUT AND ASSEMBLING YOUR MOCKUP.  

Because the bodice will be front-opening, we put the back pattern piece on the fold line, as shown above.  We didn't have quite enough space for the front bodice piece, so we cut out the shoulder straps instead.  We used a rotary cutter for cutting out the patterns, and made a little divot where the triangle notations were on the patterns.

Cutting out the front bodice piece.
As the bodice opens in the front, we did not cut it on the fold.  We cut one back piece on the fold, and two pieces of the front bodice piece, and two pieces of the shoulder straps.  
All the pieces after cutting the lining (with bonus photo of stiffening).
The fashion fabric was a bit trickier to cut out.  Sometimes a pattern has a specific motif or repeat, and you want to cut it very carefully in order to match up those motifs.  

Margo's bodice in progress, with large brocade pattern.
Margo is also participating in the Sew Along, and she chose a pattern with a very large and specific repeat.  Consequently, she has had to be very careful about how she places her pattern on the fabric.  You have to choose the motif or design you want centered on your bodice, and line up your pattern on that. 

In this instance, it is not uncommon to cut one piece, and then flip that piece over, line it up with the pattern on the fabric, and cut out a second piece.  This ensures a "mirror image" affect, and gives you the right spacing at the opening of your bodice.  
Cutting Gilah's fashion fabric.
Gilah's fabric has a direction, but it is what is considered a "tossed" fabric.  The direction is seen by the visible grain in the background, but the pattern on top of it is considered "tossed".  A "tossed" layout is when a pattern appears to be scattered on the background, but it is not completely haphazard - it is in fact balanced.  However, you can't cut one piece out, flip it over, and have it line up perfectly.  There is no repeat.
 
The one thing that was consistent with this fabric is that there were vines.  What we chose to do in regards to matching the pattern on the front, was to maintain a consistency with the placement of the vines.  


Balancing the pattern across the front.
 
To accomplish this, we cut out the first panel, as seen above.  Then we put pins along the edges, on various points where the vine (stem section, not leaves) hit the edge of the pattern piece.  We then flipped the fabric over to the wrong side, and attempted to line up the pins with vine pieces.  We focused on the largest and most visible vine, the one that runs across the chest area.  As there will be trim on the bodice it is not as big a concern, but we still wanted it to appear balanced.

Gilah's fabric is also a heavyweight upholstery fabric, so we chose not to cut an interlining.  As the flatlining fabric was so pretty, we decided to not put in a traditional lining.  
 
Our fabric was now cut, and ready to assemble into a bodice!
NEXT BLOG POST:  #012 The Elizabethan Bodice:  CONSTRUCTING YOUR FLATLINING.

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