Debbie has been working on a BIG project for a few months now: a floor length evening gown in red silk that has tons of ruching down the front and around the side of the dropped waistline.
Now, most of the time your pattern instructions are just going to tell you to “gather between small circles and match notches between front and back” or something like that.
Here is what they are not telling you: Be sure to work in three dimensions when you really need the piece to look right and have even ruching or gathers.
See, what this does is allow you to set not just the geometry of the piece (does one piece gather down to the other) but also allows you to control how the texture of those gathers looks.
A pin-able dress form is best, but in a pinch you could use any firm surface that has a shape an just a bit of yield to it. So for bustlines and smaller seams, a tailor’s ham works great. For larger seams, you may want to find something in the house: a rolled up towel, blanket, or even the arm of a couch or chair.
You will be amazed how much easier it is to see the piece go together and get a better result.
A quick sneak peak at the (ALMOST!!!) finished result: