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Smoothing bulges for strapless gown
Need suggestions for smoothing out bulges caused by strapless bra
barbarahf
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barbarahf  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 6/8/10
Posts: 70
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Date: 6/4/12 8:22 AM

I'm making a wedding gown for a youg lady with some challenging figure issues. She has a lot of torso flesh squeezed into the only longline strapless bra she can afford and we're doing a strapless ball gown. There's a lace top that offers full back coverage above the strapless part, but that is angled away in the front for a beautiful sweetheart neckline. My problem is the flesh that is squeezed out by the top edge of the bra. Her bodice comes a good 3 inches above that and I need to smooth out that line. Bodice will be boned sturdily at the side seams - 1/2" spring steel on either side of seam. Also 5 or 6 more coiled steel bones in strategic locations. It will also be laced. Do you think this will be enough?

Has anyone else run into this? How have you addressed it. I can't just tell her to get another bra. She flat out can't afford it.

Thanks for your help!

Barbara

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Barbara
It's all about the costumes!

deesews
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deesews
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California USA
Member since 9/24/08
Posts: 133
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Date: 6/4/12 9:18 AM

It sounds like the bra is too tight at the top, right? I am sure you are familiar with bra strap extenders, available at JoAnn Fabrics. Is there such a thing for a long line bra? Or can she find another long line bra at a thrift store and cut out the hook and eye part to add to her bra? Or can you add an elastic gusset on the sides?

Is she asking for a solution, or has she just accepted this as part of the package? If she has that kind of body, maybe a regular strapless bra (not long line) would do just as well? Then she could wear those high-top/knee-length control tops that they also sell at Target, if she wants some tummy smoothing. You could ask her to wear the long line all day to see how comfortable she will be. I remember wearing one to a prom once, and when I arched my back, my breasts started to pop out. Yep, that's a memorable experience for a teenager! And when I sat down, the bottom wanted to flip up at the waist! In my opinion, straps create a longer line, since the dress is more vertical that way and doesn't demarcate the body. I never tried to wear a strapless bra again.

Best wishes to you both. Please let us know what works!

genierita
genierita  Friend of PR
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/11/11
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In reply to barbarahf <<
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Date: 6/5/12 0:51 AM

Hi there - I do a lot of fitting strapless gowns - I suspect the key is probably the bra, not your construction of the gown which sounds spot on. I would have a good look while she is in just the bra and see if bulges go right across the back and front or just at the notorious underarm 'soft spot' area. If it's all the way around, extending the bra back width will allow her body to settle more naturally into it. Try hook and eye tape instead of a ready made extender. That way it doesn't matter how long-line the fastening area is. It could also be a lack of body depth all the way around possibly. Maybe use lingerie wide elastic to the top edge? Never done it myself, but just a thought.

Keep us posted!
Rita

deesews
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deesews
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California USA
Member since 9/24/08
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Date: 6/5/12 1:02 AM

genierita, what great ideas!

genierita
genierita  Friend of PR
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
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In reply to deesews <<


Date: 6/6/12 1:30 AM

This comes from a lifetime of 'making do'!! But I love a challenge and can get a bit 'dog & bone-like' about things I should just accept I can't do...
Barbara - keep us posted about what happens for your bride. I'd love to know! Rita

helen in oz
helen in oz
AUSTRALIA
Member since 12/2/10
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Date: 6/7/12 3:35 AM

As far as I can see, the only way you're going to eliminate the flesh spill problem is if the bra fits without negative east at the top edge (ie not cutting in) and then smoothly redistributes the flesh from the top edge down? It does sound like the bra is straight up too small around for her, and she's trying to use it as something of a corset?

If it turns out that the bra is too small but the cups are OK, could you maybe think about inserting a powermesh panel each side of the bra, maybe shaped a bit if necessary, and add a few vertical boning strips to the bra itself (eg: sides, side backs, each side of centre back), offset from the dress bones, to assist the bra in smoothing the flesh evenly?

barbarahf
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barbarahf  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
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Posts: 70
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In reply to helen in oz <<


Date: 6/12/12 12:03 PM

Oh, fantastic! Power mesh in the bra. That is a fantastic idea. I'm basting the bodice together over the next 2 days and hoping the bones I ordered show up so I can do 1st fitting with my "extra bones on the side" and rearranging the hooks on her bra extension and see how that works out. If it's not acceptable, I think the power mesh will be it. Thanks so much!!

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Barbara
It's all about the costumes!

barbarahf
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barbarahf  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 6/8/10
Posts: 70
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Date: 6/15/12 5:16 PM

Here's an update on the gown, complete with pictures. Loosening up the top of the bra a tad and the extra boning on the side seams looks like it's going to work. The fashion fabric pics are from the basted together fitting yesterday. I had only one small tweak - letting out over the left bust point just a tad. (You'll see the pins marking the alteration if you look close enough.) I can't say enough about Kenneth King's moulange method. I took a workshop with him & bought the CD & the Birth of a Bustier CD. I've never had a set of fittings go so smoothly as these did! So front & back views of the moulange, which is supposed to look just like it does - a sausage in a casing.
I got the lacing a little whopper-jawed, but I've learned my lesson and will have it pre-laced the next time. Now all I have to do is get the deodorant mark off the silk . I had to do a link to the whole album rather than individual pictures...
Goth Wedding Album

------
Barbara
It's all about the costumes!

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