Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Center front Gore placement

Inserting a center front gore into a rectangular construction tunic can be pretty intimidating at first glance. Not to mention taking a pair of scissors and cutting a slash up the front of a perfectly good tunic seems like an unnecessary cruelty. That is until the first time you get it right, and you realize how nice and full your skirt can be. Getting it right took me a awhile to discover. For years I kept hearing people say hand sewing is the way to achieve a perfect gore. I knew that would work, but I am a visual learner, if I cannot watch someone or see pictures it is harder for me to understand what I am being told. So after many years of trial and error I finally developed a technique that gives me a beautifully finished gore that I can be proud of.

I would like to share with you my technique for inserting center front gores, and hopeful this will take away some of the mystery, and get you to making your own. I should inform you that this technique does not give you a perfect point, rather it gives you a rounded peak that will lay flat without puckers traditionally associated with machine inserted gores.

Start with a flat topped gore. The top of this gore is approximately 1" across.

This is the top of my Center Front (from now on Center Front will be abbreviated to CF) slash before I have clipped it.

This illustration shows the clipping placement, and how to align the Tunic and gore for your first pin placement. The first pin is tricky because you are pinning it on upside down. The pieces will align the right direction when you begin spreading out the slashes.

Spread the slash apart, pinning every 1/2" inch or so. This allows you to align the edges of the gore and the CF slash. If it helps imagine your tunic front is an accordion fold fan, the handle is your CF slash, and you are closing it.

Now that you have your Gore and tunic pinned it's time to sew your seam by hand. Trust me about the hand sewing, a machine cannot match the control hand sewing gives you. Begin your seam at least two inches from the peak of the gore. For my projects I usually use a 1/2" seam allowance, but use your personal preference.

Here you can see the sewn seam from the gore side.

Here is the gore as viewed from the wrong side. Don't worry about the excess at the top that's about to get trimmed off as it has fulfilled it's purpose.

Now we need to finish the seam. To do this I usually fold the seam allowance over as if I were making a flat felled seam.

Now I whip stitch the seam allowance to the body of the Tunic.

Finished seam from the back. After you have the gore inserted you can sew the rest of the seam with your machine.

Finished seam from the front. Pay no attention to the wrinkles I didn't lay the fabric flat when I took the picture. When I wear the gown there isn't a wrinkle there.

Well I hope this helps you in your costuming endeavors.

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