My floral boned bustier birthday dress.

Hello darlings
Thank you so much for your feedback and comments on my previous post. I feel a little responsible to make sure we talk about both sides of my journey. I’m a fast prolific sewist because I get organised to sew, but I am also human. I often get told I’m an (sorry I had a typo here) inpirational sewist. I want to be true to myself, grow and evolve. So today we finally we got to chat about my birthday dress.


The pattern is the same bustier from my minerva craft evening gown{burdastyle buster 5/2011 #127} with BHL floral skirt. I looove this skirt! My high low flora skirt pattern is almost destroyed. Time to trace and this time interface it.

Sewing tip: Do you know those paper interfacing not very suitable for clothing? (non woven- light weight) Those are perfect to interface patterns. 

Bustiers. I feel they were made for me.  Only took me 2 years –from the time I bought Gertie’s class –to find out. It wasn’t for the lack of inspiration. I saw so many amazing bombshell dresses out there. The truth: I was scared of steel boning cutting.

I made a muslin following Susan Khalje’s method for thread tracing.


The  bustier pattern fitted me perfectly as is. (I bought a tall version separately from the class pattern) Sewing was so rewarding. To be honest is not hard, the work is sewing those concave curves so many times. Outer fabric, underling, lining, extra cups etc…I was going to make my dress blue but reconsidered as a lot of my party decoration had a similar print. Used what I previously cut as lining. Love it!

Because of the chita (Brazilian fabric) cheap and cheerful characteristic meant I had to sew 4 layers for the busier. For structure, body and because of the open weave needed reinforcement.

King K enlighten his fail safe method I choose to follow. To improve the structure he underlines both the outer fabric and lining- with cotton flannel and twill respectively. I just used medium weight white cotton for both. Rigeline is a very easy way to start but I wasn’t complete trilled by it.  Because it comes curved, after sewn it still have a raised shape. I had to be sure to sew all the same direction and against the body.

Sewing tip: The trick is then press very lightly with iron set on low heat to settle them in place. You can see the boning bowing back in place.

Instead of the sewn in straps from the pattern I opted for making  adjustable ties-in, hand sewing the flower trim on top.

The green invisible zipper is almost invisible….

Forget that, check out the back bodice print placement! High Five, right!

The pattern for the belt is inspired by Lisette bow belt . I didn’t have a printer available to print the pattern so I just drafted based the instructions.

Did you notice that the back skirt doesn’t have the traditional pleats. I changed to a light gathering at the centre back.

I made my head piece too!

I didn’t want a lining hanging separately so I sewn the lining to the outer fabric. No hemming needed!

The dress looks so well crafted. To be honest everyone were so impressed but also thought I was crazy, what! all that work on such a cheap and costum-y fabric. It doesn’t matter. I wanted my dress to fit the style of my birthday party theme and  most importantly: I felt beautiful wearing it. ( If you want to know more about my party, check related posts: Festa Junina/ Apron 1/ Apron 2 &3 )


Noteworthy resources:

Birth of a Bustier by Kenneth D. King
Three ways to attach Boning by Threads magazine
Sewing a Boned Bodice With Plastic Boning by Sewaholic 
Boning supplies: Sew Curvy 
Gertie’s Time-Saving Trick for a Boned Bodice Muslin

A few burry pictures of me wearing at the party!

Ok, my fellow is totally being good sports on dressing up in crazy Brazilian costume but that face! LOL BTW I made his matching tie and Maria hand sewn his trousers patches.

Our english friend Si actually took pretty well taken to his costume, even took the tie (which I have sewn) home with him.
Dad wasn’t impressed to have a bow tie ( yes, I also made that)
Thank you for your feedback about loving my Brazilian posts. It is so lovely to share my culture with you.
Now, Who wants a piece of my birthday cake?
  • Beautiful dress, party, everything.. Love hearing about your Brazilian heritage.. Happy birthday ..

  • Your dress looks great! I’ll have some cake, please! 🙂

  • RACHEL! Spectacular dress on every account. It is seriously utterly amazing, and so YOU! Happy belated birthday, you look HOT!

  • Gorgeous! You look so good,and that bodice, wow. Great work 🙂

  • everything about your dress is cute. the bow belt is a lovely touch and im glad you opted for yellow. You have a fabulous sunny garment xxx

  • The dress looks beautiful and you can really see the detailed handicraft in the images. Very impressive! And I agree, it doesn’t matter if it is a cheap fabric, even cheap fabrics are worth pouring love into for the right occasion.

  • Absolutely love your dress and the party looked like a lot of fun! Thanks so much for the pattern interfacing tip, I’ll definitely be doing that from now on!

  • Everything about this post looks fantastic Rachel! So cheery. I’m hoping that you’ve been called inspirational and not aspirational though, because I think you are the former. Rachel ☺

  • Oh wow. That dress is truly a masterpiece. I am in awe of how much effort you put into it and the final result is just mindblowingly stunning. 🙂

  • Love love love! Everything – the dress, the cake, the whole shebang – the ties too – gorgeous! So happy…
    And love the dress you bought in your last post too – good find – you rock.

  • Wow, this dress is INCREDIBLE! Kudos for tackling the boning, love the bright colours, and the flower trim straps are just genius. xx

  • Gorgeous!

  • You are so beautiful in your masterpiece and what a fun party too!

  • What a fabulous dress, fit for the princess of the party. You are so right, it’s about how you feel in the dress and I think it looks a million dollars anyway.

  • Who cares the fabric is cheap, your dress is stunning!!

  • Beautiful dress!!! I love the print. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to make something that makes you so happy?!

  • This is f*cking awesome. I love the guts so much! Hope you had a wonderful birthday my darling lady.

  • Gorgeous!!!! I love the straps – what a beautiful extra details. Hooray!

    Wow, that’s enough cake for a small army or a few hungry sewists. 😉

  • Aww it’s so pretty, who cares if the fabric is cheap, it looks fab! Well done with tackling the steel bonning! I’ll have some cake please 😉

  • beautiful! i love how perfectly this dress suits you. sounds like an amazing party!

  • I also recently made my own bustier for the first time last week. I don’t know how it took me so long either, but I am now addicted! I already have a few more planned. Love the colours in the fabric choice. An absolute cute party dress! Well done.

  • This dress is gorgeous! Your party looks like so much fun! I’ve really been enjoying your posts from Brazil. So much fun to see a different culture.

  • Amazing!!!! This is fantastic and you look wonderful it in!

  • I love your dress. You look great in it. You said you bought a tall kit separate from the class. I’m tall and would need to do that – was it a UK supplier? I’m also a lot wider and older than you of course so couldn’t hope to match you style! Which class would you recommend? Thank you

  • I love the dress SO MUCH! You look absolutely beautiful, and you can tell you’re really happy wearing it! If this fit me, I would tear it out of your hands and just keep running!

  • AMAZING!!! This dress is absolutely gorgeous, and I love the matching straps/headpiece. Soooo pretty!

  • Those festivities look amazing – what a fabulous celebration. Your dress looks amazing and how funny is HRH’s face?

  • Wow, your dress is so good!