Adding a gathered layer of organza to a strapless gown can add instant pizzazz. Merriam Webster defines organza, as “a sheer dress fabric (as of silk or nylon) resembling organdy.” Organdy is a starched-feeling fabric that can be seen through. Adding organza won’t obscure the fabric print. Choose color-coordinating organza to highlight a desired color. For solid-colored gowns, add the same color organza for an elegant look. Sew the organza to the bodice top or to the waist of the gown.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Ironing board
Preparing the Organza
Measure the dress length from the strapless bodice top to the hem. Add 2 inches to this measurement. If adding organza as a skirt overlay, measure from waist to hem. This is best for full skirts. This is the length of organza needed.
Place the dress flat on a table or bed. Measure across the widest point. Multiply this measurement by two. Multiply the new width measurement again by two. This is the width of organza needed.
Cut the organza to the length and width you have measured. You’ll have a large rectangle. Place the fabric on a flat surface. The longer edges are the gown’s top and hem.
Fold the hem over 1/2 inch. Fold the hem over another 1/2 inch so there is no raw fabric edge. Pin and repeat for the top. The top will be sewn to the bodice top or waist of your gown.
Sew across the hem, horizontally, using a straight stitch and a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove pins and repeat for the top. Place a pin in the hem so you can differentiate the top from the hem.
Turn the fabric wrong side out. Fold the fabric in half, vertically. Pin together the two raw edges. This is the side seam. Sew together, using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Place the side seam/organza onto an ironing board. Iron the seam open flat, using the iron setting recommended on the fabric care label. If your fabric is nylon organza, skip this step. Nylon can melt when ironed.
Gathering and Sewing the Organza
Place the gown on a flat surface. Measure across the top of the bodice or the waist, or wherever you’ve chosen to add organza. Multiply this measurement by two.
Place the top sewn edge, wrong side facing you. Place the side seam under the sewing machine pressure foot. Set the machine to the longest straight stitch.
Stitch back and forth four times. Stitch along the center of the top edge. Leave 8 inches of thread at the end of the stitch line before cutting thread free from the machine.
Set machine on the widest zigzag. Place the side seam under the pressure foot. Center the zigzag stitch over the straight stitch line from Section 2, Step 3.
Zigzag over the thread. Take care not to catch the thread in the stitching.
Pull the 8 inches of thread from the straight stitch line until the organza gathers to the measurement in Section 2, Step 1.
Slip the dress into the organza “loop,” aligning the strapless bodice top edge or waistline with the gather. Pin in place.
Sew the gather to the gown with a needle and thread. Iron the gather flat against the dress, if possible.