A fan-front dress wouldn’t be called such without copious amounts of hand-gathering in the bodice. With that in mind, I thought I would show how I did the fan on the fan-front (LM #114) that I’m working on right now.
First, I marked the gathering lines (the pattern comes with a handy template for this!) on the wrong side of my bodice, transfering the marks using tracing paper and a tracing wheel. Then I gathered the bodice (7 rows on the bottom to make the fan, and 1 row on each of the shoulder seams).
Next, I pinned the bodice right-sides together to the lining, pinning around the sides and middle. The pattern recommends to do this, and the purpose is to gather the fan and secure the threads to the inside of the bodice, so you don’t have huge knots on the outside of your bodice. I then pulled the threads up to make a fan, stopping when the outline of the fan matched the outline of the lining. When that happened, I tied the threads together (2 strands at a time) and then clipped the excess.
I didn’t bother to do this with the top shoulder seams, since I belatedly decided to pleat them instead of gather.
After I had the fan all tied together, I then un-pinned it from the lining. Then, I re-pinned it, wrong sides together to the lining, this time matching the newly-created fan to the lining, and drawing and pleating the shoulder seam to match the lining.
Then I basted the lining and fan together with a running stitch. These two pieces will now be treated as one (which is called flat-lining) and sewn to the two back bodice pieces.