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Styling a bustle

Invisible sewn-in magnets give the homemade dress the desired shape
Author: Anja Rosebrock, Mitarbeiterin supermagnete, Uster
Online since: 20/06/2017, Number of visits: 235940

How to gather a dress with magnets

I make historic bustle gowns and was looking for a solution to gather the overskirt into poufs without having to attach it to the foundation skirt. The reason: I wanted to be able to wear the pretty underskirt on its own without any visible attachment loops. So, I had the idea of using sew-in magnets from supermagnete.fi on the inside of the overskirt. I decided to sew eight small sleeves and place the magnets inside. Those sleeves were then stitched onto the skirt.
First, I cut the fabric pieces for the ‘sleeves’ using the size of the M-SEW-04 magnets as a guide. In preparation, I hemmed all sides of the fabric pieces.
Next, I sewed the magnets through the plastic cover onto the fabric so they wouldn’t slide around inside the sleeves. You have to be careful when sewing because, in general, many parts of a sewing machine (such as the needle plate, the needle, maybe the presser foot) are ferromagnetic and the magnet will attach itself.
Since my overskirt was very heavy (over 600 grams) and the gathered poufs had to withstand rapid movements, I quickly realised that one magnet per sleeve was not enough and changed it to 2 magnets per sleeve. To do this, simply place a second magnet on top of the one sewn on earlier and sew it on again.
For a lighter dress, one magnet would probably be sufficient.
I closed the sleeve by stitching around the edges. Then I sewed it onto the inside of the overskirt.
I attached all of the eight sleeves where needed by sewing them to the inside of the overskirt. For this step, it is important to pay attention to the correct polarities, so the magnets attract and do not repel each other.
Now, I could connect all the magnets and got the desired end result.


  • Variation 1: You can, of course, sew the magnets directly onto the fabric (without a sleeve). In this case, one magnet will be sufficient.
  • Variation 2: Sew the sleeves shut on three sides, then place the magnet inside and sew up the last side. This reduces the risk of the magnet sticking to the sewing machine.

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