Today we are forging ahead with our bodice and yoke construction.
Remember that all seam allowances are 5/8″ unless otherwise noted.
Also, there are a few terms in today’s post that can get muddy and confusing when mentioned together, so to clarify:
Right side seam: This is the side seam that will be on the right side of your body when wearing the finished garment.
Right side (or right sides together): This is the side of your fabric that will be on the outside of your finished garment. So if you’re using a printed fabric, it’s the side with a print. If you’re using a fabric that has no right or wrong side (like both of mine), it is helpful to mark all the wrong sides with a small ‘x’ as you cut out so that things are a bit less confusing.
Version 1: Sleeves, Shoulders and Side Seams
1) Attach bias tape to sleeve. Cut a length of bias tape slightly longer than bottom edge of sleeve.
Unfold bias tape and align raw edge with raw bottom edge of sleeve, right sides together. Stitch bias tape to sleeve, stitching in fold closest to edge (it should be approximately a 1/4″ seam allowance).
Repeat with other sleeve.
2) Pin back raglan seam. Find the double notch on a sleeve piece. Match it with the corresponding double notch one of the back bodice raglan edges, right sides together. There is a right and left sleeve, so if the edges don’t look right when you place them right sides together, try switching the sleeve to the other side of the bodice.
Pin together at double notch and at each end.
Pin the rest of the edge, easing in the different curves and making sure the edges are aligned.
3) Sew back raglan seam. Stitch edge together. Finish raw edges with a zig zag stitch or serger, trim and press open.
When pressing, it’s helpful to put a pressing ham or rolled up towel under the seam to preserve the curved shape.
4) Pin front raglan seam. Find the front raglan edge of the sleeve piece – it’s the edge with the single notch. Pin it to the corresponding raglan edge of the front bodice, right sides together, matching notches and easing curves together.
5) Sew front raglan seam. Stitch the front raglan edge. Finish and press open.
6) Repeat with other sleeve. Repeat the above steps to attach the other sleeve to both the front and back bodice.
7) Pin side seam. Find the right side seam. If you need to, turn the bodice right side out and visualize wearing it, and mark the right side with a pin. Pin the right side seam, right sides together, starting by aligning and pinning underarm seam. Then pin down to the waist and up to the sleeve edge.
Unfold the bias tape all the way and pin together.
8) Sew side seam. With bias tape still unfolded, sew from edge of sleeve all the way down to waist, pivoting slightly at the underarm. Finish seam and press open. Trim extra bias tape down to 1/4″. There is no need to finish the raw edges of the bias tape, since it will be folded up and eventually covered.
Version 2: Side seam
1) Pin side seam. Find the right side seam. If you need to, place the bodice pieces right side out and visualize wearing them, and mark the right side with a pin. Pin the right side seam together, right sides together.
2) Sew side seam. Stitch side seam. Finish seam and press open.
Both versions: Yoke and Yoke lining
1) Assemble yoke and yoke lining. Place your yoke pieces in pairs with a front and back in each, right sides together. On one pair, align and stitch the right side seam. Again, visualize if necessary. This will be the outer yoke.
For the other pair, align and stitch the left side seam. This will be the yoke lining.
They need to be opposites because the lining is, in effect, worn inside out, as it will end up on the inside of the garment with the right side facing you.
2) Press and grade yokes. Press both seams open. On lining, trim seam allowance in half. This is called grading, and it will help reduce visual bulk in your seams.
2) Pin outer yoke. Find upper edge of the outer yoke. This is the edge that is convex (the top of the rainbow!). Align that edge with the bottom edge of the bodice, right sides together. Start by pinning at the ends, the side seam, and the centers of front and back (which should be snipped).
Now work section by section, pinning the rest of the edge together. At this point you can adjust the gathers if you need to to make sure they are the same size as the yoke. Also make sure they are evenly and neatly distributed.
3) Pin yoke lining. Flip the whole thing over. Find the same upper curved edge of the yoke lining and line it up with the bottom edge of the bodice, with the right side of the yoke lining touching the wrong side of the bodice. The bodice should be sandwiched in between the two yokes. Pin along the edge in the same way you pinned the outer yoke, making sure all three layers are lined up.
4) Sew yoke. Sew entire edge from end to end through all three layers. Go nice and slow and make sure things stay lined up as you sew.
5) Grade and press yoke. Since we have three layers, trimming some of them will help prevent a bulky line showing through on the front of the dress. Trim the yoke lining and bodice seam allowances by slightly varied amounts as shown. Don’t trim the outer yoke. Trim very carefully!
Press both outer yoke and yoke lining down.
Now all your waist seam raw edges are neatly enclosed inside the yoke!
ETA: If you are planning on lining your Dahlia, you can leave the yoke lining off for now. Just attach the outer yoke to the bottom of your bodice. The yoke will then be covered by the lining in a future step. There will be more info and photos about the lining in the zipper post.
Spend the next two days admiring your bodice, and then check back in on Friday when we get started on our skirts!