Today we’ll get things rolling by working on our bodices. I’ll be simultaneously making one dress to demonstrate Version 1 and another to demonstrate Versions 2/3. I’ve chosen to do the longer sleeves (V3) but the process will be the same if you’re doing short sleeves (V2).
I’ll be demonstrating most of the steps using a serger, but you can use your regular machine with a zig zag stitch or a stretch stitch like we talked about last week.
Before you start on your project, use some of your scraps and test out the stitch you plan on using.
You want to make sure everything is laying nice and flat and going through the machine properly.
Make sure you look at it from the right side too. Give it a little stretch test to make sure the threads don’t pop.
Assemble the Bodices
1) Trim the bodice lining. Trim 1/8” from the neckline and armhole edges of both front and back bodice lining pieces. (Trimming the lining will help it to roll to the inside of the dress and stay put instead of peeking out.)
2) Sew the bodice lining shoulder seams. With fabric right sides together, align the shoulder seams of the front and back bodice linings and pin. Stitch along shoulder seams.
3) Sew the bodice lining side seams. With fabric right sides together, align the side seams of the front and back bodice linings, matching notches, and pin. Stitch along side seams.
4) Sew bodice shell. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with front and back bodice shell.
After you sew the bodice shell shoulder seams, you can drape it over your shoulders and have a friend pin the side seams to check the fit. As tempting as it is, don’t try on the bodice after you’ve sewn the side seams, as you may irreversibly overstretch the raw bottom edge.
5) Insert lining. Turn bodice lining wrong side out. Stuff bodice lining inside bodice shell so that wrong sides are together. Align shoulder seams, notches and raw edges of neckline and armholes.
Wherever you line up seam allowances, point them in opposite directions to reduce bulk.
6) Press armholes. At the armholes, turn the raw edges of the shell and lining pieces 3/8” towards their wrong sides and press. You don’t have to meticulously do the entire armhole, a section of each on the front and back should do it.
7) Sew front armhole. On the front of the bodice, reach in between the shell and lining.
Grab the pressed-under seam allowances of an armhole, pinch them, and pull them out.
Line up the raw edges from shoulder seam to side seam and pin.
Stitch together from shoulder seam to side seam and turn everything right side out.
Repeat from the back of the bodice for the same armhole to stitch together the other half.
Repeat the whole process for the other armhole.
If you’d like more help with the armhole process, check out this video tutorial posted on the Coletterie.
1) Sew the shoulder seams. With fabric right sides together, align the shoulder seams of the front and back bodices and pin. Stitch along shoulder seams.
After you sew the bodice shoulder seams, you can drape it over your shoulders and have a friend pin the side seams to check the fit.
That will do it for today! Version 2/3, I know you didn’t see much action today, but don’t worry, we’ll make up for it with the next post. See you all back on Wednesday!