It’s nearing the end of September, but our Sew Along is still going strong! Follow Peter as he starts to put the finishing touches on his adorable Halter Dress project and stay tuned next week when we round out our month long celebration of National Sewing Month.
Are you close to finishing up your dress, too? We are dying to see how you each let you individuality shine with this project, so make sure to upload your finished garments with “Sew Along” in the title for the chance to be a part of our Sew Along slideshow and win great prizes from Coats & Clark and Free Spirit Fabrics!
Hello again, BurdaStyle Sew-alongers! We have much to cover today but I am happy to report that we’re approaching our conclusion. If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back.
Today, it’s time to attach the bodice and skirt, and line the bodice. First, a couple of things about the bodice, which we put together on my second post. My original intention was to simply line the bodice and skip the boning. But given the weight of the pleated skirt in the fabric I chose, and the fact that this halter dress is held up only by two straps that tie behind the neck, I decided that the bodice not only needed the boning, but also that the bodice fabric needed to be interfaced.
This is because my relatively thick cotton fabric has a tendency to droop and needs more support. So I cut another, identical bodice, and interfaced with a weft-weight fusible interfacing. The interfacing doesn’t make the fabric stiff, but rather gives it a crispness it lacked before.
I am now ready to cut my lining, for which I use a silky-soft, densely woven cotton (actually an old cotton sheet). Linings can be made from a variety of fabrics. Your choice will depend on both the weight and stability of your fashion fabric. I cut the lining using the same bodice pattern pieces, and assembled it to be a mirror image of the bodice (since it will end up stitched to the bodice itself wrong sides together).
I purchased four pieces of spiral steel boning and one yard of pre-made cotton boning casing (all at Steinlauf & Stoller, in the NYC Garment District). I attached the boning to the side and back-panel seam allowances on the bodice lining.
The bones were of two lengths: shorter for the back-panel seam allowances, and longer for the side seams (NOTE: the zipper side bone was stitched to the seam fashion fabric seam allowance after I’d inserted my zipper). You’ll want you bone to extend near to the edge of the seam without protruding into the seam allowance (you can’t stitch over steel!).
I didn’t want the boning stitching to show through the lining, so I stitched the bone solely onto the seam allowances. Make sure you stitch your boning casings closed at either end.
With the lining completed, I stitched the lining to the fashion fabric along the top (right sides together), and then turned the bodice right side out. (I leave a few inches free on either side of the top edge, which I’ll close up after my zipper has been inserted.)
To secure the lining down, I topstitched along the seam lines of the bust (just a few inches — like stitching “in the ditch”).
By using blue thread on top and white thread in the bobbin, you barely see this stitches on the lining side.
Now it’s time to attach the skirt to the bodice. I stitch the skirt only to the fashion fabric, leaving the lining free (this will be whipstitched down over the bodice/skirt seam allowance later). I line up the bodice seams with the pleats of my skirt carefully, and machine baste the skirt on. When I’m satisfied with the way it looks, and after Leah tries it on, I’ll stitch it on permanently.
Thankfully, when Leah came for a fitting, it looked great.
It was now time to insert my invisible zipper. Make sure when you insert it that your bodice/skirt seam lines up evenly on both sides of the zipper. You can fiddle with the height of the bodice slightly, but that waistline seam must line up on both sides of the zipper. Some people find using a product like Dritz Wonder Tape, is helpful for placing the invisible zipper on the seam allowance before stitching it down. (Wonder Tape washes out and won’t gum up your needle.)
Now it’s time to insert the last bone on the zipper side of the bodice and then stitch the sides of the bodice lining closed.
Just as we did earlier, I attach the lining to the sides of the bodice right sides together, making sure that the lining edge neatly lines up with the edge of the zipper but being sure that there is no extra lining bulk which could get caught on the zipper teeth. It helps to pin the lining taut and press the edge before you stitch. Are bodice and lining seam allowances lined up? They should be. Next turn your lining right side out. It should look something like this:
The lining edges are clean. The lining fits inside the bodice snugly.
Readers, that’s it! In our next and last installment, we’re going to add the bodice trim (or “bands”) and halter straps, and hem our skirt. We’ll also talk about lining the skirt.
Can’t wait to hear how you’re doing!