If you’re just joining this series of posts, here are the first few posts:
- This is what the muslin is for!
- How to make a muslin for a dress bodice
- Altering the Dress Bodice: Lengthen or Shorten Here!
- How to Underline a Dress Bodice
- Using Stay Tape on Necklines and Seams
Just a few last steps to put the dress together – the actual construction is very simple and straightforward! After applying the stay tape, I attached the facings. The great part about underlining the dress is that now, I can catchstitch my facings to the underlining. The facings stay nice and flat against the body, without the stitching showing on the right side of the dress!
Tip: I curved the dress slightly when catchstitching the facings. I held it in my hand and let the facing edges roll slightly to the inside before securing to the dress. This avoids sticking-out neckline edges!
Also, because I’m going to do a hand-picked zipper, I turned the facing edges in at the centre back for a clean finish. This prepares a nice, tidy opening for hand-picking the zipper!
Speaking of which, I’m definitely addicted to hand-picked zippers. Back in June, I used Gertie’s awesome tutorial to insert the lapped side zipper in my Chocolate Dot Shirtdress – and I was sold! Since then I hand-picked the zippers in my Floral Explosion Dress and Groovy Sixties Dress, and I’ll probably never go back to machine-stitched zippers. They’re tidy and neat and barely visible – and I actually find them much easier to control.
Before handpicking the zipper, I needed to attach the skirt. I wanted the same clean finish on the centre back opening, so I attached the skirt lining to the skirt around the zipper opening.
Here’s what I did:
First, sew your skirt side seams. Finish the edges. Sew the centre back seam below the zipper opening and finish the edges all the way up to the top of the opening. Repeat with the lining fabric.
Stitch along seamline, ending where the zipper opening ends. Repeat for other side of the opening. Turn right-side out and press. Now you have a nice, clean-finished opening to insert your zipper!
I improvised the waist stay a little, I’ll admit. It turns out the pattern directions use the grosgrain ribbon to keep the waist from stretching out, but don’t actually turn the ribbon into an actual waist stay. I’m pretty sure it only counts as a waist stay if it hooks closed, separate from the zipper closure.
So close to being finished! Just a hem and I’m basically done. It’s turning out so pretty, I’m really happy with it so far.
Next up: the finished dress in action!