Lonsdale Sew-Along #13: Sewing the Skirt to Bodice

Hey, everyone!

Today we’ll attach our skirt to the bodice. You’ll be able to see the dress come together! We’ll sew the waistband to the skirt sections, connecting the top and bottom of our dress. After this, you can pin it on your dress form and see how the finished dress will look!

Need to catch up? Previous sew-along posts are listed here!

Arrange your bodice so the right side is facing up. If you can see the understitching, flip it over!

Below the bodice, arrange the skirt so the pockets are facing up. If you can put your hand in the pocket, it’s the right way up!

The next step is to flip the bodice down, on top of the skirt, lining up the waistband edge to the top of the skirt. My photos didn’t show this step very clearly, so take a look at your sewing instructions for reference.

Pin the skirt to the waistband edge, matching notches to sideseams.

Sew this seam. Go slowly and make sure there aren’t any puckers in the skirt as you go!

Here’s what it will look like, from the inside. (This is the one time where the print is a little distracting! I hope you can still follow the steps. If it’s confusing, check against your sewing instruction diagrams – they’re all in black and white!)

You’ll see that the waistband looks ‘done’ from the outside, but on the inside, one of the layers hangs down longer.

The instructions tell you to turn under the seam allowance, and slipstitch the fold in place. You can do that, OR you can finish the raw edge and stitch in the ditch. (Click here for a tutorial on stitching in the ditch.)

On my black floral version, I stitched in the ditch, but on all my previous samples I slipstitched. I know a lot of you didn’t like stitching in the ditch, so it’s up to you!

Either way, you’ll want to trim the seam allowances before proceeding.

Press waist-to-skirt seam allowance upwards, towards the waistband.

Turn under 5/8″ (1.5cm) on raw edge of inner waistband, and pin into place.

Slipstitch along waistband to secure.

Slipstitching demo to follow!

I used a new camera for these photos, can you tell the difference? Perhaps not as I’m still figuring it out, but the photos do seem clearer to me!

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12 Responses to Lonsdale Sew-Along #13: Sewing the Skirt to Bodice

  1. Marie August 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    This is all so exciting Tasia…our beautiful dresses are almost finished!

  2. karen mackay August 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    dear tasia, i wonder if you can help me. as i do not as yet have a sewing bud i thought a dress form would solve my problems. but today i managed to pin the hem of a full-skirted dress so that its about 2 inches shorter at the back than the front and i had that pull-down lever thing as well? is there some special technique i haven’t come acrooss yet? your site is brilliant, thank-you, karen.

  3. Caroline August 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Tasia, will you be showing how to line and/or interline the skirt? I’m not needing it for my current version, but suspect I will for the next version.

    I’m a bit behind but finally have all the pieces cut and marked and am ready to start sewing. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

  4. Tasia August 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    @Marie: I know! I’m so excited to see them!

  5. Tasia August 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    @karen mackay: Hi Karen – oh no! Pinning a hem so it’s straight is tricky to do on your own. I usually use the hem-pinning thing on my dressform, and then check it on myself to see how close it is when the dress is on the body. Or I’ll get my mom to help me pin it straight. :)
    You can get a skirt-hemming gadget that will help you get it straight:
    People like the vintage ones better, from what I’ve heard! There’s also a new version but reviews say it’s not as good.
    When my skirt hem is straight (like a rectangular pattern piece) I usually hem it without looking and hope for the best. (Perhaps not the most correct way to do it, but it’s worked for a few of my projects!)
    Hope this helps! Getting a straight hem is hard on your own, there isn’t a super-easy trick I can share.

  6. Tasia August 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    @Caroline: Hi Caroline! I explained how to underline or line the skirt here:
    although, I didn’t actually show how it goes together in photos. I will put together some photos soon but it may not be in time for the sew-along. (I haven’t actually started another version of the dress yet, I’ve been busy with the blue dress! Soon.. hopefully before summer ends!)

  7. Caroline August 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    @Tasia: thanks. That one explains clearly how to line without the pocket. I was wondering about underlining with a sheer fabric and keeping the pocket? I don’t think it is that difficult and I could probably figure it out – I’m just wondering how the hem works with an underlining (a lining would be hemmed separately). Anywho, if you are doing another version later no worries, I’m still just starting my FIRST version and no sheer or lightweight fabric on hand just yet anyway. Thanks for your help.

  8. Rachel August 11, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    I got the skirt sewn to the bodice and I installed an invisible zipper. That is, after I said I would not install an invisible zipper. Now I just have to hem the dress.

  9. Tasia August 11, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    @Rachel: Was it all right, sewing the invisible zipper in? Do you like how it looks?
    I’ve got a post on hemming coming tomorrow and then we’re done! Hurrah!

  10. Caroline August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    yay! I actually got some sewing time to day and am up to step #9! Thanks for all the detailed instructions, this is truly a labor of love. And now I know how to use stay tape.

  11. خياطة وتفصيل July 7, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    very nice thank you so much :)


  1. Lonsdale Sew-Along: Completed! « Sew Well - August 14, 2011

    […] last weekend, Tasia’s baby steps seemed like mountains to me this week. ¬†She whizzed through stitching the skirt, inserting the zipper, and hemming the skirt in what seemed like the blink of an eye as I found […]