How’s everyone doing? Sew-alongers, and everyone else? If you’re sewing along, how are things going for you? If you’re not sewing along, how is your summer so far?
Today we’ll do another bite-size sewing step – sewing the bodice layers together.
Need to catch up? Here are links to earlier sew-along posts:
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #1: Supply List and Schedule
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #2: Fabric Recommendations
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #3: My Fabric Choice
- Lonsdale Sew-Along#4 : FBA for a Dartless Bodice
- Straightening the Ends of Your Fabric
- Cutting Fabric Using a Crosswise Fold Layout
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #5: Sewing the Bodice
- Underlining the Lonsdale Dress
- Lonsdale Sew-Along #6: Sewing, Turning and Attaching the Loops
Let’s get started! If you haven’t done it yet, trim your seam allowances down to 1/4″ (6mm) on the sideseams and centre front seam.
Some notes on trimming:
- Our seam allowances were originally 5/8″ (1.5cm) on each side, now we’re taking them down to 1/4″ for less bulk. To make it really simple, aim to be cutting your seam allowances in half, so they’re half as wide as they were before trimming!
- On centre front, stop your trimming just above the circle marking, where the stitching stops.
Line up one bodice on top of the other, aligning the top edge with the right sides together.
Pin all along the top edge, up and down the straps. Put in as many pins as you need to feel comfortable.
When you get to centre front, pin the layers together as shown. We’ll stop our stitching just short of the previous stitch line, then move to the other side and start stitching.
In the instructions, this was the hardest step to explain and draw! I hope it makes sense now that we have both the photos and the instruction diagrams.
Starting at one side of the bodice, at the back, sew top edge of bodice. Pivot at the ends of each tie, and when you get to centre front, stop just short of the previous stitching. This next photo is a little blurry, but I think you can see where the previous stitching ends and where we’ll sew to!
We’ll keep sewing till about 1-2 stitches before the line of previous stitching, where my finger is. (If you run over the previous stitching, you’ll get a pucker at centre. If that happens when you turn yours right side out, just remove the stitch causing the pucker and re-sew it smoothly.)
Backstitch, and clip threads. We’ll take our project out of the sewing machine, and re-position it on the other side of centre.
See the stitching on the left side of the photo? We’ll sew up the right side now. Poke your needle as close as possible to the previous line of stitching, starting where the centre front stitching ends. Then lower your presser foot and sew the top edge, all around the straps, stopping at bodice back.
Tips for Best Results:
- At the pointy ends of the straps, pivot with the needle down, lifting your presser foot and turning the fabric, then lowering the foot to sew.
- Sew one or two stitches across the pointy ends, so it’s easier to turn and poke out your corners. I’ve sewn two stitches across in the photo below.
- When crossing another seam, pin both sides of the seam allowance down, so one doesn’t flip out and get sewn down in the wrong direction. (I hate when that happens!)
That’s it for today’s sewing! Here’s what your project should look like, at the end of today’s steps:
Tomorrow I’ll show you how to add stay tape to the bodice edges. I added it to the black dress sample, and it keeps the edge lying nice and flat to the body. It’s optional, of course, but it will help the dress maintain a smoother, stronger edge over time!