Welcome back ladies (and gents if you are out there). I hope everyone got a great night's sleep last night and is ready to start on the dress construction for the SAL. If you are just now joining in, please check out this post for all of the information about the sew along and info on a giveaway.
Moving right along. Yesterday at the end of the tutorial, I told you all about the exciting changes we are making for this dress. They are:
- adding a peter-pan style collar
- making the dress sleeveless
- lining the bodice
- attaching a gathered, rather than pleated, skirt.
So, we have a lot of work to cover the next 2 days.If you want to do the peter pan style collar but still want to keep the sleeves, I will reference that in the tutorials, so stick with us! Also, cut the pattern pieces just as you would for the pattern, with the exception of the roll collar. :)
Yesterday, you constructed your collar. Pat yourself on the back as that part is already done! You also altered the bodice for your dress to allow it to be sleeveless. So, with your new pattern piece this is what you will cut for the sleeveless dress:
- 2 fronts on fold: 1 outer fabric, 1 lining (for this tutorial, I used the same fabric for both)
- 2 sets of mirror images of the back: 1 set of the outer fabric, 1 set of the lining.
Okay, these next few steps involve bodice construction and placement of collar. Follow along here for sleeveless AND the traditional Lennon.
Place your outer bodice pieces right sides together matching up the shoulder seams. Sew along the shoulder seams as shown in the photo below. Just as the pattern, the seam allowance for this is 3/8" unless otherwise stated. Now do the same for the lining bodice (or your facing pieces if you are doing the traditional Lennon) and take both over to the ironing board and press out those seams.
Now, lay the outer bodice piece on a flat surface and fold it in half lengthwise to find the center of the front of the bodice. I like to do a little finger press here to mark the center, but you can also mark with a pin if you would like.
Open the bodice back up and grab one half of the collar you constructed yesterday. Make sure you put the front of your collar on the front of your bodice and you want the front of the collar to overlap the center by about 1/8". You want the right side of your collar facing up (meaning the bottom side or wrong side is facing the right side of the bodice, clear as mud I am sure).
Pin in place in the front once you are happy with placement and then ease and pin the collar around the rest of the neckline. Now, grab the other half of your collar and do the same thing, remembering to overlap the front of the collar over the center by about 1/8" as shown below. This overlap will be encased in the seam so it will not be seen from the outside, but instead it will create a beautiful match up of the collar fronts once the item is right side out. Trust me. I'm married to a doctor. Ha!
See how the collar pieces will overlap each other by just a smidgen? This is totally planned.
Once your collar pieces are pinned in place - head over to your machine and run a basting stitch to hold the collar in place along the edge of the neckline. I like to run this stitch at 1/4" so that it doesn't show once my dress is constructed. Now, if you are adding the band of trim on the dress between the bodice and skirt, now is the time to do so as instructed on page 28 of the pattern.
Now, place your outer bodice on a flat surface, and place the lining on top of it right sides together making sure to match up the shoulder seams. If you are doing a traditional Lennon, you will have your facing instead of the lining. Pin in place and sew along the neckline as shown in the photo below with the black dotted line.
Once stitched, clip your neckline curve taking care not to cut through the stitches. Anyone who is a BG-oldie knows I am a nut about clipping curves.
Now that the curve is clipped, flip the dress bodice right sides out. Head over to the iron and press the seam you just stitched and clipped toward the bodice lining. Just as on page 39 in the pattern, we are going to understitch the seam to the lining (or facing if you are making a traditional Lennon). I have included like 3,193 photos of this since I apparently went crazy snapping pics. :)
Once you have that seam pressed to the lining/facing side, head over to your machine. You are going to stitch along the lining's (or facing) right side about 1/4" along the edge as shown by the photo below with the black dotted line. Start and stop your stitching right where the collar edge is as shown in red. If you stitch all the way to the edge it makes it difficult when inserting the zipper later.
Understitching will help to anchor the seam to the lining to keep the collar in place and to keep the lining towards the inside. This is probably one of my more favorite sewing tricks. :) It's like the underside of the collar, just a trick to keep things looking perfect!
If you are doing the traditional Lennon with sleeves, now is the time that you can head back over into the pattern and back-track just a bit to put in the zipper and encase it in the facing. But from here on out today, the remaining construction is for the sleeveless version.
Take your bodice to a flat surface, and with right sides together, match it up along both arm curves. Since you just understitched the neck, this is a bit tricky to do, but as long as you pin your arm curves together well you are golden. Once pinned, take to the machine and stitch along both arm curve as shown below by the black dotted lines.
Be careful when stitching those curves NOT to catch the edge of your collar in the stitching.
Once both arms are stitched, clip your curves as shown below.
Now, pull the dress bodice right sides out by pulling the two back sides through the shoulder seams and out the front as shown below.
Take your bodice to the ironing board and turn on some good tunes and press the bodice out. For the collar, I do not like to press it straight down onto the bodice. What I usually do is hold the collar up and press up right below it as shown here.
And if everything worked out great and your understitching is doing its job...you will have the most beautiful case of collar roll. Y'all, call me a dork but good gravy that makes me smile!!!!
Moving right along ladies! Now we are going to sew up our bodice sides. I say this in every single pattern/tutorial I write and I mean it every time. This step is SO much harder to photograph/explain than it is to do. Lay your bodice out on a flat surface. Then, you want to bring one of the front sides of the bodice over to meet the corresponding back side of the bodice, right sides together as shown by the arrow below.
Then, open it up so that the lining pieces are right sides together as well. Seriously, it sounds like it doesn't make sense, but it will work. One day I will find the magic words to explain it. Once you have that done, match up the the underarm seam on both and pin in place. Then, sew along the side as shown by the black dotted line below.
Repeat with the other side and once both are stitched, cut a small "v" into the seam as shown below. This helps to reduce the bulk of the seam.
Take over to your ironing board and press those beautiful bodice sides out!
Now - we have covered a bunch of ground today and since my eyelids are getting heavy, let's do one more thing before calling it a day. Staying at the ironing board, press up the bottom of the LINING to the wrong sides 3/8". This is one of those steps I like to do ahead of time because when done later it just gets more difficult. Later on, this will enclose our seam where the skirt meets the dress. It will be very pretty and professional looking. Promise.
You girls have rocked day 2. Same place, same time tomorrow and we will begin work on our skirt and then tackle the zipper!
Off to grab a good book, a glass of wine and my labrador for some good, old-fashioned R&R before bedtime. See you ladies tomorrow!!
peace out - Amy