Make a Dress Series II - with Transcript - Part Four

part 1part 2part 3 • part 4 • part 5part 6part 7part 8series index

Part Four - Joining the Pieces and Making the Dress, Stay Stitching, Pressing using an Improvised Clapper and How Best to Safely Sew Over Pins

How to Make a Dress

Using my Free Pattern - The Pinafore

Add a Lining


Make a Dress - A Second Series.

I'm featuring my Free Pinafore Pattern again but this time I am showing how to add a lining. This is part 4. Joining the Pieces and Making the Dress.

So, right sides together, we sew the bodice sides seams first. The shoulder seams are not sewn at this stage. That's done when we attach the lining.

If you follow the debate as to whether or not to pin before machining, I'm sure you will have your own ideas on the subject. We have all seen film of professional seamstresses whizzing along seams at their industrial sewing machines. Unfortunately many sewing machines don't behave when it comes to slippage. Having uneven seam lengths leads to wasted hours of unpicking.

And is it safe to machine over pins? Unless you want to baste all your seams, sewing over pins is the only way to be sure your fabric stays put. I always say, use a sharp needle, a new one for each project, and machine slowly. I never use glass headed pins. The heads are large and stop the pin from laying flat.

Right we can proceed to stitching the pinned seams. Press as you go and it's usually best to do it through a cloth unless you are working on shirting type fabrics. A clapper, just a handy bit of wood will do, sets the steam into the cloth.

Stay stitch the neckline and armholes seams to stop them stretching before we get a chance to finish the edges with the lining. It isn't usually necessary to finish seams when you are lining a garment unless, as in this case the fabric is inclined to fray.

Our stay stitching is done. Now for the skirt. Right sides together. Matching notches, pin the side seams but leave the back seam at this stage. Get them pressed.

Now we can join the skirt to the bodice. Match centres and side seams, easing if necessary. Stitch from raw edge to raw edge. This seam can be pressed up, down or open We are leaving the back seam open for the zip but if we are neatening seams it is easier to neaten the back seam allowance before inserting the zip.

We will just neaten above the back vent as the vent, once stitched will be pressed to one side and the seam allowances will be neatened together.

So we are going to neaten above this mark and press the seam open. We'll clip to the mark so that we can press the vent to one side. This fabric is likely to fray and we need to reinforce this corner with stay stitching before making the snip.

So, taking each back piece separately, we have now machined around this corner point, just inside the seam allowance and we can safely snip at the mark.

That is now neatened. We can move on to the next stage, putting the concealed zip into the back seam.

Coming next, inserting the concealed zip.

If you feel I have skipped over some of the detail then look again at my first Make a Dress Series.

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