Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tutorial: How To Make A Lined Bodice

This is the first of several tutorials on how to embellish a simple dress pattern.  In these tutorials, I will be using the Good Deeds Dress by Elysium.  The Good Deeds Dress was designed specifically for charity sewing and made to be quick and easy to sew.  One of the nice things about this pattern is it is easy to embellish and create new looks with just a few extra steps.  This tutorial will show you how to line the bodice instead of using bias tape.  In other words, you will will be using two layers of fabric and then turning and topstitching with no exposed seams.  There are a few different ways to make a lined bodice. This is a simplified version that should not take very long and fairly easy to complete.

The first step is to print and cut out your pattern in the size you intend to sew. Lay your pattern down on the fabric you will be using for the outside of the bodice.  With a marking pen or pencil, add seam allowance.  In my example I am using 1/4 an inch. You do not need to add seam allowance to the sides of the bodice.

Mark your seam allowance around the pattern pieces.
Draw the added seam allowance around the pattern pieces.

Once you have drawn your seam allowance, cut your pattern pieces along the new line. Take your cut pieces from the outer fabric and lay them on the inside fabric and trace and cut around them.

* In the picture below, the fabric already had a seam sewn in it on the right side.  I was repurposing it from another project that did not go so well.  I moved the bodice over to avoid the seam.  At this point however, you are tracing the bodice that you added the seam allowance to, so you do not need to add any more when cutting your second set of bodice pieces.

Use the newly cut outside pieces to trace and cut the inside fabric.

Once you have the outside and inside pieces cut, sew the shoulder seams together for each set per the original instructions.  Press the seams.  You should have two sets of the bodice (3 pieces each) sewn together at the shoulder seams.  Place the outside and inside pieces with right sides together and pin along the neckline and curve of the arm openings. Pin as much as needed to account for the curves, also know as "easing" the fabrics together.  Sew where you have pinned making sure to sew with the added seam allowance. 

TIP: to line up the shoulder seams, pin right on the seams of the outer and inner pieces to line them up and keep together while sewing.

This is also the time to add your sewing label or size tag.  If you are using a flat, sew on label, the inside fabric along the back of the neckline is a common place to add a tag.  Most people choose to use a tight zig-zag stitch to keep the edges from being scratchy.  In this example, I added a foldover satin label placed between the two layers along the neckline.  If using a foldover label, make sure the printed side is facing the outside fabric piece.

Sew the inner and outer pieces, right sides together along the neckline and arm openings.  Make sure you use the same amount of seam allowance that you added to the pattern.

After sewing the inside and outside pieces at the neckline and arm openings, clip the curves carefully to avoid nicking the seam.  Pinking shears are great for this purpose.  Press the seams flat with an iron.

Clip along the curves of the seams careful not to cut the thread.

Turn the bodice right side out and again press with an iron.  Then topstitch along the neckline and arm openings.

Once the bodice is turned right side out, press with an iron and topstitch.

The lined bodice is now complete.  Line your sides up and stitch together.  Proceed with adding the skirt per the original pattern instructions.

Topstitch then sew the side pieces, right sides together.

Completed dress with a lined bodice.

Thank you for reading. I hope this tutorial was helpful.   There will be more tutorials on embellishing a dress pattern in the near future so stay tuned!  In the meantime, check out Elysium on Etsy for more great patterns.


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