Hello and welcome to day five of our sew-along – our penultimate post! Today we will be installing collar and lining. For this entry, you will need:
1. Your constructed dress shell and lining
2. Your collar pieces
In our last entry we finished our back closure. We should have a constructed shell and lining, and our collar pieces. Our construction order will depend on the collar we’ve used – the asymmetrical or tie collar options. For the assymetrical collar, we put the collar in and then the lining; for the tie-collar, we install the lining first.
Ready? We’re in the home stretch! You can do it!
And as always: remember to direct any questions in the Facebook group associated with this sew-along.
Let’s work first, with the asymmetrical collar. In this case, we will be completing the collar first, then applying the lining.
Before proceeding, it is important to make sure your bodice neckline has an accurate stay-stitch 1/16″ from the seam allowance – 7/16″ from the raw edge, if you used the pattern’s 3/8″ seam allowance. I cut two of each collar piece – the two sickle-shaped pieces shown at upper-right.
I simply sewed these two sets of two pieces, right-sides together, then trimmed, graded, turned right-side out, and pressed:
Stitch the finished collar pieces to the neckline, using a 2 mm sitch. Then, clip and grade this seam, making sure to clip right to the stitching line at the inner corner of the neckline. As you can see here, since my lining is semi-sheer, I really want an even trim. I used 3/16″:
Next, we will be applying the lining by hand at the sleeve and neck – using the stay-stitching line at the armscye and neckline:
Gorgeous, no? You can always use a slip or ladder stitch, and finer thread, if you want invisible stitches. I, however, like the sturdiness and aesthetic of a whip stitch, so that’s what I usually apply.
Once you’ve installed your collar and bodice lining, you can apply the skirt as shown below (after we finish up the back placket and prep the neckline, for the button-loop version of the dress).
So first: I simply sewed the lining in at the center back seams, right-sides together, then clipped and graded this seam:
Then, I turned the lining and dress right-sides out. Here is the finished back, lining-side up:
Now, it’s time for our collar!
First, I stitched the lining and shell together all along the neckline – wrong-sides together. Shown below is the center front “v”:
Leaving aside the neckline for a moment, I applied the skirt (if you’re making the asymmetrical collar version, this is where you’d pick back up). First, I pinned thoroughly – the lined bodice waist, to the shell skirt waist, right-sides together. Shown below: the center back:
Next, apply the lining to the skirt – seam side toward the wrong-side of the shell – and stitch along this waist seam. Stitch one more line of stitches (for strength), and trim evenly:
Waist – all done!
Now, just as shown in the silk crepe de chine version above: pin the lining to the shell along the armsye, and hand-stitch closed:
Finally: the neckline for the tie version. I want to explain how this neckline works first, as it might help you conceptualize before you start stitching.
First: if you are able to pull the dress overhead without a back closure, you can use a tie neckline as one long strip (as in the original pattern). If you’ve included a back closure (as I have), you will want to add a seam allowance to the center back of the tie, and add a closure (I used a hand-sewn snap) while finishing the dress.
Secondly: if you want a firm tie, interface your neckline piece(s). I wanted a soft effect, so I did not.
Now, the pattern comes with marked notches on the neckline. Those notches represent where the tie meets at center front (which is now stitched, lining to shell, on the bodice). That means we will be sewing the loose, “running”, or tie-ends of the neckline first, right-sides together. Leave the neckline long seam open along the part that will affix to the dress neckline (at left, in the photo below – notched marked by a clip):
Go ahead and clip right to the stitching on the center front of the bodice, if you haven’t already done this:
Now, pin one seam allowance of the tie to the neckline of the dress, and stitch carefully, leaving off about 1″ before you get to the center front. Leave very long tails and then sew the remaining 1″ by hand, to the last two inches of the center front neckline seam.
Then, pin the inner seam allowance to the seam you just finished. You can see here how wonderfully the grain lines up in this version:
Be patient at the center front of the dress. Use small, firm stitches without pulling too tightly, and make sure to anchor the loose tie ends right where they leave the neckline. This seam won’t endure a lot of strain, as you’ll be leaving your collar in a loose knot. However, it’s best to make sure it is strong:
So there we have it! Your dress is nearly finished! On the twenty-second of April we will hem our dress, build our belt, and install our carriers! Then – we’re finished!
Happy stitching! And we’ll see you in a couple days.