First we assembled our supplies, then prepared the pattern for cutting. We then finished the bodice, sewing gathers and darts, and interfacing our center back. Yesterday we joined the main garment pieces and installed our invisible zipper.
Today we finish up our sew-along! LIKE A BOSS!
First, we will be installing our sleeves. I pin liberally, gathering evenly between the notches:
I pin prepared to sew with the sleeve piece against the machine bed and the armscye facing up. Below, you can see my shoulder seam at the left of this photo – it has been pressed toward the bodice back:
After sewing, finishing, and steam-pressing the seam allowance (toward the sleeve), I pin and sew the side seams. I then gently press the side seams (toward the back of the dress).
Next, we get to finish our sleeve hems, and dress hem. For this dress, I chose to finish the raw edge with a very narrow serge, fold at 3/8″, and topstitch (from the wrong side, right along the serge line):
For another version of this dress, I serge-finished as above, then hand-rolled the hem to the wrong-side, and gently slip-stitched the hem (I will be demonstrating the slip stitch in detail later in this post, for the neckline). The ability to grab the underlayer of gauze means an invisible, gorgeous heirloom finish, should you choose this method:
Hand-rolling the sleeves doesn’t take long; the skirt hem, you might want to settle in for a Netflix binge to work on it. However in the case of this blue dress, I finished the hem exactly as I’d finished the sleeves – by serging, folding, and topstitching:
We have only the neckline to finish!
Remember how we omitted facings, in favor of a bias-bound neckline? This finish is lovely and easy, a bit more casual and better for wash-and-wear. In fact I tend to dislike neckline facings and almost always either fully line the garment with my own drafted fashion fabric facings, or finish with this simple bias bound method.
So, carefully folding our long bias strip in half and lightly steam-pressing, I gently stretch and pin around the raw edge of the neckline. After pinning all along the neckline, when I reach the back zipper placket I cut the bias strip, leaving about 1/2″ past the fold. I fold back the bias binding before pining and sewing at (slowly) at 3/8″.
Next, I press to set the seam, and then move on to one of my favorite parts of the dress – hand finishing the neckline.
Up close, a slip-stitch. No need to mess with pins – this can all be worked by hand. The running length of each stitch (about 1/4″) hides in the fold of the bias strip, and we gently pick up about two threads from the gauze underlayer:
Once you are satisfied with the neckline, go ahead and steam press and use a clapper or weight. You are setting a gorgeous neckline that never need be pressed or ironed and will look fabulous!
ZOMG you finished a dress! Go you!
Thank you, sincerely, for joining me for yet another sew-along. We have a brief break before starting the Jalie-kini in July. You can take a gander at our supplies post if you’re considering joining up. Sewing swimwear is a wonderful way to get a little familiar with lingerie sewing. Sewing your own swimsuit is also surprisingly easy, fun, and liberating. not to mention you’ll end up with a far better suit than you can buy RTW.
See you then!