Thursday, February 21, 2019

Final Sewalong Post: Attaching the Bodice, Inserting the Zipper and Hemming the Dress

A massive thank you to Rachael from @ms.carnivale for co-hosting (e.g. leading) the's the LAST post!
Ok we are onto the home stretch now!

Let’s get this bodice attached to the skirt: now the 1940s way to do this is via a lapped seamed, which I will explain below. If you don’t want to do it thus, you can do a normal right sides together seam for ease. But I’ll behave and follow the pattern instructions.

1) Fold the skirt part along the 1/2” seam allowance and baste.

2) Overlap the skirt on top of the bodice and match key points such as the open edges where the zip will go and the notches. Make sure to match the raw edges. Pin.

3) Topstitch (sew neatly coz you’re gonna see it!) along the edge.

4) Press and finish the edge as you’ve done before (I used pinking shears on mine)

Before you can complete the hem, you should really allow the dress to hang for around 24 hours. This is so the skirt will lie evenly and is really important if your fabric is loose weave or on the bias as this will mean it ‘drops’ differently and you don’t want a wavy hem!

This pattern called for a ‘slide fastening’ aka a zip. There are various ways you can insert these, and most vintage patterns just write ‘refer to zip manufacturer’s guidance’. Yeah thanks for that 🙄

Generally though, your zip should zip up to under the arm, not the other way! And it’s usually on the left side of the body when worn, so hopefully you haven’t sewn up this seam (don’t laugh, it’s incredibly easy to forget about this!)

I’m going to describe my preferred method which is a hand picked zip done away from the machine. Honestly I find this this easiest (and I can do it whilst watching the telly so win) but if you want to use your machine, a quick google will give you a million zip tutorials. Just make sure to use a zip foot on your machine and do a lapped zip (unless you want to do an invisible zip but they are the work of the devil). Personally I like using vintage metal teethed zips and doing a lapped zip.

1) I start by folding over and pressing the seam allowance in so I have a nice clean edge to work with.

2) Ensure the zip is flat and straight by giving it a quick iron too.

3) Test the zip works! But keep it closed for now.

4) Working on the right side of the fabric, fold over the top fabric edge of the right side of the zip so it sits out of the way between the zip and the fabric. Pin.

5) Start on the right of the zip and pin the fabric against it near the teeth, continue down the side, using vertical pins.

6) At the bottom, use a pin horizontally to lock it in place at the bottom.

7) At the stage I spin the garment around to work on the other side.

8 Open the zip.

9) For this side, we want the fabric to cover the teeth, so pin it so there’s enough to cover the teeth but ensure the seam allowance won’t come loose.

10) Continue using vertical pins up and I close the zip as I go.

11) You need to ensure that whilst pinning the zip in place, that the bodice seam line will be matched on either side of the zip. Otherwise it’ll look stupid and won’t lie nicely. Adjust until it behaves.

12) Continue to the top and remember to fold the zip tab as you did before.

13) As long as it zips up and down fine, you are ready to sew.

14) Thread your hand needle and knot it so you’re working with double threads for strength.

15) I start on the underside on the easier right side of the zip (where it sits against the teeth) and start on the further side of the tab to ensure it is stitched down nicely.

16) Insert your needle to the right side and then immediately back inside, with only the tiniest dot of stitch on the front. Take a normal small stitch on the inside back to the front. Repeat tiniest dots on the outside and small stitches on the inside all around the zip.

17) Basically you should barely see stitches from the outside.

Not the fastest method but I find it never goes wrong which is nice.

For the hem, pop the dress on and check where it’s sitting versus where you want it to sit. There’s always a hem guide in the pattern, but as a shortie, I usually have to do more than this. A 2” hem for example is super easy.

Fold and press 2” under for example.

Then fold your hem in to the fold line and pin.

Slip stitch by hand inside so that no stitches are seen from the outside.

Press and DONE!!!

Well done folks, enjoy your new dress!!

1 comment

  1. Now all that we need is a photo of you wearing your new/old dress!


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...