How to construct a dress in the least amount of time.
Order of dress construction
Rip out the skirt panels. There should be at least three. Each panel is to be 44 inches long. Measure out the 4th panel and make sure you will have enough fabric for the bodice and sleeves before ripping it out
Rip a waistband
Cut the bodice lining and bodice
Cut the sleeves
Cut a pocket from the scraps
Cut and piece piping strips from the scraps
Cut any other pieces needed (sleeve jockeys, cuffs, trims)
- Assemble the Skirt
Assemble the skirt panels starting from the hem up. This ensures all the hem edge is even. The top will be folded down
Make sure to remember the pocket! And don’t forget the left opening. You should have a tube when finished
Rip out the hem facing and assemble into a strip.
Press every seam
Sew hem facing strip onto bottom of dress
Press it up and pin with safety pins
Use uneven running stitch and matching hand-sewing thread to sew up hem facing
- Bodice Assembly
Press back bodice lining flat
Press back of bodice
Lay bodice on top of back lining, pin a few times
Draw with chalk the curved seam, fold the fabric and beat to transfer chalk to other side. Open and redraw both lines.
Stitch along lines. Press seams over the lines (dress fabric only)
Hand stitch the false seam with small running stitches and hand-sewing thread
Attach bodice fronts (and linings) at side and shoulder seams. Press all seams back.
- Finish bodice
Sew front edges back with a whip stitch
Place hooks and eyes
Fit darts and stitch them down
If external waistband, add that making sure to overlap to the left and that the waistband is placed higher than the edge of the bodice length.
Fold waistband up and stitch. Add hooks and eyes to that.
Make piping and attach. Hand-sew piping at neckline. If internal waistband, attach and sew piping at bottom bodice edge.
Assemble and attach sleeves
Finish wrist edge of sleeves (cuff, folded and whipped, piping)
- Finish and Attach Skirt
Balance skirt by placing right sides together, pinning the bottom edges even, and laying out full length.
Mark center front, center back, and sides with vertical pins. Use horizontal pins to fold down skirt to length.
Press top edge.
If internal waistband, attach skirt to that. If external, attach skirt directly to bodice. Match up center front and back and sides. Use a whip stitch and button thread or waxed hand-sewing thread to attach to waistband. Make whip stitches very fine and secure. Knot every so often. Gauge with two button threads and long needles.
Use “Divide and Conquer” for pleats, for gauging attach as you gauge the four sections of the skirt.
Keep in mind that larger waist sizes your gauging stitches need to be smaller and pleats finer. Small waist sizes equal larger gauging stitches and deeper pleats.
- Measure and Stamp
- Ship with Bill