Order of Dress Construction

How to construct a dress in the least amount of time.

Order of dress construction

  1. Cutting

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)

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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)

  1. 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.

  1. Measure and Stamp
  2. Ship with Bill
Published on March 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to place this online to help others like me.

    I have always known how to sew but was never taught how my ancestors made their clothing.

    I am simply amazed at the craftsmanship that they posessed and the things they accompolished.


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