I have to say that I’m absolutely thrilled with how this dress turned out, considering that my sewing skills are still in their infancy. I wore my dress to work on a beautiful winter day with the aim of getting some nice pictures, but I didn’t get a chance to take any in the end, so here is a slightly dodgy photo.
At the end of the last post, I had sewn up my bodice and finished the skirt pieces. The next step was to carefully stitch the front seam, ensuring the pattern matching was as neat as possible, stitch the side seams, and then attach the circle skirt to the bodice.
One of my mods was to add pockets to the side seams of this dress. Mum and I had a debate at this stage over whether to anchor the pockets to the waist seam, or have them loose and so do them at the end. We decided that we didn’t want additional bulk in the waist, so elected to do the pockets as an afterthought.
I tried the dress on again at this stage and had my mum pin it closed. We discovered that the back had some additional bulk, which we were able to take out by making the shoulder straps shorter.
The next step was the zip. Mum didn’t have an invisible zip long enough so we used a normal dress zip. Never forget the importance of pinning and basting your zip before machine stitching.
Next came the facings, which I had cut in three pieces (front, left back and right back). After stitching the side seams, I pinned and basted the facings to the bodice. This was particularly important as we had changed the shape of the shoulders, so it took a bit of easing to make sure all of the notches matched. Mum commented that she almost never uses facings, preferring bias binding as it is much less fiddly.
Stitch the facings and bodice, right sides facing, around neckline and underarms.
Mum gave me a super duper secret dressmaker tip. Rather than top-stitching the underarms and neckline to join the facings and bodice, as indicated in the pattern, stitch as closely as possible to the seam on the facing only for a more professional finish.
The next step was joining the shoulders, which was super fiddly. Finally we added the pockets in pretty much the same way as I did to my skirt in this post.
After a bit of finishing I was done! I’m really pleased with how this dress turned out, though it’s a little bit formal for work. Here is what the back looks like.