Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crepe Sew Along 6: Sewing the bodice

Crepe bodice progress

I have progressed a good deal on the bodice of my Crepe dress. As you can see above, I am getting close to being done with the bodice.

First, I sewed the darts . I was hoping that the inside would be as neat and lovely as the outside, but the dart step burst that bubble for me. I had to sew some seams twice because my lines weren't totally straight, or accidentally went inside of a basting stitch or two. Sewing a proper line for the dart was actually more difficult because the darts are shaped, so I couldn't use the trick from Threads magazine's video. Plus, I sometimes forgot to adjust my stitch length at the dart point, or to adjust it back before the next dart. Still, when I pressed it all out, it looked lovely on the outside.

Next, I sewed the shoulder seams, pinked and pressed them open. Gertie recommended pinking for this seam because it has less bulk.

marking the seamline on  the sleeve facing

Next, I added the sleeve facing. Finding the stitching line along the tight curve was difficult, so I marked it out ahead of time with tailor's chalk.

sleeve stabilization

As you can see, the 5/8" seam generally went outside of the 1/2" bias silk organza strips I used for stabilization, so I will definitely make wider strips next time.

I then graded the sleeve seam allowances, clipped and notched the curves, pressed the facing under, and hand sewed the facing to the seam allowances to keep it from flipping out. I also pinked the outside edge of the facings.

Next, I sewed the side seams with the sleeve facing flipped up, so that when I flipped the facing down, all of the seams were finished. This seam was also pinked. Then the sleeve facings were flipped back down and tacked by hand to the seam allowances at the shoulder and side seam under the arms to keep them in place. Unfortunately, the facing still doesn't want to play nice at the tight curves where the sleeves transition to the body of the dress. I just read that Gertie had the same problem and she sewed them down to the underlining, which I will be doing today.

Next, I sewed tubes from the contrasting tie fabric and flipped them right side out. I then pinned them to the dress and tried it on to see how long I wanted them. I ended up not trimming them to the length in the pattern but leaving them as-is because I liked the extra length. I then basted them to the back of the bodice, giving the current state of the dress here:

Crepe bodice progress

The next step will finish the bodice, then I'll move on to the skirt. How long will it take me to finish? What are your bets?

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