PART 15: HOW TO SEW THE BODICE LINING
Once the bodice is all sewn in, above is how it will look! It's pretty exciting to be this close to the end. Before you know it, you'll be wearing your finished dress! Of course, if you're making View A, yours won't have a collar around the neck, but that's okay too :)
First thing we need to do is fold up and pin the hem on the lining, 5/8" and press.
Next, place the lining on the bodice, right sides together. Be sure to open the zipper seam allowance so the two bodice pieces line up.
Pin the entire neckline together, right sides facing. Start by lining up the center back and the shoulder seams. Then match the center front along the neck and pin in between all those anchor points.
Then pin along the center back opening, along the zipper. Again, make sure the zipper seam allowance is open and not folded into the bodice.
Make sure to open the fold at the hem of the lining because we are only going to sew down to the crease in the fabric. If you're unsure where the line is, you can also mark it with chalk or a water soluble pen.
Put a regular zipper foot on your sewing machine and place your needle just to the side of the zipper teeth, closest to the opening at the center back. So on the above image, the zipper teeth are on the left of the foot as is the needle. This will place my stitches immediately to the right of the teeth, sewing the bodice and lining together.
Sew along the zipper, keeping the stitching just to the side of the teeth.
When you reach the fold in at the lining hem, stop and backstitch. Repeat on the other side of the zipper at the center back opening.
At the top corner of the zipper fold the zipper and seam allowance toward the back bodice. Above is the zipper seam on the top/left and the neckline at the right.
This is the same spot, now with the zipper and seam allowance folded toward the bodice back. Pin in place and repeat on the other side at the top of the zipper.
Starting at the top of the zipper, sew around the neckline at the 5/8" seam allowance. Sew directly over the folded corners at the top of the zipper. Be sure to switch back to a regular presser foot for this step.
Continue around the neckline, staying at the 5/8" seam allowance.
After sewing, trim the corner of the seam allowance off at the top of the zipper. This will reduce the bulk at the top of the zipper so you can turn it right side out to a nice corner.
Along the neckline, you can grade and/or notch the neckline so it is less bulky and has a smooth curve. For my sample I graded the layers of the lining, collar and bodice so they are at three different lengths for a smooth gradation on the inside of the seam allowance. The outermost layer (in this case, the bodice) should be the longest so the others are hidden underneath when viewed from the right side of the garment.
Turn the corner right side out and poke the corner out with a point turner. If you don't have a point turner, you can use anything else as long as it doesn't have a sharp point at the end.
Next we want to understitch the entire neckline. Understitching is where you sew the lining to the seam allowance. This keeps the lining on the inside of the bodice and prevents it from popping out to be seen. It can be hard with the corner of the zipper to get to the center back, so do the best you can and start and stop as close as you can to the top of the zipper.
Stitch all the way around the neckline, placing the stitching just inside the seam on the lining.
If making View B, the basting stitch might show through from attaching the collar. If so, simply remove it with a seam ripper, nice and carefully!
Give the entire neckline a good press, keeping the lining on the inside of the bodice.
On the inside, use a needle and thread to secure the hem of the lining to the seam allowance around the waist seam. That's it!
As usual, let me know if anything needs to be clarified or if you have specific questions! I'm here to help! Good luck and here's to next week when we get to the sleeves!
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