Friday, 19 December 2014

A Dress for Meg - 8 - Attaching the Skirt

It is ages since Meg received her dress, and I have not done any posts showing the making of it since the post showing the collar being attached.

The next stage was attaching the skirt.  The skirt is made up of three rectangles, with French seams down the sides.  The width of the back of the skirt is approximately double the size of the back of the bodice, to allow for gathering.  The two front panels of the skirt both overlap for the buttons and buttonholes, in exactly the same way as on the bodice.  The gathers for the front of the skirt start just clear of the overlap.

Before putting in the initial gathers, with bit of red cotton I marked the central, quarter and three quarters points on the back panel of the skirt to match up with the corresponding points on the bodice.

Then I set in the first line of gathers, shown above, using the ruffler.

Perhaps somewhere there are mathematical geniuses who can regulate the size of the ruffle to give the correct amount of gather.  I am not one of them, so I do a second line of gathers alongside the ruffling.  The seam guide is there to keep the stitching straight.

The second line of stitching is done with the maximum stitch length and with the top tension loosened so that the bobbin thread is easy to pull to ease the gathers.

Before pinning the skirt to the bodice I put two tucks at the lower edge to give a bit of fullness across the back, and kept the fold secure with a few stitches.

Next, I pinned the skirt to the bodice, matching the side seams and the red thread markers, then eased the fullness by pulling the second line of gathers...

... and tacked the seam by hand.  There is a much wider seam allowance on the bodice, approximately an inch and a quarter.

Now the machine stitching could be done to finally attach the skirt to the bodice.  I made the stitching run about an eighth of an inch below the gathers and tacking.

Before neatening the seam I removed the tacking thread and machine gathering stitches, but I always find that it is better to leave in the machine stitching done with the ruffler because it keeps the gathered seam allowance reasonably flat.

To neaten the raw edges, the edge of the bodice is folded over.  Hair grips keep the fold down in place much more firmly than pins...

... and are easy to remove as the fold is stitched down.

Here is the finished seam, guaranteed to withstand the rigours of the washing machine!

I love this technique - I first came across it in an old pattern.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

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