Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1946 dress-- construction

Okay, now that everything is embroidered, it's time to put it together.  At this point, we should have 8 shoulder ruffle pieces, 2 front panels (remember, we've already french seamed them together), one back panel (ditto), 4 sash pieces, all embroidered on the ends, a length of self-made bias tape,   and 2 collar pieces, one of which is embroidered.

My first move was to start sewing the pieces together with the collar, ruffle pieces, and sashes.  With right sides together, sew them, then clip the curves, turn them, and then top stitch them--except for the collar.  Instead of top stitching the collar, open up the bias tape, apply it to the edge of the collar, and sew along the fold line.  Then, fold the bias tape over the edge of the collar and whip stitch it in place.  Above is top stitching the sash.  Next, we need to sew the shoulder seams together, which french seaming again.  :)

After that, we need to gather the sashes and pin and sew them in place on the front panels of the dress-- 

Anything (like a sash) that's going to be pulled on, I always stitch through it more than once just to make sure it can't be ripped out by accident.

My next step goes against everything I've ever picked up about garment construction--I sew the collar on before the sleeves, and against conventional wisdom, I always install sleeves flat.  It's just easier to sew it that way.    My first step here is to encase the edge of the middle bit of the front panels in bias tape.  The directions say to simply fold it over and top stitch it, but that still leaves a raw edge, so I skipped it.

So,   We're going to fold the collar in half, and line up the middle with the middle back seam, pin, and sew it on.  Then, to finish the raw edge, I sew over the same seam again, this time applying commercial single fold bias tape.  And this goes over the whole edge--it's topstitched around the edge of the collar, and then where most people would say to whip stitch, I carefully use a hem stitch to tack it in place.  This has the advantage of being invisible from the other side.

Next, we need to baste the ruffles together.  There are two different sizes, and the wider one goes on the bottom.  After they're basted together, they need gathered and sewn to the body of the dress.  Make sure that the thinner ruffle is on top, otherwise you'll need to pick it out.  After they're sewn in, I finish the seams with bias tape again. 

Now come the side seams, which I french seam.  All that's left now is the hem, the front plackets, the buttonholes, and the buttons.... which I'll cover in another post along with the underclothing to go with it!

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