Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding Guest Dress Part III

I am making head way on my dress and have completed what I consider one of the hardest parts of the construction of this dress the bodice.  Now there are a lot more complicated bodices out there in the world, but this one is fully lined and I decided to sew in a facing so that the edges looked clean and were the same color fabric as the dress.  There is a great tutorial on Burda Style that shows you how to Sew an All-In-One Facing. This is the method I used to sew my bodice together.

First I hand basted my lining and my fashion fabric together.  This part allowed me to catch up on some TV on Hulu, but that's where the easy ended.

Next I sewed the facing to the bodice with right sides facing.  Following the directions on the tutorial from Burda Style I left about two inches un-stitched from the top of my straps. Trim your seam allowances to reduce bulk and under stitch the neckline and under the arms.  This will help the facing and the seam allowance stay to the inside.

This is the tricky part that involves you being very careful and aware of what is going on with your pattern.  You have to turn the front straps right side out while leaving the back straps inside out.  Make sure you read through the tutorial before you start and have it bookmarked or open in a window while you work so you can reference it.  But this is where the magic of this technique starts to happen. 

Following the tutorial I then sewed the back facing to the front facing and did the same with the bodice pieces.  This is a bit weird since one strap is inside our the other and I suggest taking your time and a quiet part of the day so you don't rush through this part.  

Once sewn your piece will look something like this.  Press the seam as best you can.  I had a bit of trouble with my facing not lining up right with the bodice piece.  I had too much fabric some how on the facing.  After some seam ripping and re-stitching I was able to get rid of the excess and get  my top shoulder seams to line up. 

During this section I had to be mindful of a few things:
1. Make sure not to sew through the strap that is inside.  I was only sewing through 3 layers of fabric at all times (fashion fabric, lining, and the facing).  Or this was going to end in disaster.
2. Make sure I started my seams about a 1/4 inch from before my first facing seams ended
3. Watch my seam allowance.

Here is the finished seam.  This is of the lining side as there is more contrast and you can see the seams better.  Press the seam allowances.  Now is the part with the magic!  Turn everything right side out!

And there you have it!  An all in one facing!  This is a great technique and the tutorial on Burda style explains  it wonderfully with lots of pictures and descriptions.  I'll be putting this one in my sewing tool box.   

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