At CKC we like to keep our patterns easy-to-follow as well as super cute. Sometimes that means choosing the easier/quicker of two methods when we teach a skill. For that reason, most of our dresses have the skirts attached to the bodice with the seam simply topstitched upward. It's an efficient way to do it!
It is also possible to hide that seam completely if you want to take a little more time. Some of our fans have asked for a tutorial, so today I'm going to show you how to hide a bodice seam inside the lining! This will work great with lots of our patterns, from dresses as simple as Amber's to more advanced like Melody's. As long as there is a bodice lining, it is the same method for all! Today I will demonstrate using Tween Hattie's.
First you will choose the pattern you want to make and follow all of the instructions for creating the bodice and gathering the skirt. You will get to this point where you have the skirt ready to attach to the bodice:
Normally in Hattie's pattern you would pin the gathered skirt to both layers of the bodice. This time, however, you will fold the lining up out of the way, as shown below.
Rather than pinning the skirt to both layers, you will pin the skirt ONLY to the main fabric layer. Leave the lining folded up out of the way.
In the photo above you can see that we pinned the skirt to the main bodice edge.
You can see that the bodice lining is NOT pinned to the skirt. It is still hanging free. Push it inside the skirt, down out of the way.
Go ahead and sew around the pinned edge, attaching the skirt to the main bodice with right sides together using a 3/8" seam, as written.
Note: When I choose to serge, I do NOT use my knife because I like to keep the full 3/8" seam allowance there. I sew the 3/8" using my sewing machine and then serge the edge without trimming.
The main fabric is now attached to the skirt but the bodice lining is still loose. Flip the lining out so it covers the seam, as shown above.
See how the bottom raw edge hangs down over the seam you just made? The next step is to fold that seam under 3/8", as if it had been in the seam, as shown in the photo above. You will use an iron to set that 3/8" fold all around that bottom edge of the bodice lining.
Be sure to iron the fold to the wrong side of the fabric lining.
On the inside of the dress, pin the fold in place so it covers the seam nicely, all around the dress. Take your time to get it pinned just right. Do not sew yet!
Flip the dress right side out. You will be able to see the pins showing through. Now place additional pins on the outside of the dress, securing the fold underneath.
Now you are ready to topstitch on the outside of the dress, 1/8" above the bodice seam. Sew slowly and remove all the pins as you go, both on top of and underneath the fabric. This may seem tedious, but it is important to keeping the fold in exactly the right place as you secure it.
When you are done topstitching, the outside of your dress will look like the photo above!
Here's a closer look.
And more importantly, when you take a look at the inside of your dress, the bodice seam will be completely enclosed! The topstitching should show through nicely and have the entire fold secured in place. Pretty neat, huh! It looks professional and makes a nice sturdy finish for any dress.
Your little model and/or your boutique customers will be pleased!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in our patterns group.
Let's Create! ~ Kristen