After Dark Sewing’s Ruby Dress – adding a lined bodice

admin Lining, Pattern Review, Tips & Tricks, Tutorial 1 Comment

I whipped up a summery Ruby Dress to wear to my sister’s wedding in April and I absolutely love how it turned out so here I am to share it with you!

I wore it with the Grainline Morris Blazer – although it was a crazy hot day so it didn’t get worn much! – and also made a matching clutch – because why not?!

The fabric is a beautifully light rayon challis from 1st for Fabrics; I think it’s out of stock now but they do have some other gorgeous prints! www.1stforfabrics.co.uk. I also got some of their dress lining to line the bodice – which I’ll show you how to do.

The pattern shows you how to sew the dress with facings. Switching the facings for linings is easier than you may think. Firstly cut the bodice front and bodice backs out of your lining fabric – exactly the same as what you cut out of your main fabric. Mark your darts in the same way too.

Then sew all the darts in both your main and lining fabrics, and sew the shoulders together of the lining pieces, and of the main pieces.

Once that’s done, you’ll sew the main and lining bodice pieces together, right sides together. Sew around the armholes and neck, but not the side seams or back seams. Trim and clip curves – or kill two birds with one stone and use pinking shears like me!

Turn the bodice right sides out (pull the back bodice pieces through the shoulders to the front), and give it a good press.

Now it’s time to sew the side seams together. You’ll sew the main bodice front to the main bodice back, and the lining front to the lining back. So open out the raw edges where you’ve already joined your front to backs, and start by matching the seams together so it’s nice and neat. Pin (or clip!) those raw edges together, and sew down. Repeat for the other side seam.

Now on to the skirt: sew the back pieces to the front piece, down the sides – and finish the seam (I overlocked – this fabric frays!!). You’ll have a long piece now – don’t sew the backs together yet.

To attach the bodice to the skirt, you’ll move the lining out of the way and pin the main bodice right sides together to the skirt. Hopefully your side seams will match nicely. Sew all the way across, remembering not to sew the lining down. Press all the seam allowance upwards.

Now it’s time to insert a concealed zip. Pay attention to the back bodice/skirt seams matching. The top of the zip tape should hit the top of the bodice, so that when we fold the lining over, the actual zip will go all the way to the top.

Once the zip is in, you can hand sew the lining to the inside of the dress. Your seam allowance should be pressed upwards. Press your lining’s seam allowance to the wrong side. Now you can overlap the bottom of the lining over the raw edges/seam allowance of the main fabric. Ideally pin and tack, especially if you’re using a slippery fabric like rayon as you may find that the fabric has slipped about and you have to alter the size of your pressed up lining seam allowance to get a clean fit. Hand sew a ladder stitch all the way around; you’ll also go down the zip too, so everything is all neatly enclosed.

Finally it’s time to hem! You can choose a narrow hem or for a lightweight rayon like I used, a rolled hem is perfect.

Ta-dah! I’ll finish with a photo of myself and my girls in their semi-matching dresses at the wedding.

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