Saturday 12 July 2014

Sew bodice - Summer dress free pattern

Now that you have downloaded the pattern cut your pattern pieces its time to sew. Today let's sew the bodice.
How to sew summer dress bodice

Summer dress bodice curved
 1. Take the front bodice, bodice lining and "1 front" piece. Please note I'll be using a lot of "1front" "1 back" etc.. all in line with the cutting layout described in the cutting layout
Summer dress gathering
 2. Mark the center and quarter points for both the bodice and 1 front. I always mark the center and quarter point, this helps to align to make even gathers. Sew 3 rows of gathering on top of 1 front. Don't be lazy - dont sew 1 or 2 basting stitches. For full tutorial please refer this tutorial that compares different gathering  and the outcome.
bodice with gathering
 3. I like to gather it smaller than the bodice so I can ease it later.
 4. Pin the wrong side of the 1 front with right side of the front lining.
5. Now joing the right side of 1 front with right side of the bodice.
 6. Another view to show right and wrong sides.
wrong right side for summer dress
 7. Yet another view while I sew it.
perpendicular fabric gathered
 8. While sewing try to keep the 1 front piece perpendicular to the sewing line. This way you will not get gathers facing all directions. For full details, tips & tricks refer to gathering tutorial
remove gathering stitches using seam ripper
 9. Remove the gathering stitches with a seam ripper. I usually pull them out and only use seam ripper for the stubborn ones but if you have delicate fabric you'd need to be careful
How to trim to remove excess fabric to reduce bulk
 10. I then cut off 2 layers of fabric close the seam to reduce bulk.
Curved bodice
 11. Here it is. Press it and the front bodice is done.
Tier 1 for summer dress
 12. Now take the 1 back piece.
 13. Fold over 1.5 cm (the seam allowance) and then fold again (For 2T fold 3.3 cm, for 3T fold 3.3 cm, for 4T fold 3.2 cm, for 5-6T fold 3.2, for 7-8T fold 3cm)

Stitch to insert elastic 14. Sew as shown in white
How to Insert elastic using safety pin
 15. Insert elastic with a safety pin as mentioned in the chart
Secure elastic
 16. Pin elastic on both ends. At this point in time you could join the front and back bodice and try it on if it fits and you could adjust the elastic accordingly
 17. This is how it looks.
How to attach bias binding to bodice
 18. Pin the bias cut tape (careful not the straight grain tape) to the inside of the front bodice and sew over the creased line.
Bias binding the bodice
 19. Turn it to front and pin.
 20. Sew on front.
Summer dress mela bodice
 21. Sew the front and back bodice togather. The back will be a bit smaller so it fits snug.
Mine is smaller than 2T as I cut the elastic 1 cm less.
Indian summer dress bodice
The front of the bodice. That's it for today. Let's finish the dress tomorrow. Are you with me yet? Any questions please ask.

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  1. What a beautiful fabric it is! And, the description is so clear!

    1. Thanks Sindhu. Happy you found the description clear. :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you for the pattern, really pretty dresses. I've got one cut out and two more planned. However, I'd like to know what seam allowances you are using please? And how do you join the front and back bodices? Do you end up with a raw seam or do you encase the back within the two layers of the bodice front? I thought a raw seam might be itchy in the armpits (even if, or especially if you finish it by zigzagging (don't have a serger). But I couldn't work out how to encase the seam. Wondered how you did this as you have made so many. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary, All seam allowances are 1.5 cm.
      Did you mean joining the front and back at step 21 here? -
      Let me know so I can help pls.

    2. Yes, that's exactly what I meant. I decided in the end that I would press out the seam, and I've attached the edge of the seam (i.e. the cutting line) to the rest of the bodice with a herringbone stitch, to try and flatten it neatly.
      I've finished one in size 3 now, I need to upload the photos. I tried it on my granddaughter who is 2 and a half, and it fits her quite well round her body, but it's quite long. I will probably need to remake the two lower seams so the two bottom layers aren't quite so deep. But she likes it! At least I now know to make the one for her younger cousin a bit shorter, I'll make hers in size 2, and the one for the older cousin in size 4. The older one is not yet three but she's very tall for her age.
      Apart from my confusion about how to put the bodice seams together, it all went very well. I cheated and used bought bias binding tape though. And I'm afraid I'm too lazy to do three rows of gathering!

  4. I've got hard copy of this, sadly not an electronic version, but it appears that Preethi is no longer keeping this blog up to date. Shame, as it's a nice pattern. If you like the style, this is similar.


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