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Georgia Dress Sewalong #5: Assembling the bodice with skinny straps

Dust off your sewing machines ladies, the big day has arrived! No more cutting, no more pattern alterations (hopefully!)... Today we are SEWING! In this fifth instalment of the Georgia Dress Sewalong we will be:

  • Stitching the front and back bodice pieces (all variations)
  • Assembling and basting the skinny straps (skinny strap variation 2 only)
  • Joining the lining (all variations)

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

*For those of you making up the wide collar strap variation 1, we will be showing you how to create and baste the straps in the next post; for now, simply skip the skinny strap part.

**For those of you making up the bonus strapless variation, we will be boning next week (ooh, did I say that out loud?!); for now, just assemble the bodice shell and lining but do not join them together.

*To be taken to all the posts in the Georgia Dress Sewalong, please click here*

Assembling the bodice (all variations)

Begin by taking your two bodice centre front pieces. Place them with right sides together and stitch the central seam with the usual 5/8" or 15mm seam allowance. Start your stitching from the top (remembering to backstitch at the start and finish of your line of stitching!), but end 5/8" or 15mm from the bottom. This will make joining the skirt much easier later on.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Finish the excess and press the seam open. Please note, we don't have an overlocker/serger in the studio at the moment, so we have shown our seams pressed open and not "finished". For a comprehensive tutorial on seam finishes, please see this post.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Now we're going to join the two bodice side front pieces to the centre front. With right sides together, pin at the curve matching notches. Stitch into place down the entire length of the curve, easing out the excess gently as you go. To make pressing this seam easier, we need to snip little triangle notches out of the excess seam allowance before pressing it open:

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

To make pressing this curve even easier, use a tailors ham (we love Kristiann from Victory Patterns' tutorial on Tilly & the Buttons blog).

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand londonassembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Now take your bodice back piece and pin to the righthand side seam, right sides together. Stitch into place and press open. Repeat this entire process for the bodice lining pieces, remembering to stitch the bodice back to the lefthand side seam instead.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Assembling & basting the skinny straps (Variation 2 only)

Take a pair of skinny strap pieces and pin, right sides together. Stitch down each length, this time with just 1/2" or 12mm seam allowance. Trim away the excess - but not too close to the seam!

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Use a safety pin or a paper clip to help you to turn the straps out to the right side.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand londonassembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Give the straps a good press.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Now take your bodice shell and pin one end of each strap centralised between the notches either side of the bust seams. Make sure that your straps are pointing down, and not up and out, or you won't be able to join your lining.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Baste into place with a line of machine stitches about 1/4" or 6mm from the raw edge.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Bring the loose ends of the straps under and up to the bodice back piece and baste into place between the notches.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Joining the lining (all variations)

Take your bodice lining, and with right sides together, pin all long the neckline, matching seams and notches. If making the skinny strap variation 2, keep your straps facing down and out of the way (as shown in the image below).

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Stitch into place all along the neckline with the usual 5/8" or 15mm seam allowance, pivoting at the centre front seam to get a crispy sweetheart shape.

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Clip into the seam allowance at the curves to enable you to turn your lining to the inside and give the whole thing a good press. You should have something that looks like this (but without the straps if making the wide collar strap variation 1, or the strapless variation):

assembling the bodice - georgia dress sewalong - by hand london

Looking pretty damn hot already, no?
  • Elisalex de Castro Peake
  • AW 13-14dressGeorgia DressGeorgia Dress SewalongSewalongsewing

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