Is it really only Part 2 of this dress??

I guess I’ve been a little stingy on the updates. I prefer to make larger updates with lots of substance and progress rather than more frequent, smaller updates in part because smaller updates just make me feel like I have so much left to do.

I’ve been making really good progress on the dress between knitting two gifts, teaching my cat to walk on a harness, cleaning the apartment to keep myself sane, and reorganizing the layout of everything to make space for Joe’s stuff. I refuse to wait until the last minute to make space, otherwise I will crack the day of the final move and be completely useless. I might still crack in the meantime, but at least then I have time to recover.

The Situation Room (aka, the sewing/office room) has been moved around three times and I think we’re getting closer to a final layout. The bookshelves will eventually be tossed in favor of giant cubby hole shelving units from Ikea. I plan to line the entire living room wall with them and fill them with books, fabric, yarn, board games, and whatever else I can fit in there. This should, in theory, free up even more space in the SR since a lot of it is my craft bins.

As for the cat harness, well, don’t ask.

But enough about other things, back to the sewing progress!

After refitting the dress and trimming the new seam allowances (boy were there new seam allowances), it came to commit to the lining fabric and do some more cutting. I’ve never worked with lining fabric before for my everyday clothes. Most of what I make is done in the wee hours of the morning, bleary eyed, but determined to wear something new to work the next day with the only goal to have something wearable before I stumble to bed.

It works for the most part, until I realize that those pleats would fall just a little bit nicer or the skirt wouldn’t ride up the side of my stockings if it were just lined.

So, here I am, worked with lining for the first time on a dress that was supposed to be quick and easy. But then again, I guess that would defeat the purpose of it because worthy of a 12 in 12 post. It’s not supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be interesting and challenging.

Pin, pin, pin, pin….

The pinning and cutting went pretty well. I only managed to cut two pieces (our of 7) on the wrong side of the fabric so I was thankful I bought a full 3 yards instead of the recommended 2. I’d remove an outer piece from the pinned dress, pin it down, cut a lining piece, sew one lining piece to another, do the same with the outer fabric, then unpin the next piece from the dress, etc. Since the pieces were not going to be symmetrical, this helped me keep them in order. Naturally, this took much longer than I expected, especially after I’d sew a piece too high up, have to unpick it, and then resew.

Outer fabric pieces sewn together.

Lining fabric pieces sewn together.

With the exception of some mismatched hem lengths, it looks pretty good!

And there I was, at the point of no return. It was time to start sewing the lining to the outer fabric. I found this tutorial that looked like it had promise. I read through the instructions, studied the pictures, and had a good feeling that it surely couldn’t be too difficult.

Step 1: Sew the shoulder seams together for the lining and outer dresses.



Step 2: Right sides together, pin the neckline.

The important part here was the match the corners and seams first and then pin between them. Somehow, this actually worked on the first try.

Steps 3 and 4: Trim your neckline as needed. Turn the dress over so the lining side is face up, fold the seam allowance edge down and sew it down.

This part was a little tricky. The tutorial didn’t really specify how far down to sew and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to only sew it to the lining fabric and keep the outer fabric out of the way or if I could sew it to both layers. I opted to sew just 1/8″ to the left (below) my previous seam and sewed it to both layers.

Step 5: Turn the dress. Iron the neckline.

Close up of the front.

Close up of the back.

And this is where I took a break. It’s looking great so far. The neckline is sitting where I want it and there’s only a few odd wrinkles that will either go away with ironing or be hidden in the bias tape.

Next comes the armholes and after fiddling around a bit with the pieces, I can already tell this will be the hardest part for me.

More to come (and soon, I hope)!