This is the part where I basically stick the skirt to the bodice, eloquent hey! This is also the part where the millions of pictures give way to a few instructions reviewing the pattern and a fabulous picture of the finished article. You got it, I made this dress across my sewing classes and the class where I finished it off I forgot to take my CAMERA! As Homer would say, DOH!
So, where I left us in Part 1 I had a beautiful bodice with a waistband attached.
If you have followed the pattern cutting instructions you will have 3 layers of skirt, a lining, net and the outer fabric. The pattern for the tulip skirt recommends first cutting a vertical slit in the back for the button extension but as I was using a different bodice it did not have a button extension. I decided to miss out that step and in the end it wasn't necessary as there was more than enough room to get my little girl in the dress with the buttons undone.
Step 1 - You will need to sew 2 lines of gathering stitches on each of the 3 layers ensuring to set your stitch length to as long as possible and making sure you have long threads at each end. Next on each layer hold one end of the threads and gather the fabric. For this step I measured around the bottom of my bodice and made sure that my end gathered strip was the same length.
Step 2 - Once all 3 layers are gathered and the same length I sewed them together so it's an easier project to handle, trust me 3 layers of fabric gathered this much is BIG!
Step 3 - In the picture below you can see that the waistband is open and you are basically going to sandwich your 3 layers inbetween. The book recommends just sewing them together but this would leave you with 5 layers of fabric edges exposed and even overlocked I felt this could be a little prickly so my fab sewing tutor suggested first sewing the skirts to the inside part of the waistband.
Please excuse my makeshift picture. If you imagine the red shape is the skirt then you are going to pin it, with right sides together, in this position on the underside of the inner waistband and sew.
You will now have a pretty inner waistband with your skirts attached.
Step 4 - Next you need to turn the dress to the right side and ensuring that the skirts are securely tucked inside, fold under then topstitch the front waistband to the skirts.
Step 5 - Next step is to sew the buttonholes and buttons. I'm posting a buttonhole tutorial on Thursday (in conjunction with the UK Sewing Directory blog) so you could either wait for that or using your machine's instruction manual sew the four buttonholes and buttons on. I chose beautiful flower buttons.
Step 6 - The final step is to hem the lining and outer skirts (the net doesn't need hemming).
Here is the final article, I haven't been able to get my little one to stand still for long enough to pose so it's an empty dress but I'm sure you'll agree with all that net it's actually quite full!!!