Simplicity 1881: Making Strides on the Sundress

I had some opportunity this weekend to further my sundress goals.

Last time, I left off having created the front and back of the bodice, complete with facings and understitching.  Next up was the fun part of connecting those and adding a collar.

1)  We begin with the usual antics of pattern instructions.  This was quite the intimidating picture, and also a pinning and spatial arrangement nightmare.


Due to the stripey nature of my fabric, this picture is probably not terribly helpful.  The important part is that the goal here was to attach front to back, on the right side (stitching indicated by the number 1).  Then you only stitch between the notches (or dots) on the left side (shown by number 2) because this is eventually the side that gets the zipper.  The front of the bodice is on top of the back piece in this picture, so the right side actually appears on the left.



2)  After making a single circular bodice piece, it was time to connect the collar.  I had applied interfacing at the very beginning, and then I stitched the front collar piece to the two back collar pieces at the seams, matching notches.  I then pressed the seams open.  Have I mentioned I hate ironing, even though it is so very useful?  Below is a shot of a front collar piece (prior to being attached to the backs), with a jewelry piece I am considering for decoration at the end.  I have several turquoise beads to go on either side of it.



I then pinned the collar to the bodice along the outer edge.  The two blue dots in the front center indicated where the keyhole space should be left (I pointed at them with red arrows).  I used the notches to help with lining the rest of it up.



After stitching these pieces together, I had to attach the facing to the collar.  I put the collar facing down right sides together with the collar piece that was already attached to the bodice, and this time stitched along the inside ring, and down the edges at the back.  The final collar step was pressing the rest of the seams under, and then top-stitching along the outer collar edge, with the front of the bodice up.  Hooray for not having to slip stitch! 😀  Below, the leftmost picture is after attaching the outer collar, the other two pictures are after the facing and top-stitching were completed.  You can also see the difference in the bodice with and without the gathering.  I love Deidre, she made the gathering part much simpler, it was easier to tell how much was needed.


3)  Finally, add the waistband.  But first, more pinning.  I had to attach the front waistband to the back, again at the right side.  The left side had to be left open for the zipper.  Here, Deidre models the bodice after the waistband attachment.  As you can see, I will need to take this in at the sides.  I think the best time to do that will be after the skirt is attached and before the zipper gets installed.



I made good progress, and was pleased that despite my biggest concerns with the collar it was not a terrible hassle to attach it.  The instructions weren’t bad except for Step 7.  They are a little jumbled up, order wise.  I think the skirt steps are first (I skipped those and will come back to them), then bodice A, then bodice B sleeveless, then bodice B with sleeves, etc.  But all in all, I am happy with this pattern.  I hope I am as happy with the finished dress.  My last project Runway dress has been worn only once, due to some zipper failings, among other things…


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