Monday, February 13, 2012

NattyJane's Dress Variation, Part 4: The Skirt and Finishing the Dress!

With the bodice complete, it's time to assemble the skirt and then sew it all together and add the finishing touches.
Since I'm using a somewhat thick cotton for this green dress, I'm not going to line the skirt in this tutorial.

The skirt:
1) Baste pleats, press toward center, and stitch 1/4 inch down from the top of the skirt.
2) With right sides together, sew the front skirt panel to the back skirt panel along the left side seam. Trim seam allowance and press open. (For this side seam I used a french seam for neatness).
The right side seam will be unfinished at this time so that the side zipper can be put in.

Attaching the skirt to the bodice:
Start by pinning the bodice closed down the front button placket. Along the bottom edge, there should be a one inch overlap of the two sides.

To make the inside of the dress nice and neat, the skirt will be sewn to the shell bodice first and then the lining bodice will be hand sewn to cover the waist seam allowance. This is a bit tricky because of the button placket at the front of the bodice, but I'll do my best to explain the way I made it work.

The above photo is the inside view of the bodice button placket. To sew the skirt to only the shell bodice, do the following:

To pin up the left side of the lining bodice, a few stitches are taken out. To pin up the right side of the lining bodice, a small slit is cut upward.

Once the bodice lining is pinned out of the way of the bodice shell and button placket, sew a few stitches across the bottom of the placket.
Now you can add the skirt.

With right sides together, pin and then sew the skirt to the bodice shell. Make sure to line up the side seams.
The seam will be pressed up toward the bodice, but to do this you must first do the following:

Cut a slit in the seam just to the right of the button placket (just like was done to the bodice lining a few steps ago).

The seam can now be pressed up toward the bodice.
Next, insert the invisible side zip to the bodice shell and skirt, and finish the side seam.

With the zipper in place, tuck in the edges of your lining along the skirt seam (like the above photo) and hand sew.
Remove basting from skirt pleats and sew skirt hem to desired length.
Last, but not least, sew your buttons and buttonholes down the front button placket.

Truth be told, I haven't gone through the last few steps of this tutorial on my own dress, so it isn't quite finished. But once it is, I'll be sure to share some photos of the finished project!
I hope this tutorial was easy enough to follow, but if you have any confusion, feel free to contact me!
Also, I would absolutely love to see any dresses that are made following this tutorial! So please let me know if you put one together!
Happy sewing!


  1. Thanks so much for doing the tutorial. I'll be sure to let you know if I make the dress.


  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial! It looks like even I can manage this! :-)
    Definitively my next project!

  3. Hi! I am working through this tutorial and I think that I will not actually need the side zipper (I am small busted and I am going to put it on over my head).... I am wondering if the buttons are working buttons and at what point you put them in? I am thinking I will have to do the button holes before attaching the skirt. :)

  4. my email is : themaniesfamily at mac dot com ---- thanks!!!