Okay, time to actually sew! We’re going to do steps 1-12 today, meaning we’ll get through the sleeveless (View A) bodice finishing. I use a very different method for the armholes than what you see in the instructions, so please check it out. I’ll be back soon with View B bodice sleeves and finishing.
Make sure to transfer all pattern darts and markings to the wrong side of your fabric and lining.
Pin and sew all the darts (fabric and lining), backstitching at the beginning and tying off the threads by hand at the point.
Use a tailors ham to press the darts. Waist darts should be pressed to center front or center back respectively, and bust darts should be pressed down.
Next, I highly recommend interfacing your back zipper opening on the bodice with strips of fusible interfacing to keep it from stretching as you insert the zipper. I like this fusible stay tape but you can also just cut 1.25” wide strips of fusible interfacing.
Attach the neckline interfacing pieces. I used a fusible interfacing (rather than sew-in), so I fused it to the lining rather than the fabric, to avoid showing a line on the right side of the fabric.
Sew the bodice front to the bodice back at the shoulders only. Press seam open.
With right sides together, pin and sew the bodice to the lining around the neckline only. Match notches and shoulder seams. I’d recommend drawing in your seamlines around the center front neckline to help get nice crisp points. Also, note the stitching line marks around the neckline—they’re curved, not super square!
Clip into the center front point.
Grade the seam allowances by trimming the lining seam allowance down to about 1/8” and the dress seam allowance to about ¼”.
Make tiny clips about every ¼” around the curved parts of the neckline.
Next, understitch the lining around the entire neckline, making sure that the seam allowances are underneath your needle as you stitch. You will need to break your stitching and re-start again around the front notch.
Press the neckline from the inside, rolling the understitching to the edge of the neckline.
If you’re making View B, STOP HERE! For View A, continue the following steps.
Turn the bodice right sides together again, and pin the lining to the bodice around the C-shape of the armholes. Stitch ALL THE WAY around the armholes (do not leave a gap as shown in the instructions).
Grade the armholes as for the neckline, and clip into the curves.
Now, reach through the each shoulder front to pull each side of the bodice back through, so that it is right sides out. It may be a little tricky because it’s such a small space, but it’s totally manageable!
Understitch the armhole linings as far as you can. You will need to do this in four separate steps, as you will reach a point on each side where you can’t go any further.
Press the armhole edges.
Finally, we’re going to sew the side seams. Lift out the lining from bodice and pin the side seams together, matching the underarm seam.
Turn lining to the inside of the bodice. You have a completed bodice!