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Spring Fling Dress Tutorial - Part 3

Find Part 1 to this tutorial HERE.

Version B
The Fairy Princess

Sewing the Skirt - Version B
Step 1
Sew the skirt lining together, matching right-sides, and stitching a 1/2"-5/8" seam along the edge with the salvages.  Press your seam so it lays flat.  

You will see mine sewn together below.  The lining fabric I used frayed pretty easily, so I turned under the fabric behind the seam and stitched it down the skirt (enclosing the raw edge).

Step 2
Sew your two pieces of sheer fabric together to form the main part of your skirt.  Match right-sides together, and stitch 1/2" to a 5/8" seam down the sides with your salvages.

Like the lining fabric, I turned under the fabric behind the seam and stitched it down the skirt (enclosing the raw edge).  See image below.

Step 3
Hem both the skirt lining, and the sheer fabric.  It is easier to do it now, before you gather it.  Turn under one side of each part of the skirt, anywhere between 1/4" to 1/2", and then once more.  Sew along the edge of the fabric.

Press your hem flat.

Step 4
Add a ruffle to your sheer skirt!  Refer to Part 1 - Step 4 of this tutorial on how to create a gather in your ribbon.  You may also opt to use a pre-ruffled ribbon or trim here.  If you are creating your own ribbon ruffle, you will need 2 to 3 times the length of your fabric to get a nice gather.

Once you have your ruffle or trim, sew it to the bottom of your skirt.  I chose to match my stitching of the ribbon to the hem.  Here, I am sewing on the gathered ribbon, a little at a time, as I straighten out my gathers and fix any twists along the way.

Step 5
Using pins, your skirt lining and the shear skirt fabric into four equal sections.  For the lining fabric you will use the seam as your back.  Fold the loop of fabric in half with the seam on one side, and mark the opposite side with a pin for the front.  Next, place the seam and front pin together, and place pins on each side.  You will then have your sections marked, as shown below.

This image is from Version A, so disregard the differences... just notice the pins at the top.

Do the same for the sheer skirt fabric.  Here you will have two seams, which you will place at the sides of the dress, so you will need to mark the middle for the front and back of the dress by matching these two seams.

Step 6
Add a gathering stitch to the un-hemmed side of the lining fabric and the sheer skirt fabric, starting and stopping at each marked section.  When complete, you will have made four gathering seams on each row.

Do this by adjusting the stitch length on your machine to the longest setting.  I chose to sew my gathering stitch at 1/2" since these fabrics tends to fray more easily.

Step 7
Use pins to mark the front, back, and sides of your bodice.  Do this by first folding it in half and pinning the front, center.  Next, fold the back sides in to meet that point, and pin each side.  Pin the front side of the bodice (with the Heat & Bond) only.

Step 8
Pin your top row of fabric to your bodice.

Making sure that the backside of your bodice is hanging down and out of the way, take your sheer fabric skirt and pin it to the bodice, right sides together.  Do this by lining up your pins, front of bodice to front of sheer fabric skirt, sides to sides with seams, and back to back.  Make sure that you pin each side of the open back of the bodice around the point you have marked on your sheer skirt.

Step 9
Gather your sheer fabric to match the width of each section of the bodice.  Do this by gently pulling one thread from your gathering stitch and pushing the gathers through each section.  The image below is from Version A, but the same technique applies here.

When I get my length right for each section, I like to knot my gathering threads together between each section, then even out the gathers.  I find this makes it easier.

Next, add some pins to hold everything in place.

Again, I recommend only pinning to the front-side of the bodice, not including the back-side, which in the image above, is still hanging down inside the dress.

Step 10
Sew the sheer skirt to the bodice.  I decided to sew along my gathering stitch here, using a zig-zag.  I thought this would help flatten out the bulk a bit.

Note:  Be careful that you have pulled all of the raw edge away from your stitching.  If not, you may find it poking out under your bodice.

Step 11
Repeat Steps 7-10 to attach your skirt lining.
Pin the lining to the bodice.

Gather the lining and add pins to hold it in place.

Sew the lining to the bodice with a zig-zag stitch.

Step 12
To finish attaching the skirt, I added an additional row of zig-zag stitching (you will see in the image above, on the far right near the raw edge), which you may or may not choose to do.  Again, I did this to flatten out the extra bulk.

Add a final, straight stitch at about 5/8", below your zig-zag stitching, to get a nice line on your completed skirt.

Your skirt is complete!

Step 13
Add your zipper!  (These photos are all from Version A, but the same technique applies)
In this version the zipper does not run down into the skirt, and is only found on the bodice.  If you feel like the extra room is needed in the dress for putting it on and taking it off, you may need to make some adjustments to extend the zipper down further in this version.  However, it worked well for my daughter's dress.

Sew in place with the outside of the dress facing you.  When you do so, you will notice your stitching ends about 1/2" above the bottom of your bodice fabric inside the dress.

I sewed about an 1/8" from the fabric edge to secure the zipper.

Step 14
With your dress turned inside-out you are going to stitch the back-side of your bodice in place.  To do this, pull the skirt of your dress through the bodice as it is in this picture.

Turn the lower edge of the bodice under about 1/2" and stitch along the edge to complete it.

Step 15
Attach your straps!
I put the dress on my daughter and pinned the straps where they should be.

Secure the straps by sewing them to the top edge of the bodice (extra hanging inside, unlike you see in the image above).  Cut off the excess, leaving about 1" or so below the seam.

Step 16
Embellish if you like!  I made a fabric rose from the lining fabric and added some iridescent ribbon to hang down below it.  You can find lots of tutorials on how to create these online.  However, you might be happy with your dress just as it is!

Your dress is done!

I'd LOVE to see the dresses you make from this tutorial!

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