Darling Ranges dress sewalong: attaching the skirt & bodice

April 12th, 2012

So how are you all going with your sewing? Well i hope?

Today we’re going to attach the bodice to the skirt!

The nice thing about the Darling Ranges is that the skirt is gathered, so it’s a super easy step!

Sew a line of basting stitches along the top of the skirt just under 5/8″ from the raw edge. Use the longest stitch on your sewing machine and do not backstitch – make sure that you leave nice long threads dangling. You have two options for where to start and stop your basting stitches.

  1. If you’d like the gathers to continue through the placket front, then start and end your basting stitches 1 3/4″ from the edge (as described in the pattern booklet)
  2. If you’d like the gathers to end before the placket (ie your placket will be slightly flatter) then start and end your basting stitches 3 1/2″ from the edge. This is option that will be followed in this example
An easy trick i like to use is to place a pin at the start and end points as a reminder
Personally, I don’t get too fussed about gathers that aren’t perfectly even – but if you are, then you may want to consider sewing an extra line of basting stitches about 3/8″ from the raw edge. The 2 rows will give you more control over your gathers.
Also please note that if your fabric is thicker you may need to sew your basting stitches in sections – ie a row of basting across the left front, across the back and across the right front – that way you can gather up each section of the skirt separately.
To gather the fabric simply hold the fabric still in one hand and pull one of the loose threads with the other. Do this on both sides until your skirt is the same width as the bodice waist.
Lay the bodice open with the right side facing upwards. Lay the skirt on top with right sides facing downwards and match up the waistline making sure that the placket edges and side seams of the skirt match up with the placket edges and side seams of the bodice. Pin at those points, and then even out the gathers of your skirt. If you are following the pattern as is, then you will notice that there will be less gathers in the back of the dress  - this is intended. If you chose to add darts to the back bodice piece (as i showed in last weeks tutorial) then you will simply need to gather the skirt more in the back than you normally would. The back of the skirt is designed to have less gathers than the front of the skirt (due to the ties), so adding more gathers in the back will not harm the dress visual – infact you should result in a similar ratio of gathers in the front as the back.
Sew the skirt to the bodice. I like to sew with the gathers facing upwards so that i can keep an eye on them and make sure they get sewn neatly.
Neaten the raw edge of the waistline. I used a serger. Then press the seam upwards.
This last step is optional – but i really like to do it – topstitch the seam flat and you’re done.
See you tomorrow to work on the placket!

2 Responses

  1. regena says:

    http://thedistracteddomestic.blogspot.com/2011/05/rufflegather-tutorial.html
    this is another way to gather…a lot fewer broken threads.
    I just ordered your pattern and I can’t wait to play with it. I just wish I didn’t have to alter and re grade the top part..”I am a”tad” bigger than your largest size . ps……going the sleeveless route first!
    oh, safe and peaceful move

  2. Vernelle says:

    Your explanation and instructions are so clear and concise, even a true beginner should be able to make this dress without any problem.

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