Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ready to Assemble the Bodice

The bodice is ready to assemble, but not today---too many other things I need to do first: eat lunch, give Em a bath, practice my oboe, and attend a wedding. :)

In the short time I had for sewing today, I managed to get the bodice parts of the Vintage Sundress prepped and ready to assemble. This included sewing 8 darts, sewing and turning 2 straps, and sewing and turning 2 sash ties.

My favorite tool for turning tubes, both wide or narrow, is the Fasturn. The Fasturn works great for those teeny tiny spaghetti straps as well as for wide tubes.

The following pictures show how I usually sew darts. I'm not expert by any means, but this method works for me.

First of all, I mark my darts by clipping the dart "legs" and marking the top of the dart with a pin. I think you can see the leg clips in the picture. I drew lines to show where I will be stitching---hopefully my sewing is straighter than the drawn lines.

I then fold the fabric in half along the dart, matching the dart legs together. Using a sticky note, index card, or piece of paper (whatever I find handy on my sewing table), I place it along the stitching line and use it as a straight edge guideline as I sew. The trick is to sew along the straight edge, not through it. As I approach the top of the point, marked by the pin, I shorten my stitch length to next-to-nothing--1.0 or 1.5 on my machine-- and I sew off the fabric for a few stitches. This "knots" the thread, eliminating the need to back-stitch at the dart point, and thus eliminating unnecessary bulk. I've never had a dart come undone doing it this way.

The sewn dart on the inside:

The sewn dart from the outside, after pressing. No pucker!

This dress has a total of 8 darts: 4 on the outside and 4 on the lining. I am using batiste for the lining of the dress.

My excitement about finishing this dress is growing. I love to sew for long periods of time, and this sewing in short periods of time is about doing me in. I can't wait to put this bodice together--sigh--I really need to get going with the other things that must be done first.

Ruth : )


  1. I am fascinated by the need for so many darts in a little girl's sundress. Obviously something done in "olden times" (when I would have worn that dress--and learned to sew, coincidentally).

  2. I am shocked that I do darts the same way you do! I feel quite proud of myself that I have a method that's the same as someone who does as good work as you. LOL

  3. Great method for sewing darts.

  4. I love these fabrics that you are using. Also like the dart tutorial. My dd has just had to make darts and I think this method will make it easier for her to do better darts. Heck, it will make it easier for me to line up my darts to sew them. Thanks!

  5. great idea for sewing darts...seems to be faster than mine!