Flower Girl Dress, Part 8: Skirt/Bodice Assembly

I had forgotten to make a slit in the top back of the skirt for the zipper extension, and after some study, decided that ripping out the seams for 2 inches would be more trouble than it was worth on fray-free net and just cut right in. The organza needed a little placket to stop it from fraying, which I added by hand. Quick and easy.

Pinning the skirt top to the satin bodice proved a little tricky with the need to get the gathers just so and the difference between the very thick gathers on the skirt and the very light-weight satin, but eventually I managed. I pinned and basted the net skirt in first and then did a separate job pinning and basting the broadcloth lining skirt.

I had been going back and forth trying to decide whether or not to sew the other lining skirt with the net ruffle into the waistband with the rest of the skirt layers for weeks. I had been leaning towards including it as the model dress does, but the seam was already so thick that at the last minute I decided to just make it into a separate petticoat with an elastic waist. I figured if I made it separately and then later on decided the elastic waistband was not keeping it in place well enough, I could always baste it to the inside of the dress at the last minute.

The other thing to note is that while the edges of the zipper opening in the lining skirt lined up with the edges of the back opening on the bodice, the net skirt did not. Those ended 1" from the bodice edges so that after the zipper is installed they will butt up against each other, not overlap. And most importantly, not need to be folded back into an incredibly thick and awkward seam.

After everything was basted together, I even managed to get all that floof through the machine without too much cursing. The cursing came after I had machine sewn in a length of ribbon to the seam allowance for stability.

I had used a light pink ribbon in all my models with no ill effects, but on the final dress it was clearly visible from the outside through the ivory satin!

So out it came, though of course it took 2 or 3 times as long to get it out as to put it in.

I didn't have any lighter colored ribbon to use, and no patience for another delay like the one I suffered adjusting the skirt materials with a deadline bearing down upon me, so I decided to use a scrap of the organza left over from the skirt to bind the whole seam allowance. I cut a wide strip, folded it in half and bound the seam allowance just like I would have the edge of a quilt.

With all the gathered layers of net and organza sandwiched between a layer of satin and a layer of broadcloth, it is a hefty seam. Hopefully the binding should serve the same purpose as sewing ribbon into skirt seam allowances and at any rate it looks quite nice having all those wild edges encased.

Bodice and skirt, ready for zipper installation:

Continue: Part 9, Zipper.

- Victoria, 2012-04-21

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