Today is going to be fun because we turn the bodice into an actual dress. If you do not want to do the inseam pockets you can simply sew up the two side seams without them. In this case skip steps 16-20.
Before starting to construct the skirt, you need to finish all edges of all four pocket pieces. You can see that I serged all edges of mine.
Also, finish the outer side edges for View A and B and the two center front edges for View B.
(It’s not a bad idea to mark your notches with something like chalk before finishing your edges as the little snips that you clipped into your seam allowances will probably be lost once you finish them.)
View B Only
Step 15 – With right sides together, line up your two skirt front pieces along the center edge, matching notches (Note that the center edges are not serged only because they were the selvage and so I didn’t need to worry about unraveling, but usually they would need to be finished in your desired method before moving forward. Stitch, starting at the top and ending at the dot (mine is marked with the yellow tailors tack). Backstitch securely.
Press seams open above the dot and continue to press at 1/2” below.
Step 16 – With right sides together, pin one pocket piece to a coordinating front skirt side seam, matching notches. Stitch at 3/8” seam allowance (this will allow the pocket seams to hide inside of the pocket by 1/8″) from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket. Repeat for other 3 pockets and side seams.
Step 17 – Press each pocket and seam allowances away from the skirt.
Step 18 – Pin the front and back skirt together along both side seams, the right side of the front skirt facing the right side of the back skirt and the pockets extended.
Stitch from the top of the skirt, pivoting at dot (mine is marked by the yellow tailors tack) around the pocket, pivoting again at second dot, and down to the bottom of the skirt. Repeat for the other side.
Step 19 – Clip the seam allowances for the back skirt above and below the pocket. Press the seam allowances above and below the pocket open and press the pocket towards the front skirt.
Step 20 – On the right side of your skirt, press your pocket opening flat, with the pocket still lying against the front of your skirt. Put a few pins in to secure. The pocket seam should hide about 1/8” inside of the pressed fold of your pocket opening.
Make a small bar tack (about 3/8” long) through all layers just above and below the pocket opening. Remove pins. Repeat for other pocket. (A Bar Tack is a set of close and short zigzag stitches used to reinforce places on a garment that withstand a lot of stress. You can experiment around with your settings until you like the width/ length of your stitches, but here is a picture of my machine settings for reference.)
Step 21 – Take your waistband casing and fold 3/4” back on one of the short ends (right sides together).
Stitch along the bottom, unnotched edge at 1/4“ seam allowance for 3/4”.
Clip the corner in the seam allowance and turn the fold right side out.
Press and and stitch 5/8” from the folded edge to secure. Repeat for the other short end of the waistband casing.
Step 22 – Continue to turn under 1/4” along the long, unnotched edge for the entire length of the casing and press.
Pin the notched edge to the top of the skirt, wrong side of the waistband casing to the right side of the skirt, matching notches. There will be a gap at center front. Baste at a scant 1/2” seam allowance from the top.
Edgestitch along the bottom folded edge of the casing, backstitching at both ends. (*Note – the diagram below does not show the center front seam for view B.)
Step 23 – With right sides together, pin the bodice to the skirt along the waistline, matching notches. Stitch. Finish the seam allowance according to your desired method and press seam allowance up towards the bodice.
Step 24 – For an easier sewing experience, or to add some contrast, you can also buy cording from your local fabric store instead of making it as described below.
To create your drawstring, first sew the two tie pieces together to create one long tie. To do this, line up one small end of each of the tie pieces. With right sides together, stitch at 1/4” and press the seam allowance open.
Fold the entire tie in half lengthwise (wrong sides touching) and press to create a crease.
Open. Fold each long edge back towards the crease you just created (wrong sides touching) and press again.
Now fold the entire tie in half along the original crease.
Edgestitch along the long open side, backstitching on both ends.
Step 25 – Finish the ends either by tying a knot or folding them over a couple of times and stitching. This can be tricky because it is such a small area to sew. I find that putting a bit of masking tape on top of the folded and pressed end makes it easier to control and then I just tear the tape off at the end.
Thread the drawstring through the waistband casing using a safety pin and tie in a bow at center front.
Distribute the gathers evenly around the waistline and press.
That’s it for today! As always, leave comments or questions below. Tomorrow we finish it all up with the slit and hems.