Today’s the day we start sewing! First up is sewing the shoulders. As an overall note: I’ll be showing you how to make the Christine Jonson pattern, which is very similar to other classic wrap dresses, so the steps should be the same. However, if you’re making a fixed wrap dress (which doesn’t actually open), the steps may be different, so you should consult your instructions.
If you’re not using the Christine Jonson pattern: first sew any darts or tucks, and sew the front bodice to front skirt pieces (left and right), and back bodice to back skirt pieces.
Now, let me introduce you to the joy that is Wonder Tape. It’s basically double sided sticky tape that holds fabric together and then dissolves when the garment is washed (it also doesn’t gum up your sewing machine needle). The first use is helping us do the shoulders really precisely! It can be hard with slippery jersey fabrics, and this way you don’t have to worry about the pieces shifting or hitting the serger knife with an errant pin. However, if you prefer then by all means use pins, or wonder clips or even nothing!
So: put a strip of Wonder Tape on the right side of the back shoulder, so that it will be within the seam allowance.
Peel off the backing of the tape
Place the front wrap piece, right sides together, onto the back piece – the tape will stick the two pieces together and stop them shifting while you sew (although bear in mind it’s not a strong bond, so be careful with the pieces!).
Now, over to the serger/sewing machine. Sew that shoulder! If you’re serging, remember to leave a tail of threads at each end – you don’t need to deal with them because they’ll be cut off by other seams coming up.
If you want, you can insert clear elastic into the shoulders as well, to stabilize them further. To do this, you can stick on the elastic with yet more tape and serge over both bits of fabric and the elastic to secure it into place. Or, you can serge first, then put the elastic on top and serge again. Note that the elastic should *just* be caught in your stitching, and will mostly be in the seam allowance. As you can see below, I haven’t used clear elastic because I find that the knit stay tape is sufficient to avoid stretching.
And, repeat for shoulder 2. Done! You can now drape it over your shoulders and swoosh around in the mirror admiring your almost-dress.
Up tomorrow: the neckline. Any questions for today?