Betty Dress Sewalong No. 2: Assembling the Bodice

Hello sewalongers! Today it’s time to start sewing! Who’s excited?

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If you’re not quite ready for this stage you can find our previous sewalong posts here:
Announcement
Measuring and Cutting

The Betty bodice has four darts in the front piece to give it a nice fitted shape. Very fifties! Let’s start with those.

We need to mark the darts onto our fabric before we remove the pattern paper.

notches

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you snip the notches at the base of each dart.

1

Place a pin in the tip of the dart all the way through the pattern and both layers of fabric.

2

Carefully lift the pattern up away from the fabric and, using chalk or a fabric marker, mark a dot at the pin. Turn the whole thing over and mark another dot at the point where the pin pokes through.

3

Remove the pattern from the bodice and open your fabric out. Using a ruler, join the mark you made at the dart tip with the notches at the base of the dart.

4

Repeat for all the darts on the front bodice, and then do the same for the back bodice pieces.

5

Fold your darts along the line you have just drawn.

6

Secure the dart in place with pins.

7

Backstitching at the beginning, sew from the edge of the bodice down to the dart tip. Don’t backstitch at the tip – you will end up with a lumpy end. Not a good look!

8

Instead, just stop sewing and leave the tail ends long.

dart tip 2

Tie these together, easing the knot down to to the tip using a pin. Snip off the ends.

Do this for all four darts on the front bodice, and then do the same for the darts on both back bodice pieces.

12

Press the front bodice darts towards the side seams, and the back bodice darts towards the centre back.

13

Using either a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, or an overlocker, finish the centre back seam and the side seams of the bodice pieces.

14

With right sides together, pin the front and back bodice pieces together.

15

Sew down both side seams before pressing the seam allowance open.

Do not sew the shoulder seams together yet – we’ll get to that later on in the construction, at the same time we insert the facing.

You might like to check the fit of the bodice at this stage. Just pin the shoulder seams together with a 1.5cm seam allowance, and try on.

And that’s it for now! We’ll be back again on Thursday where we’ll be sewing the skirt. If you get stuck with anything don’t forget you can ask us questions in the comments section below.

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