Tutorial 19. Assembling the Front Half of the Lining.
Now that I have marked all bones, I can assemble the front and the back of the dress by sewing down the vertical princess seams.
I will start from the front.
First of all, I need to check whether the hard iron-on fabric holds well enough on the cups. I prefer to secure it additionally by stitching along the perimeter.
The side front piece:
And here is a picture of the stitched hard iron-on fabric on the face of the side front piece. The same kind of stitching is made on the other side front piece.
By the way, I have serged the vertical edges of all pieces: the seam allowances of the side seams are serged along the full length and those of the princess seams – from the bottom up to the border of the iron-on batiste. I have also pressed the pieces after serging the edges.
I stitch along the perimeter of the hard iron-on fabric on the cup of the central front piece as well.
I fold the central front piece in half and even out the princess seam lines to make them symmetric.
The face of the central front piece looks like:
Before joining the pieces, I sew a row of stay-stitches along the neckline of the central front piece (1.2cm from the edge). I start a row from either end of the neckline. The two rows meet right in the centre of the neckline.
The stay-stitches help me highlight the very centre of the neckline on the face and on the inside of the central front lining piece. Please note that the center of the neckline is shifted 1-2mm against the previously made mark on the inside.
I am about to sew the front princess seams of the dress.
Please remember to align the bust lines and not the bust-line notches when sewing the princess seams. The notches only indicate the position of the bust line on the piece!
I align the princess seam edges of the side front piece and the central front piece and stick a pin in the bust line of the side front piece 1.2cm from the princess seam edge.
I bring the pin in a symmetric point on the bust line of the central front piece 1.2cm from the princess seam edge.
I align the edges of the pieces by turning the side piece on the pin. Their bust-line notches don't meet.
I sew the bust princess seam with a 1.2cm seam allowance.
When I was sewing the bust princess seams of the mock-up, I noticed that the waistline notches were somewhat misaligned. I took note of this and I am not trying to get them aligned now, i.e. on the actual garment. There was a small error in the pattern but a 2-3mm mismatch of waistline notches will not affect the overall look and quality of the dress.
A sewn bust princess seam can be either pressed open on a cup pressing mould or spread open and topstitched. And you can topstitch it either down to the end of the cup or down to the end of the iron-on batiste.
I prefer topstitching the seam down to the end of the iron-on fabric. I topstitch it from the face side although some professionals prefer to do it from the inside. It is up to you.
I topstitch the bust princess seam down to the end of the iron-on fabric.
I turn the piece on the needle and sew a row of stitches in the opposite direction.
I trim the seam allowance of the bust princess seam down to about 0.5cm and trim its top ends at an angle.
The same is done with the other bust princess seam. I even out the raw edges of the pieces by pinning them together at the bust line, sew the bust princess seam, topstitch it, and trim the seam allowance.
Here is what the assembled cup look like from the face and the inside of the lining:
I press it on a cup pressing mould. The mould depends on the size of the cup. I adjust the shape of the cup by pressing it in a circular motion and then dab it with a special cushion to help it cool down.
The cup acquires a nice round shape.
I do the same with the other cup. I start pressing from the very top of the bust princess seam and gradually smooth out the cup by pressing it in a circular motion in different directions. I put the piece aside to let it cool down.
Let us return to the question of the central dart. Now that the princess seams have been pressed and the cups have acquired a round shape, there is some fabric gathered underneath them. And it is the best moment for sewing a dart there.
The dart is supposed to be very small − literally just some 5mm.
I sew the dart and secure it in the upward position with another row of stitches. Here is what it looks like from the face and from the inside of the lining: