Tutorial 21. Assembling the Back Half of the Lining. Reinforcing it with Bones.
I press the front of the dress and its vertical princess seams.
All vertical bones need to be pressed flat and straight.
Be very careful not to deform, stretch out, or distort the cups when you are pressing them. I press them on a cup pressing mould starting from the center. I flatten the bust princess seam and carefully smooth out the cup focusing in particular on the eased in areas.
If you notice any tucks or creases, make sure to press them away.
The cups hold their shape very well! The gathered bones become more flexible and protect them from possible deformation during pressing.
I press open the princess seams of the dress. This type of work is best done on a sleeve ironing board. In this case, you have the seam before your eyes while the rest of the fabric is hanging down the sides of the board without getting in the way.
I examine the face side. There should be no tucks or creases.
The front half of the dress is ready.
Now I need to cover the cups with padding polyester to prevent the bones from pushing through the face fabric. I will also add a pair of loops for putting the dress on a hanger.
I take a thin layer of padding polyester and pin it on the first and then on the second cup. I stick all pins in with their points facing outwards and their heads facing the centre of the cup. Otherwise, the needle of the sewing machine may hit one of the heads and break.
I trim away all excess padding polyester.
And I stitch the padding on: I sew a row of stitches along the inner edge of the top perimeter bone of the cup and another row along the outer edge of the bottom perimeter bone of the cup. In this case, the seam allowance at the top of the cup will be neat and thin after I trim away all excess padding. At the same time, the bottom perimeter bone will stay covered up.
I start sewing the padding on the cups.
Do not forget to put hanging loops at the armscyes.
I remove the pins and trim away all excess padding.
I make additional bar tacks on the loops to prevent their ends from sticking up when the dress is put on a hanger.
The front half of the lining is fully finished!
It is time to work on the back half of the lining.
I sew the vertical princess seams with a 1.2cm seam allowance. I have serged the edges in advance.
I carefully align the princess seam edges of the pieces whenever I pass from duplicated to non-duplicated fabric. I spread out the entire princess seam and keep aligning the edges section after section as I sew. This allows me to achieve a neat even princess seam.
I always do this with long princess seams regardless of whether on a skirt or a dress, face fabric or lining fabric. This compensates for the stretching out of fabric cut on the bias.
I topstitch the princess seam in the area duplicated with iron-on fabric spreading it open as I stitch.
The same thing is done with the other back princess seam: I sew it and then topstitch it.
You don't have to trim the back princess seams lengthwise but you should definitely trim their ends at an angle.
Before reinforcing the back pieces with bones, I usually sew a row of stay-stitches along the top edge to mark their supposed top border.
I put vertical bones on the back pieces.
This time I am using straight narrow Rigilene bones. I seal their ends with masking tape. I secure the bones with two parallel rows of stitches which start 5mm below the top row of stay-stitches and stop about 2mm above the bottom edge of the iron-on fabric.
I put bone 16 on the central back piece, bone 15 along the princess seam, and bone 17 on the side back piece.
The first half of the back is now reinforced with bones.
I put symmetric bones on the other half.
Now both halves of the back are ready.
Next, I need to prepare the assembled lining for a fitting.
I set my sewing machine to the longest stitch length to temporarily sew the back central seam (from the notch which marks the end of the zipper down to the bottom) and the side seams.
The central back seam is sewn with a 2cm seam allowance.
I sew the side seam. I start sewing with a 2cm seam allowance but I will gradually bring it down to 1.5cm to slightly increase the fullness in the stomach and the hips to match the size of the petticoat.
The other side seam was sewn in two goes: first I stitched from a point about 10cm below the edge of the iron-on fabric up to the top of the bodice and then I turned the garment around and stitched from the same point down to the bottom of the dress. It was easier to maintain the right length of the side seam this way.