Use sharp scissors and stitch to the absolute end but make sure that the stitching line is not cut. If you want loose fitting dress donot make the darts — simple. Follow any specific directions on your pattern for sewing additional sections of your dress. If you are using a dress pattern, follow the guide to take your measurements with a soft tape measure.
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Mark the point as X. Make a curved shape of the armhole from L-X-G — this is the back sleeve line. Mark this point as N. L-Y-G is the front armhole line. This is the back piece which is cut on both the pieces. Remove one of the pieces and mark the front armhole and the neckline on the remaining piece. You can finish the neckline with a simple facing or make piping like I have done here.
Checkout the post on facing pattern for more details on making facing for the neckline. Measure around the neckline and the armhole lines to cut the piping fabric. Checkout this post on piping for more details on how to make and sew them.
Stitch the piping on to the neckline with a zipper foot. Align the cut edge of the neckline and piping cut edge. When you reach the back over lap the ends like below so that you will get an almost seamless line. Turn the piping to the other side and top stitch the piping in place.
For the neckline I would clip the piping seam allowance to make sure that the piping stretches and press in place. Hand stitch the piping edges to the bodice with whip stitches. Join the side seams and do the hem. Mark the measurements either directly on to fabric or make a paper pattern.
Checkout the post on cutting fabric for more details. If you donot know how to read a tape measure or take your own measurements read the posts before proceeding. Neck depth of back neck and front neck are personal preferences.
For the back neck line square down from H to the bust line at K. Join I-H through this point. This is the back armhole line. Mark the armhole as follows — Square down from H to the armhole depth line you have drawn at J-I. This is the back armhole as shown in the picture as red. Join H-N-I as the front armhole line. Make sleeve pattern following the drafting tutorial here.
There are more than 40 types of sleeves you can make for your bodice. Check it out if you are interested. The length is as per your preference — just measure from the waist to whatever length you want. I have taken a 36 inch length so when you take the back piece as well you need 68 inches of cloth which is about 2 meters 2.
Cut out the pieces for the bodices and the skirt pieces and the sleeve pieces. Fold the fabric by half lengthwise first and then by half again width wise. This is so that you can mark the front and back pieces together. If you are sewing with a slippery fabric or a sheer fabric you may want to cut in single layers. I am using a lining for the bodice part — infact it is an underlining which is treated the same as the main fabric.
You can baste along the armholes and diagonally with long basting stitches with a hand needle and thread so that they stay in place without slipping. To cut the skirt pieces I folded the 2 meter cloth by half first and then folded them widthwise.
I had a 45 inch cloth so took 22 inches for each folded side. I rounded the edge by going up some 3 inches otherwise it will hang down awkwardly. Make the front button placket for the front bodice. You can easily make the placket with a single piece of fabric. Just follow the directions given below — it is the same directions as I have given in the post on 3 ways to make a placket. Mark a parallel line 2 centimeters to the right on the bodice — ie as you look at it on the right side of the center line- white line in the picture below the measurement of the line is 6.
Mark the center fold line of the bodice. Prepare the placket facing 1. Cut out an interfacing strip 3 inch wide and 7 inch long. The line should be 6 inches long. When you reach the tapered bottom edge, reduce the stitch length. Be careful that you donot waver from the drawn lines.
Cut through the center. Use sharp scissors and stitch to the absolute end but make sure that the stitching line is not cut. Turn the facing to the back of the bodice. Finger press everything in place.
Fold the placket facing on the left side, turned inside. This is better done from the top. The placket will extend a little to the top just for safety. You can cut it off on level with the bodice neckline when sewing the neckline.
Join the bodice to the skirt piece for both front and back. Finish the fabric edges. Skip this if you are going sleeveless and bind the armholes as well. Bind the neckline edge. You can checkout the post on bias binding on learning how to do it. I have used a double folded bias tape to bind the neckline. It is wise to cut bias binding tape some 2 inches more to be safe. Finish the insides with a whip stitch on the inside.
Join the side seams. Make sure that the stitching line is aligned properly. If you want loose fitting dress donot make the darts — simple. Use a narrow hem.
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