Make Do Monday – Sewing the bodice of the dress

It is Monday again and it’s time to thread up your sewing machines, today we will start to assemble our dresses!


For this sew-along we are using the 1587 Simplicity pattern. Click here to catch up!


I’ve chosen to work with this crepe backed satin in a royal blue colour as I think it will look nice all year round. I’ve also got some thread and an invisible zipper in blue. When making this kind of dress in the 1940s, poppers or buttons could have been used instead, although zips were also around. You can follow the sewing directions in the pattern, here we are going through all of the stages, just in a slightly different order.

  1. Start by making a loop out of your fabric which is going to sit in the back of the neck. You will also need a small button for the closing but lets save this detail for a later stage.
  2. Zig/zag, overlock or turn over twice when making finishing the neckline of the bodice front yokes.
  3. Make the pleats on the bodice yokes front and baste stitch across them to keep them in place.
  4. Now take the back yoke piece and stitch on the loop where you marked the notches on the back bodice piece. Pin and stitch the on the back facing, apply fusible interfacing if you want to. Make sure it’s on the wrong side of the back facing.
  5. Slash between the stitching line so that you’ve got a deep V in the centre back.
  6. Make notches around the neckline if needed and under-stitch on top of the facing on the inside, pressing the seam allowance  towards the facing.
  7. Turn the facing to the inside and pull the loop out. Press with an iron.
  8. We are now going to match the bodice yoke front pieces to the shoulder seams of the bodice back piece, matching up the notches and sewing together the pieces.
  9. Now turn the facing of the front pieces inside and press it down to the same width as the back facing.
  10. Pin and stitch together the two centre front pieces of the bodice and press seam flat.
  11. Prepare the lower bodice piece by gathering between the notches using a long machine stitch, leave the threads long so that you can pull and gather the fabric.
  12. Now fold the knot and turn it inside out leaving ends open, pin it into place in the centre of the lower bodice yoke and baste in place.
  13. Pin your upper and lower bodice yoke pieces together, matching notches and centres. Gather the fabric to fit in places where needed and stitch together. Make sure you don’t catch the free side of the knot.
  14. Press the seam upwards and from the outside turn the knot into the inside of the bodice, pin it in place and stitch it in the groove of yoke seam to catch the knot inside
  15. Trim off all of your loose threads and give your seams a press to make sure that they lie nice and flat.
    DSCN3134It’s looking alright so far don’t you think?

Next week we are putting the skirt together, attaching it to the bodice and sewing our zips into place. Have nice week!


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