Clara Dress Sew-Along Week 3 – Collar & Construction

500 dress image squrare Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionLet the sewing begin!!! This week we will begin putting our dresses together. Since I chose to make my dress out of a very lightweight and rather sheer fabric, I will be lining my dress. Lining the Clara Dress is so very simple to do. If you would like to line your dress, buy the same amount of lining as you did fabric for your dress. I chose to line my dress with a cotton batiste. It will mimic my fashion fabric and since it is a natural fiber, it will feel cooler than a normal synthetic lining.

As I said in earlier posts, I decided to add a few design details to my dress that I didn’t add to the original dress that I made. Since my fabric is a vintage piece of cotton voile, and the pattern is rather lady like, I decided to add a few ruffles to my dress. The first ruffle which we’ll talk about today is around the collar.

photo 1 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction The first step in sewing the bodice together will be to sew in your darts. You’ll notice that there are small notches on the side seams and a dot at the apex of the dart, but no markings in between. If you would like, you can draw in the lines and make it easier to mark the darts with tracing paper and a tracing wheel. photo 2 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionI usually don’t draw in the lines for my darts. I simply clip the notches at the seam,

photo 3 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction and then mark the apex of the dart with a marking pencil or pen. If you use a marking pen, be sure that the mark will not show through your fabric and that it is removable. To mark the apex, I simply place a pin in the dot, photo 4 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction

and then flip to the inside and mark my fabric at the pin point. photo 5 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionOnce you have sewn in the darts, sew the shoulders seams and the side seams of the bodice. Now you are ready to begin working on the collar.

If you would like to add a ruffle to your collar, you will need to cut 2 strips that are 40” long, by 2 ½” wide. Sew the ends together. The seam will be matched to the center back seam of the collar. The ends of the ruffle strips will need to be shaped.

photo 6 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction   Begin by folding the strip in half and press. Cut the end of the strip with a tapered edge.

photo 7 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction Sew the tapered end together with a 1/8” seam allowance. Turn and press. Sew 2 rows of gathering stitches along the unfinished side of the strip.

Since my fabric is so fine, I decided to interface my collar. I used a lightweight fusible cotton.

photo 8 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionThe interfacing will also help to give a buffer between the gathered edge of my ruffle and the top of my collar. So, the seam allowance will not be as visible on the top of my collar.

Sew the center back seam of the collar and press. Sheer up the ruffle and then lay it against the edge of the collar and stitch down.  Sew the under collar to the top collar. The ruffle will be sandwiched in between the top and bottom collars.

photo 9 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionOnce the collar is sewn together, sew an edge stitch on the under collar. This will help the ruffle to lay nice and flat.

photo 10 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction Now that the collar has been sewn together, it can be attached to the bodice. If you are lining the bodice, place the lining inside the bodice, wrongs sides facing each other, then sew the collar to the neckline.

photo 11 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction To finish the neckline, cut the bias strip that has been provided in the pattern.

Trim the neckline seam down to ¼”.

Fold the bias strip in half and press. Stitch the bias strip to the neckline seam.

photo 12 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionNow, simply press the strip toward the bodice and edge stitch in place. This makes for a simple seam finish and looks lovely.

photo 13 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & ConstructionOur next step will be to attach the front plackets. Simply stitch them to the center front of the bodice. If you are lining your bodice, the placket will be stitched to the bodice and the lining.

Once the placket has been sewn to the center front, fold right sides together and stitch across the top of the placket. Trim the seam and the turn to the right side and press.

Fold in the inside raw edge along center front and press. Top stitch along both sides and the top of the placket. There is no need to hand stitch the placket to the center front unless you would rather not have the top stitching on your placket.

photo 14 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction

Our collar has been attached as well as the neckline trim, and we have attached our front plackets. The inside of the bodice looks as lovely as the outside!

photo 15 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction

The next step to completing the bodice will be to attach the sleeves. We will do this next week. Something to keep in mind. If you would rather not have the keyhole opening in your sleeve, it is not necessary to have it. Simply cut the sleeve and don’t cut out the keyhole.

photo 16 Clara Dress Sew Along Week 3   Collar & Construction

Check out the video portion that explains the bodice and collar portion of the sew-along too.

 

 

Next week we will discuss how to sew the sleeve with a keyhole and one without. I am going to add a small ruffle to the edge of my sleeve to compliment the ruffle I added to the collar.

Good luck with your bodice sewing! Be sure to leave a message if you have any questions.

If you have not signed up for the sew along on Flickr, be sure to do so as we would love to see your fabric and your progress on the dress. You can find the Flickr page here,   https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/

Until next week!!

Rhonda @ Rhonda’s Creative Life

 

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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