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Subject: Putting the Dress Together

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Date Posted: 21:39:26 03/13/01 Tue
In reply to: K 's message, "Contruction Problems-Technique & Tips" on 15:45:15 03/10/01 Sat

What do you find is the toughest part of putting the dress together once it has been embroidered. I think it is a tossup between attaching the bodice to the skirt, and getting the zipper right. Does anyone have any pointers?
attaching the skirt!!!

-Attaching the skirt is the hardest. I gave up on the zippers a long time ago and hand pick them. In the long run it is quicker and less frustrating. I put the top half of the zipper in the bodice beforehand and then only have to sew the last third into the skirt after the bodice is attached.

-First always sew the top half of the zipper in the bodice before you sew the bodice together. The other thing I do is leave the back of the skirt open until after I attach the bodice. Then sew up the back seam, finish the zipper by hand. You can go over it later by machine if needed but a hand picked zipper is fine. Then you will need to slipstitch the skirt lining up the back seam and around the zipper.

-I attach the back bodice to the back skirt, then put the zipper in. I attach the front bodice to the front skirt, i have the lining sewn onto the front box panel and pleat. The pleat I have cut in half, I don't fold it. I attach the front to the back at the shoulders, add the sleeves, and then sew up the to sides. I attach the back lining, this is one piece that goes from the zipper to the pleat. I cover the seam with piece of lining folded over.

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[> Subject: Attaching Skirt +

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Date Posted: 22:11:11 03/13/01 Tue

I am making my an ID dress for my daughter and really have some questions about some construction issues. Biggest problem is attaching the skirt for that professional look. My front panel does not want to have sharp edges if you know what I mean. Do you sew the skirt pieces together and then attach to the bodice of do you sew them on one at a time and then sew up the seams? Some dresses I have looked at appear to do that. Do you hand or machine sew the hem? Do you hem before sewing up the seams? I am sorry to be asking so many questions but these things just become more and more of a mystery the more I try to sew one. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-I put the zipper half in the bodice, then sewed all the skirt lining pieces together making one big circle, and I pressed all the seams open. ( you get a nice big circle!) Then I did the same with the skirt, sewed the two together at the bottom and pressed. (this gives a nice finished hem.) I then inserted the vilene stiffener and pinned the side pleats/ front panel together. Next I pinned the skirt to the top and sewed it all by machine. I went back, finished the zipper and hand stitched the bodice lining to the back and to cover the skirt seam. I found I needed to practice more with the zipper because some of my lining peeked out, but the shawl hid them so I was pretty lucky.

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[> [> Subject: Machine won't make it through bodice/skirt seam

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Date Posted: 15:41:00 03/15/01 Thu

Do you think it would be easier to attach the bodice to the skirt of a solo dress using an industrial machine. I have a Kenmore and even with using the heaviest duty needle, the needle will not penetrate the thickest part of the skirt top. A friend just purchased a sewing machine (industrial?) that was used in high schools, has anyone ever purchased one of these machines?

-I haven't had any real problems with needle penetration when attaching the skirt and bodice, and I use a Kenmore computerized machine. I use a size 90 jeans needle, which has a sharp point to penetrate the layers. Use a short stitch length to avoid gaps if you skip a stitch occasionally. Loosen your tension slightly as you need more thread in each stitch because of the number of layers. You may need to hand wheel over the thickest front pleats, but it can be done. I've found the most difficult part to be holding and turning the seam under the presser foot. It is much easier to have someone help you with that part -- my 13 year old dancer has gotten very good at turning the bulk of the skirt
as I stitch.

-I prefer using my industrial machines on all of the dresses I make (including the class costumes), as I don't have to slow down at all. The only drawback is the cost of one of these machines, however, if you have a friend who has one, I would ask nicely, and be sure to wipe it down and clean it out prior to leaving.

-I make solo dresses (www.seamssewnice.com) and I use a Singer 20U33. I have 2, one as a back up. It does a 9MM zig zag for the embroidery and applique stitch, and is wonderful for sewing the dress together, I think it would sew through 3 layers of steel! Anyway, I also have acquired a brand new Brother industrial zigzag and the motor that I would love to sell. I don't need 3 machines. It is almost exactly the same as the 20U33. Let me know if you might be interested or pass the info on.
Mary Staffrey mstafrey@aol.com

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