So last we left off, you attached the waistband to the bodice after sewing the interfacing to the lining pieces, sewing the lining and bodice shell pieces together, and lining the bodice. A little lost? Read about sizing, fabric, and sewing the bodice here. Still need to buy the pattern? Go to Vesta Patterns to pick up The Fable in your shape right now!
Now we get to sew the skirt up and this is where things get interesting. It starts off easily enough. Attach the pocket pieces to the skirt pieces. Make sure you have the right pocket pieces to the right sides of the skirt (I labeled my skirt to make sure I knew which side was which) and stitch up the side, around the pocket, and to the top as you would a regular skirt pocket. The left pocket takes a little bit more thinking!
Attach the left pocket pieces to the skirt, making sure to take care of which side you’re attaching to the skirt. The long part of the pocket is what gets attached to the skirt. The shorter ends are what faces out from the skirt. You will also not sew up the pocket completely. Attach the long parts of the pocket to the sides of the skirt, sew up the side seam and around the pocket only until the short sides of the pocket. The short sides will actually get a rolled hem and will be attached to the waistband. First, some pictures:
Hopefully this is pretty easy to follow. But to recap: The right pocket is sewn as normal pockets, the left pocket is sewn differently. Instead of sewing all the way up the pocket with the ‘short’ sides, you only sew to the bottom of the short side and finish the pocket edges with a rolled hem. Or you can do what I did and just sew them back. I was slightly lazy.
Now we attach the skirt to the waistband. I do like that this dress pattern doesn’t directly attach the skirt and the bodice. That’s why it is so important to have the waistband be sufficiently interfaced, it does have a lot to do and isn’t merely decorative. I’ll be honest here, I did have some trouble with this next part. Mostly because it is important to have everything labeled properly. I mentioned before labeling the waistband but I’ll be honest and say I didn’t do it enough. I also tried doing this at midnight after a long shift at work and was not sufficiently rested. The important spots to know are the side seams, center back, and the bodice front. Those will help you line everything up so that the pockets don’t get wonky. Stitch gathering lines in the top of the skirt as the instructions say. Personally, I didn’t gather the skirt until lining up the important spots with the pockets to help me keep track of everything.
Extra tip alert! If you want to be able to find any notches in the skirt pieces, use brightly colored pencil instead of the usual notches or triangles. Gathering really hides things like that so the bright colors make things a lot easier. This is something I figured out after many frustrating gathered skirt issues.
When you go to attach the skirt to the inside waistband piece, the wrong side of the skirt fabric should be facing the inside of the inside waistband piece. Ha! That’s a picture that’s difficult to wrap your head around. Thankfully I have a picture to help:
Some important things to note: The left pocket gets folded back on the skirt on the side with the wrap around strap (the right side). That’s why the short sides of the pocket are left unfinished, this side of the pocket proves to be the opening that lets you get into the skirt and becomes the opening of the pocket. I know I’ve said that before but it took me reading/hearing/doing it about 5 times before I +totally+ understood the concept. So I’m sorry but I’m just trying to help!
When you attach the skirt to the waistband, the right pocket seam should line up with the bodice right side seam. The center back of the skirt back and center back of the waistband should line up The left side of the left pocket/skirt seam should line up with the bodice left side seam. The left side of the left pocket does not get folded back, it extends to the bodice front. Here’s a picture to show what I mean:
The left pocket on the long part of the waistband gets folded back. I folded it back AFTER gathering the skirt to make sure the skirt fit to the waistband, because remember, the pocket does NOT get gathered. So I first lined everything up: The left pocket seam on the right side of the waistband, the right pocket with the bodice right seam, center backs, the left pocket seam (so the back skirt piece with the left pocket attached) and then the rolled hem of the left pocket. Gather the skirt, fold the left pocket on the right side back, and sew it up!
After that, you sew down the top waistband, squaring the ends, finish the bodice with bias tape if you haven’t already, give it a hem, and sew on the buttons/hook and eyes. That’s your dress! The buttons could be done earlier in the game as well as the bias tape. The hemming I would leave until the end, as well as the hook and eye closures.
If you still have questions, let me know! I’d be happy to answer them and depending on the questions, maybe make a new tutorial or special extended steps later. I hope you love your new dress, I love all of mine. I have 3 now, two purple and floral versions, and a woodsy version. They all fit fantastically and once you get the hang of it, are very easy to sew up.