Monday, April 10, 2017

Lining a Smocked Apron Dress

I posted Baby's Easter dress a few days ago here. I wanted to make life a tad easier for Momma when it came time to iron and get clothes ready for three little ones, three and under, when getting ready for church or to visit that Big Bunny for pictures. I decided to make the apron dress with a lining that could serve as a slip as well.

As you can see from the pattern front Children's Corner Aprons comes with four views. (One is not included in this pattern front photo.) I chose the center one which has a small square of smocking at the center front neckline.

When I made the sample for the magazine submission that LG wore, I underlined it with silk organza.  I wanted more of a slip this time. I chose Imperial batiste.  There are some alterations that have to happen to the dress back pattern in order to create the "slip" lining. I will try and illustrate, forgive the horrid pics, it was nighttime.

This is the back pattern piece. Ignore the green tape for now. It is for all views.

Notice on the pattern piece the markings:
  • Place on Selvage
  • Foldline
  • Center Back
  • Lap
  • Facing
We are going to ignore the "Place on Selvage". Traditionally many Children's Corner patterns will have you place your pattern piece on the selvage to avoid having to finish that back edge during construction. Cut out your garment back according pattern piece with a 1/4" added seam allowance, NOT on the selvage. Now we are going to cut out an altered back from lining fabric.

This is with the pattern piece folded back on that "Foldline" marking. Can you see how the folded under pattern section is shadowing through? The EDGE of the pattern piece is now at the green tape marking. That is where your facing would normally end and still will be after we add the lining/slip. That is where the green tape is placed. You don't have to use the highlighter tape, you can draw a line with a pencil. 

Fold pattern piece under again where the green tape/line was placed. YOU NEED TO ADD A SEAM ALLOWANCE HERE. I added 1/4" for a seam allowance. The line/tape edge is the seam line edge of your new pattern piece. This is the piece you will use to cut out your back lining/slip pieces. Cut out this pattern piece making sure to add a 1/4" seam allowance from your lining fabric.

You should have two backs that look like this. (Since I did not take photos of these steps during construction of the dress I have used a doll sized bodice back for illustrations purposes only.) Note that the bodice back from the aqua fabric is considerably wider than the lining piece.

Stitch the straight edge of the back to the straight edge of the lining, right sides together. Press seam towards lining. Fold back on the fold line indicated on the pattern. Voila! Your bodice/dress back has a facing of garment fabric with the lining attached. Since this application makes your button band only two layers, make sure to interface your button band for added stability for creating buttonholes.

Continue construction of the dress. For the Carol, I used the dress front pattern piece for the non pleated dress front for my lining. Another reason my lining needs to hang free because the lining is not the same width as the smocked front. Stitch side seams of lining right sides together, and dress right sides to gather. Stitch shoulder seams of dress and lining. Attach collar sandwiching it between the the lining and dress front. Insert sleeves. Time to address the hem.

Due to abject laziness I am going to illustrate how to finish your slip/lining at the hem so that your lining hangs free, using the doll sized bodice pieces I just used. **When constructing your dress, when you are stitching the lining to the facing, end stitching at the point that equals twice the hem depth plus 1/2". I had to reverse stitch a tad to illustrate. Trim your lining to same depth as the FINISHED HEM LENGTH of your dress.** Fold your slip lining under 1/4" twice, machine stitch your lining hem in place.

This shows both hem depths folded up. On a child sized garment, your lining will be 1/2" shorter than your garment hem. This photo is taken before I stitched the lining hem in place.

After your hems are both stitched in place, (no these aren't stitched, it's a tutorial! I'm just showing the steps) clip the seam allowance of the garment fabric at the top edge of your finished hem. It is indicated as a black line on the seam allowance.

Fold under the seam allowance on the hem portion below the clip and slip stitch in place. This will give you a clean finish below the slip/lining. You may also do the same to the seam allowance on the slip lining, I did not do that here.

Since your seams are exposed between the layers of the lining and the outer dress you have to address the side seams. You can finish the seams in the manner you choose. I chose to pink the seams allowance.

This is the inside of the dress after it is complete.

I hope this helps you approach your dress lining with a new eye.

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