Bright happy dress: lining complete

Bright happy dress - lining finished

I only managed to squeeze in 30 minutes of (hand) sewing yesterday, but at least it was productive!  The lining of my bright happy dress is now complete, and I’m pretty happy with how neat and clean everything looks on the inside of the dress.  I mattress-stitched the bodice lining to the zipper tape, and it blends in quite well with the skirt portion below.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I love the finished look of attaching a lining by hand.  : )

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Peacefully hand sewing the lining into place

Bright happy dress - lining progress 1 back

More progress on the bright happy dress: hand sewing the bodice lining into the dress.  I’m using the same technique as I did for the Mad Men dress – see these two posts – essentially pinning the lining into place (with a million pins, you know me!) and using a simple mattress stitch to attach it.  I’ve quite enjoyed the process of hand sewing this time around, really embracing the peaceful repetition with some good music playing in the background.  Perfect for a relaxing evening!

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A full day of sewing!

Bright happy dress - sneak peek

I got a ton of sewing done on my bright happy dress yesterday – see how cute it’s looking so far?  : )  The photo above is just a little sneak peak… because you *know* I had to try it on as soon as the zipper went in, haha.  Lots of in-progress photos below – enjoy!

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Mad Men dress: more hand sewing

Mad Men dress - hand sewing the liningI’ve been slowly but surely plugging away on my purple Mad Men dress (vintage Vogue 7298).  I didn’t find much sewing time this week, but tonight I managed to finish hand-sewing the lining into the bodice.  I folded under the edges of the lining along the zipper tape and along the top of the skirt and tacked them in place using a simple mattress stitch.  Easy peasy! Continue reading

Mad Men dress: attaching a lining by hand

Mad Men dress - attaching lining at back neckline

How do you add a lining to a dress pattern that doesn’t include a lining?  By hand, of course!  Well, technically you could probably do it by machine via some serious head-scratching and “I’d-better-sew-everything-in-the-right-order” heart palpitations, but I opted to take the slow/easy route and do it by hand.  There are some great instructions in the Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing, which state that adding a lining by hand is a traditional tailoring technique and the “classic” way of doing it, so there you have it.  Who am I to argue with tradition?  : )

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Finishing a dress with hand-sewn details

Blueberry crush dress - Butterick 5602 - lining pinned to zipper tape

Thanks to a relaxing weekend at home, my blueberry crush dress is moving right along.  I wanted to highlight a few of the hand-sewn finishing details in this post, mainly for two reasons: (1) I think details like this are a nice touch for a handmade garment; and (2) I have a lot of room for improvement in my hand-sewing skills!  Perhaps we can all learn from each other.  : )

First up, hand-sewing the lining to the zipper tape.  In the photo above, I’ve pressed under the 5/8″ seam allowance on each edge of the cream lining fabric, and I’ve carefully pinned the lining to the zipper tape.  (Note that I had already inserted the invisible zipper into the fashion fabric in a previous step.)  To avoid any stitching lines on the outside of the garment (and to keep the zipper as invisible as possible), the pattern (Butterick 5602)  calls for hand stitching the lining to the tape.  Ugh, what a task!

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