Now that we have the bodice assembled and the waistband attached, it’s time to assemble the skirts of our Lenox Shirtdresses and attach it to the bodice. For this sample, I’m making view A with the pleated skirt, but I’ll have a little demo for the view B makers as well.
Let’s begin by pleating the skirt. If you’re making the gathered skirt, we’ll tackle that next.
The pleats are formed first on the two front skirts. With the pieces right side up, the fold of the pleat will point towards the side seam.
In this picture, the side seam is on the left and the center front edge is on the right. Baste across the top of these pleats within the seam allowance to hold them in place.
Next, sew the two back skirts together along the center back seam.
Finish the seam and press to one side.
With the right side of the back skirt facing up, form the pleats again aiming the fold of the pleat away from the center back seam and towards the side seam. Baste across the tops of the pleats within the seam allowance.
For the gathered skirt, start by sewing two lines of basting stitches along the top of the skirt fronts within the seam allowance. Carefully pull one end of the basting stitches to gather the skirt fronts until they are the same width as the bodice fronts. Tie knots in the ends of your basting threads to secure. Slide the gathers around until they’re evenly distributed. Sew the back skirts together at the center back seam. Finish this seam and press to one side.
Repeat the gathering steps on the back skirt by sewing two rows of basting stitches across the top of the whole back skirt and carefully pulling until the back skirt is the same width as the back bodice. Tie knots in the ends of your basting threads to secure.
NB: From now on, all the steps are the same for both skirts so only the pleated skirt will be shown.
Now it’s time to add our pockets (yay, pockets!!). Pin the pocket to the skirt front, matching the top notch with the top edge of the pocket. Sew at 1/4″ seam allowance.
Finish this section of the side seam then press the pocket out to the side. Understitch along the edge of the pocket seam.
Repeat these steps on the second skirt front and on both sides of the skirt back.
To sew the side seams of the skirt, place the skirt front on top of the skirt back, right sides together, matching up the pockets and the side seams.
Sew down from the waist, pivoting at the edge of the pocket, around the pocket, pivoting at the bottom of the pocket, and sewing all the way down to the hem. Finish the seam allowance and press the seam allowance and the pocket towards the front skirt. Repeat with the second skirt front.
Now that our skirt is sewn, let’s attach it to the bodice. Start by pining the outer waistband to the skirt, right sides together, matching side seams and notches.
Sew around the whole waist seam at 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up towards the bodice. Next, we’ll enclose this whole seam with the inner waistband facing. Press the facing down to cover the bodice seam and the skirt seam.
Using pins or wonder tape, secure and topstitch around the waistband from the right side of the dress.
That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll attach the button bands!