Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hooray for Progress!

So, it’s been, like, forever since I’ve gotten to work on anything for my dollies, right? Oy then! Not cool… But I did get a few minutes the other day to work on Maid Marion’s little overdress that I started months ago. I dyed it months ago, too, and then crazy show-float-show-crap-I’ve-got-clients-too! season get the better of me… But, finally, progress! Here’s a general method for sewing a lined princess seam dress, regardless of size.

dying the overdress
If you're going to dye the dress and lining different colors, do it before you sew them together. (For this I went to college? *laugh*)

Now, I actually want a really craptacular dye job on this, because I want it to look about a million years old and quite lived in. So I didn’t do a lot of dying pre-prep… There was no washing, no soap, nothing more advanced than a little dip in vinegar water. (Vinegar because the fabric is wool-and-something.) A bad dye job is a really great distressing technique.

outer and lining pieces
There we are, as advertized: an outer shell (brown) and a lining (blue), both poorly dyed. The lining has been turned right-side out.
lining in shell
Put the lining inside the outer shell.
neckline sewn
Sew around the neckline, which includes the back lacing edge in this case. Clip any corners so you can turn it neatly.
turning dress
Oh no! It's a Dressalopoid! Get it before it scurries off the table! Erm, I mean, pull the shell up over the lining, then shove the lining inside the shell. That will hide all the ugly seams...
sealing the sleeves
Now you'll want to hem off the sleeves and hem. Turn the seam allowances in and pin them.

Now, there’s a thousand ways you can finish these: you can whip stitch them, top stitch them, blind stitch them… Anything that gets them together is basically fair game. Personally, while I can do an invisible join with the best of ’em, I like for people to know that I took the trouble to sew something by hand. And while I’m very bad at embroidery, I’m very good at a neat little pick stitch….

pick stitches
It gives me a row of neat, tiny litte stitches. I'm running the line down the middle of the seam allowance.
inside of sleeve
My pick stitch lets me do a neat little backstitch on both sides of the fabric, which is rather nice...

Finish the other sleeve and the hem in a similar fashion. And just as soon as I’m done doing that, I’ll post finished pics…  :)


  1. Martha Witcher
    Martha Witcher August 24, 2011

    Missa, nice job on the dying….what about Miss Piggy

    • missa
      missa September 4, 2011

      Never fear – Miss P. will still be getting her Tudor dress! It’s just on hold until I finish off a few things for human clients. :)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.