To recap, I reviewed the pattern directions, decided I wanted a full lining for the bodice, and began cutting the fabric. My fabric does have a slight deviation from one side of the fabric to the other, so I designated a right and wrong side. I marked the right and wrong with tailors chalk in an area that would not show on the final product. I also drew all necessary pattern markings.
Here is my second deviation from original idea; first being the lining in the bodice. I wasn’t overly crazy about having a “crumb catcher” on the front or the extra hanging bulk. So, I stitched the darts to the top markings (see arrow in pictures below). I also found these instructions a bit confusing and I honestly believe one of the dart markings has been excluded from the pattern. I added one to my pattern as pictured here. It is important to play around with the fabric placement. I spent a good amount of time making sure that it would look right.
Since I was lining the bodice, the pattern directions were not helpful for assembling the bodice. If you choose to do as I did, here is a little rundown. Sew the front and facing piece to the respective partner (i.e., fronts to backs) at the shoulders and the sides.
Next, the neck is sewn. Be very careful to make even stitching. Any zigs or zags will show on your final product, and WILL be noticeable as the neck line is the closest thing to everyone’s pretty face. Lay right sides together, matching the shoulder seams. Pin the neckline and sew at 5/8”, then check that it is nicely stitched and only then cut notches so the fabric lays nicely.
Sewing the armholes requires maneuvering of pieces. You cannot simple sew around each section. The fabric ends up in a knot when you reverse to expose the right side. So, stitch at 3/8” as the pattern marking indicates about 2/3 the way around the armhole. Turn to right side of fabric. Then, pin the remaining section of the hole to be sewn. Be patient and do the best job that you can. Pressing is important. I press as I go. It is very important to press the bodice as you go since the seams will not be exposed. Pressing the darts is also important. It is important to think about which direction they lay. It is marked on the pattern which way they should be pressed.
Attaching the skirt to the bodice is easy. However, do NOT sew the skirt to both the interface and the dress front. Only machine sew the skirt to the dress front. I attach the lining by hand. I prefer this method to “stitching in the ditch” because. There is no other reason. It is a preference.
Now we install the zipper. The original direction called for an ordinary zipper. I prefer invisible zippers. I think they are easier to put in, look better, and are just better. The pattern will give you directions on how to install the regular zipper. Otherwise, use the directions included in the packaging of the invisible zipper.
I use all the same markings that are provided on the pattern. The pattern provided approximately 2” of sewn space above the zipper. I love this, and not many dresses have this feature. It keeps the dress bodice in tacked when putting in on. I used a 14” zipper which provides me with plenty of space to get into the garment. If you need more space, certainly you can put a longer zipper in or install the zipper completely up the side of the dress. Again, do not sew the lining to the zipper when installing. Instead, only sew to the face of the dress and then hand stitch the bodice lining into place.
Now for finishing the dress. The dreaded hem. I provided one method for finishing a circular skirt previously which can be done on this dress also. However, I used the method that I am going to try to describe below. Between this one and the dart method, this one is probably my favorite. These directions are not part of the Lisette pattern.
Taking the skirt pattern bottom pieces (this includes all the pieces of the skirt—front and back), place them on a portions of fabric that are wide enough to accommodate them. If the pattern calls for cutting on the fold, do so. With chalk, mark the outline of the pattern. Then, using a ruler, measure the width that you would prefer the hem to be. For this red dress, I wanted about a 2” hem, so I marked the fabric at 2.75” for the length of the pattern. Add approximately 5/8” to each side of the original pattern. Cut your strip of fabric out (3). Next, sew the strip (right sides together) to the bottom of the skirt (4). Be sure to match the curvature of the skirt (5). It is counter-intuitive. Once it is sewn, finish the seam by cutting darts at the bottome of the dress and pressing (6).
Sew seam binding to the top portion of the hem lining. I do this after finishing the bottom of the skirt only because I don’t want to do the math to figure out how long and at what angle the strip needs to be cut to fit entirely around the skirt. Any remaining fabric at the end of the strip, I cut off. Once the binding is in place, I hand stitch the hem facing in place. Use the thinnest needle you have to hide your running stitch.
After the hem is finished, the dress is complete.
UPDATE: A new version has been posted "here". Please visit for a slightly different idea.