So I'm almost done with my white tea-dress, the fitting is not perfect but I'm still gonna wear it anyway after spending 2 full days sewing it! Here's a very brief outline of what I did:
PAPER PATTERNS:Drafting and cutting out of paper patterns. Very important to make sure all your seams align before cutting the cloth, so you don't have to handle the excess cloth when sewing. It is the darnest occurance when somehow the measurements don't match after minusing here and adding there. The most impt part of the draft to me is the hip line. Because you can't walk if you don't leave extra ease around your hips.
I draw out my facings, linings and original fabric pieces separately. I don't use a tracing wheel because it becomes inaccurate when the paper shifts around while tracing (esp on my flimsy tissue paper!). I do it in pencil. After doublechecking that the total circumferences of bust, waist, hip and side seams tally in measurements, then do I cut it out.
Cut fabric time! This photo below shows the lining pieces. Steam your fabric & lining fabric before cutting them to make way for shrinkage. I'm using silk so not supposed to have water contact but it was crumpled from folding so I just let out a wee bit of steam.
*Tip 1* To mark the dart points, I use a pin, poke thru fabric and use a tailors chalk to dot the dart point instead of using tracing wheel. It's very accurate that way. Snip the edges to indicate your allowances and you can use a ruler and chalk to draw your darts on the fabric.
*Tip 2* You may notice the lining becomes very tight when worn although you use the same measurements as your original fabric patterns. To avoid that problem I include a pleat in my lining (this time I used 2 pleats since there are 2 back pieces because my zipper is at the center back). Yea! That way your dress will be all comfy.
I also cut interfacing which is the same paper pattern as the facings, and iron them onto the facings immediately so the fabric won't stretch so much from my rough handling lol
Ok so I assemble the pieces: darts and seams that are easily sewn. Then you come to the part of...
SEWING LINING TO FABRIC:
Here the dress is in shape, I want to attach the armholes of the lining to the silk fabric from the outside first. Of course if you have other sequences, it's perfectly fine too!
*Tip 3* For sewing curves, the more curvy the seam, the more snips you have to make on the inner seams so the cloth will stay flat when you flip it out. Else there will be a tension of the thread and cloth and your fabric will pucker badly. Don't want that, so I snip really generously like 8 snips per curve lol. See? My armholes don't pucker any more.
*Tip 4* After steaming seams flat I sew an understitch (that is, securing the seams towards the facing-lining piece) to make the seams fold backwards better. It really makes a difference and your seams will be as neat as... origami =P ! I'm hooked on that method, or usually a topstitch to flatten stuff but this dress I don't want stitches seen on the front so understitch it is.
To be continued.. need to sleep now it's like 4am =P