Now that we have our bodice prepped, we can start assembling the wrap top!

For this sewalong, I’ll be demonstrating the steps on the blouse version (Version A), but the steps are exactly the same for the dress (Version B).

Attach the peplum/skirt to the bodice

Right sides together, align the top edge of the front peplum/skirt with the bottom edge of the front bodice. Since the skirt piece is slightly curved, you’ll have to ease the skirt edge to align with the bodice edge.

Sew the aligned edges with a 5/8” (1.5 cm) seam allowance. Repeat this for the opposite front bodice piece and the back bodice and back peplum/skirt.

Finish the waist seam with a flat felled seam

Grade the seam allowance on the bodice side of the seam to about 1/8” (3 mm). Press both seam allowances toward the peplum/skirt.

Press the un-graded seam allowance in half, covering the seam that you just graded. Then press both seams toward the bodice, concealing all of the raw edges of the seam allowance.

Topstitch the folded seam in place. This is easier to do from the interior, but if you have a machine that creates wonky seams on the underside, you may want to try topstitching from the exterior, being mindful of the folded seam edge underneath.

Repeat the flat felled seam steps for both front bodice and back bodice pieces.

NOTE: this seam can also be finished with serging or with a french seam.

Attach the facings to the front bodice

Right sides together, align the facing with the wrap edge of the front bodice. You may notice that the facing wants to be longer than the bodice edge, or that it is more flexible and prone to stretching out. This is because the facing is a thinner strip of fabric cut on the bias. Summon your patience here and gently “squish” the facing into place along the wrap edge, making sure you are not creating gathers (it also helps if you can do this with the bodice laying on a flat surface). It will fit with a little extra attention. Use several pins to keep it all in place once you have it aligned. Now sew the facing to the bodice with a 5/8” (1.5 cm) seam allowance, starting at the shoulder. As you sew, take care to not stretch the bodice or facing.

When you get to the bottom, pivot and sew along the short end where the bodice meets the peplum/skirt, then pivot again and sew about 5/8” (1.5 cm) to the bottom of the facing, following the angled end of the facing with a 5/8” (1.5 cm) seam allowance (Note: I’ve sewn this slightly differently in the photos here, but have drawn a line to show how it should be done—this will make turning the hem easier in a later step).

Grade the seam allowance to about 1/8” (3 mm). Then press the facing away from the bodice, keeping the seam allowance pressed toward the facing.

Understitch the seam allowance to the facing, keeping your stitching about 1/16” to 1/8” (~ 2 to 3 mm) from the seam. Try to get the understitching as close as you can to the corner at the bottom of the facing. If you don’t get it all the way to the corner that is okay.

Understitching the 1/8” seam allowance (underneath) to the facing

Understitching is along entire facing edge, as far as you can get it to the corner at the base of the wrap where it meets the peplum/skirt.

Now press the facing to the wrong side of the bodice, making sure the corner at the bottom is fully extended. The understitching will be concealed on the interior of the wrap edge. Baste the top of the facing to the shoulder just inside the seam allowance at 1/2” (~ 1 cm).

September 23, 2020 — Casey Sibley