A new BELLA dress, this time lined!

Bella, Revisited

I have been wanting to make my BELLA  dress again for ages. It is a very comfortable wearable dress and is a great addition to your Autumn/Winter wardrobe.

The previous version which I made, can be found on the link HERE It gives more general construction details, on this blog post we are going to concentrate on lining the body of the dress

 The fabric is this beautiful WARM JERSEY  from White Tree Fabrics I chose a dark green but they have several colours to choose from and I must tell you that the fabric really does live up to its name. It is warm and cuddly and drapes superbly.

Cut out your fabric, mark and stitch the darts and sew the shoulder seams and the right side of the dress following the instructions on the pattern and / or on the blog post above.

You will need a new Ball point needle in your machine and you need to select a straight stitch or a narrow zig zag.

The dress needs a zip at the side. I love invisible zips and use them almost always. To begin you need to press the zip flat,  taking care not to melt the teeth! 

I quite often use double sided basting tape to hold a zip in place whilst I sew it. It does make it easier. 

You need to use an invisible zip foot on your machine, as you can see the teeth of the zip fit into the groove of the foot so that you sew really close to the teeth. I have deliberately inserted a zip of the wrong colour just to show you that when sewn correctly invisible zips truly are just that, you cannot see them!

As you can see, apart from the zip,pull you cannot see the zip at all. Dont forget to keep pressing every seam as you go along, this blends the stitches into the fabric. It might seem a chore to press every seam every time, but believe me it is the difference between a homemade garment and a handmade garment.

Finish stitching the side seams and then  Stay stitch the neckline and armholes, this stops the fabric from pulling out of shape. You should never hang the garment or put it on a manequin if the fabric  stretches at all until you have done this step.

Before the sleeves go in we need to deal with the lining.
I chose this stretch formaheldalide free lining, again from White Tree Fabrics
And you can purchase it by clicking on the link HERE
Sew the darts, shoulder seams and side seams remembering to leave one side open for the zip.
When it comes to pressing it is a very good idea to have a scrap of the fabric handy to keep testing your iron on, if it is too hot the fabric will melt!

Put the lining inside the dress wrong sides together and stitch them together at the neckline and armholes inside the seam allowance.

To deal with the sleeves, the inside needs to be neat. I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4"and using my overlock foot on my sewing machine overlocked the seam neatly.

I did a double hem at the bottom of each sleeve, top stitching them neatly.
Continue to insert the sleeves according to the pattern instructions, easing the sleeve in place gently with no puckering.

Join the centre back seam of the collar. Press. Press it in half. Right sides together stitch it to the neckline. Overlock the seam  neatly
Overlock the armholes.

Slip stitch the lining opening to the zipper tape neatly. Pin up the hem and finish in your own desired way. I overlocked the bottom of the dress and turned up a narrow hem, top stitching in place.
Hem the lining, I used a double hem (fold over half an inch fold over again and top stitch)

Trim any loose threads and press the whole dress again very carefully.

The dress is very easy to wear. It can be worn with a belt or a long statement necklace or brooch

You can wear it with high heels or with a pair of boots. It really is very versatile. Including lining you can easily have this dress made in two sittings, so what are you waiting for?

Many thanks to White Tree Fabrics for supplying me with these fabulous fabrics. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post.

Angela x

If you'd like to see how Angela also created these fantastic tops, click here.