Another Sleeveless Orla - Lined, Box Pleat Skirt - Sewing Tutorial

What a week! Life has been insanely busy this week and I have fell a few days behind on my contributions to Orla Affair. For that I apologize. I am taking this weekend off all other activities so that I can catch up on my blogging and have the rest of tutorials coming your way on schedule. Today I am back with sewing tips for making this box pleat Orla Dress with lined bodice and a waistband. So, let's jump right in. I assume that you have already cut out all your Orla pattern pieces as follows:
  • front bodice x1, on fold - both from main fabric and lining
  • back bodice x 2 - both from main fabric and lining
  • front waistband x1, on fold - from main fabric, lining and interfacing
  • back waistband x2 - from main fabric, lining and interfacing
  • front skirt x1, on fold - main fabric
  • back skirt x2 - main fabric
  • Optional: pocket pieces x4 - either from lining or main fabric

Bodice and Waistband

  1. Interface front waistband and black waistband pieces. This step is not necessary, but I do recommend it if your fabric is light or very soft. I did not interface my waistband pieces, and the dress is absolutely fine.
  2. Stay-stitch neckline of both front bodice and back bodice pieces. Stay-stitching will prevent neckline from stretching out. The original pattern instructions do not call for it, but since we are working with a v-neck, which has more bias to it, make sure you add it in. To stay-stitch, stitch close to the neckline, within seam allowance. Start stitching from the shoulders and stitch towards the center front or back. For front pieces, stitch twice, from one shoulder to center front and then from the other shoulder to center front. This will prevent fabric from stretching out further.
  3. Sew darts on front bodice pieces and both back bodice pieces and press them to the centre front and back, respectively.
  4. With right sides together pin front waistband piece to front bodice, matching center fronts and darts to notches. Sew. Repeat with the back bodice pieces and back waistbands.
  5. Press bodice and seam allowances open on both front and back bodice pieces.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 f0r lining pieces.
  7. To attach lining to the bodice, we will follow the exact same steps as we did when we attached facing to the bodice. You can find them here. Follow steps 5-11.
Remember, you will not be finishing the center back seam until the skirt is attached and zipper is inserted. You will also not be finishing the bottom of the lining since it will also be enclosed once the skirt is attached.

Box Pleat Skirt

Sewing box pleat skirt is very easy!
  1. On front skirt piece, with right sides together, match the two notches for one of the pleats. Pin them together and stitch vertically down for ~1". Repeat for the other box pleat.
  2. Working from the inside, open the skirt up and align each pleat so that the fullness is equally distributed on either side of the pleat seam. Press. Do not press all the way down the skirt, just enough so that the pleat lies flat. Baste the pleats to the skirt so they stay in place.
  3. If you want to add pockets to this skirt, the steps to sew pockets can be found here. Follow steps 3-7 for "Pockets and Skirt". If you are skipping the pockets, finish your skirt side seams. With right sides together sew your skirt side seams and press them open. I forgot to mention it in my other post, but this is where I also like to press the hem allowance on my skirt to the inside. It is a lot easier to so it at this point when the skirt is still flat and not attached to the bodice. This way by the time I am ready to hem the dress the hard work of pressing the seam allowance is already done,.
  4. Attach skirt to bodice by sewing with right sides together, while making sure side seams of the skirt are aligned with the side seams of the waistband.

Zipper and finishing the bodice

  1. Working from the right side of the bodice, pull the lining away and pin an invisible zipper to one of the sides of the centre back seam. Stitch the zipper in place close to the zipper teeth. Repeat for the other side, ensuring the waist seam is aligned. Finish the rest of the centre back seam below the zipper and press seam allowances open. The illustration below is from tutorial that doesn't have a waistband, and has a gathered skirt. However, the essential idea is the same.
  2. Pull the centre back seam allowance flat from behind the zipper. Flip the lining onto the bodice with right sides together. The lining will be covering the zipper. Pin along the unfinished neck edge and top part of the zipper. At the waist seam, flip the raw edge of the lining up facing you. Ensure that the bottom folded edge of the lining matches the waist seam on the dress. Sew in place, ensuring the neckline seam meets the seam used to attach facing to bodice. Sew inside the centre back seam allowance with zipper teeth on the outside of the seam, making sure not to catch them with your needle as you sew. The right side of the lining, which is flipped up, is shown in pink in illustration below.
  3. Trim the corner and using the point turner turn the facing to the inside of the bodice. Repeat for the other side.
  4. Press. Close the zipper to ensure the top edges align. If they don’t, turn the facing back to the inside and repeat the step above, stitching down the side that is longer until both neck edges match.
  5. Working from side of the dress, turn the bodice lining under. This is where turning it up in step 2 makes it so much easier to finish it. Stitch the lining to the bodice by hand.
Now you just need to hem the dress, give it a final press and you are done! I hope this tutorial helps you figure out how to add lining to the bodice of Orla. Let me know if you have any questions! Love, Anya P.S. If you want to line your sleeved Orla, it is also possible. Here is a quick photo of what my lined Orla with sleeves looks like from the inside. I only finished the neckline with. the lining and then treated lining and bodice as one fabric when attaching the sleeves.
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