Inspiration Anthro : Vintage Lace Dress : Steps 21-30

Now that we have the top and bottom ready, it's time to connect the dots with the belt portion of the dress.

21- Take your 1 1/2 inch wide black elastic and fit it around your high waist (wherever you want the two portions of your dress to intersect). Mark where it fits comfortably. Add 2 inches for overlap and cut. Pin with 2 inches of overlap.

22- With black thread securely stitch the overlap down so that it now forms a permanent circle. Stitch a box and then and x in the middle as shown below.

23- With pins or chalk mark center front, center back, and the two sides. Do the same on your skirt.

24- Match the markings up with those on your skirt, with the overlap being center back of your elastic. Pin at all points with the skirt tucked about 1 inch under the elastic. (There will be a lot of excess skirt fabric inbetween each marking as the skirt portion will be gathered.)

25- Put your machine on it's longest stitch -basting- and stitch around your skirt about 1/2" from bottom of elastic on the inside of your garment. Do not backstitch either end as this will later be taken out. While stitching, pull the elastic with your right hand so that the top fabric is not gathered (once your let go of the elastic it will gather the skirt fabric). This can be a bit tricky, but go slow and remember this is just a basting stitch so it doesnt matter what it looks like.

26- Press the skirt gathers.

27- Change your stitch length back to normal. On the top side of your elastic and dress, stitch 1/4" from the bottom edge of the elastic all the way around. While stitching, pull on the elastic so that the skirt fabric is no longer gathered like before. (this is important otherwise you will snap your threads the first time you try to put the dress on) Backstitch both ends. Trim any excess seam allowance on the inside of the skirt.

28- Now let's do the same thing to the top of the dress. First mark the CF, CB and sideseams, and match with the same on the elastic.

29- Basting stitch all the way around on the inside of the garment. Stretch both the elastic and tanktop while doing so.

30- Top stitch around the elastic 1/4" from the top edge on the top of the garment. Stretch both the elastic and tanktop while doing so. Remove all basting stitches from elastic.

*we are almost done. tomorrow we will hem the dress.


  1. I must confess that working with that wide elastic has seemed SO INTIMIDATING to me. I just figured that it would be a pain to sew with. Thanks for showing me this. I feel a TON better about using it now. :)

  2. I am loving this project, but feel like I'm doing something wrong. My seam on the elastic get all loopy because you stretch it. Is that how it should be?

  3. Anonymous13.6.10

    It was going great until I attempted to add the top. It just went all wonky on me. I couldn't get the knit top and the elastic to stretch at the same rate. It all just kept wiggling around and getting more and more uneven.
    After two tries I have sadly, given up. Perhaps it would be easier to attach the top to the elastic first so I won't have all the skirt to deal with while stretching the fabric.