December 2, 2016

Turner Sewalong Day 4: Sewing and Attaching the Skirt


Welcome back everyone! Our Turner Dresses are over halfway done and today we’ll assemble and attach the skirt.

Start by laying the skirt front on the skirt back, right sides together, and pin up both side seams.


Sew the side seams, finish the seams if necessary, and press the seam allowances towards the skirt back.


Turn the skirt inside out, place the right-side out bodice inside the skirt, and line up the waist.


Pin the bodice and skirt together at the waist, matching the center fronts, center backs, and side seams.

We’re going to use a piece of clear elastic to stabilize this seam and support the weight of the skirt. Take a length of clear elastic and stretch it out several times. This ensures that the elastic won’t relax once it’s sewn. Cut a piece the same length as your waistline, not any shorter. Pin it to the skirt side of the waistline. Now sew through all four layers: elastic, skirt, bodice shell, and bodice lining.

Finish this seam if necessary and press the seam allowance down towards the skirt.

For our final installment, we’ll be hemming the sleeves and skirt and trying on our completed dresses!

19 thoughts on “Turner Sewalong Day 4: Sewing and Attaching the Skirt

  1. Jill says:

    Hi Jenni – would it be possible to put the elastic in between the bodice shell & bodice lining so that the elastic won’t irritate my skin?

    1. Yes – it would be a little tricky but theoretically possible.

  2. dimorr says:

    I have found the elastic difficult to handle. My machine foot won’t slide over it and I end up with a horrible mess. Can other elastic be substituted?

    1. You don’t mention which type of elastic you used so I’m not sure what you mean by “other elastic”. I’ve used both braided and clear elastic successfully. One trick is to put a layer of sticky tape on the bottom of your machine foot so it will slide more easily.

  3. dimorr says:

    Thanks Jenny. I meant other elastic that’s not plastic. I will give the sticky tape idea a go though.

    1. Yes, you can use regular braided elastic too. The elastic isn’t used for gathering, it’s just for stabilization. You can also sew the waistline first, and then go back over it to secure the elastic in a second go.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Hi Jenny – This may sound like a stupid question, but where do you get 1/4″ clear elastic? the stuff at Joanne’s is wider – 3/8″ I think – and I’ve looked for two years online but can’t find it.

      1. Rebecca says:

        Thank you!!!!

    1. Kate says:

      Is it possible to make the skirt more flared out (so more like a circle skirt) by increasing the width of the skirt panels as long as the waist stays the same? I would like to make a more “flared” dress than what is shown in the pictures.

      1. Ayelet says:

        Hi Kate, you can use the slash-and-spread approach to get a wider skirt without affecting the waist edge or the side seam length.

        -Ayelet at Cashmerette

  5. Kathy says:

    I have just added my skirt and I think that the bodice is too short. I added an inch to its length but the waist seam is still sitting at least 2 inches above my belly button. Where should the waist seam sit and it seems too high still

    1. The waistline is designed to hit at the high waist. If you want to make it lower, you can certainly add more length to the bodice.

  6. Michele says:

    I just finished my daughters Turner and it didn’t turn out. It is too big in the skirt. It might be that I did the elastic wrong. Should it be the size of her waistline or the waistline on the dress? I did it to her waistline and had to stretch it to fit the dress waistline. This seemed to stretch out the bodice.

    1. Carrie McGowan says:

      The elastic should be cut to the length of the waistline of the dress; you shouldn’t have to stretch it to fit the dress waistline. In this pattern, the elastic is there to stabilize the seam and support the weight of the skirt rather than to gather the waist.

  7. Julie Cannon says:

    Thank you so much for the sew along for this dress! I have just purchased the pattern this morning and I am planning to make it tomorrow. One question. Are the sleeve measurements (upper arm) in your patterns a little generous catering for the more curvy figure. My upper arm measures 15 inches. If I make the adjustment in other patterns I find it throws my sleeve head out.

    1. LF says:

      No they don’t. I had to do a significant large biceps adjustment as to fit my arm, also around 15, the sleeve would need to be about 5 sizes larger than the bodice.

  8. Janis says:

    Hello. Are the sleeve pattern pieces from the Alcott interchangeable with the Turner without modifications?

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Janis, the Alcott and Turner sleeves are not interchangeable unfortunately.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

Let me know what you think!