February 1, 2021

Upton Sewalong: Assemble the Princess Seamed Bodice

Welcome back to the Upton Dress & Skirt sewalong! Today, we’re showing you how to sew up the princess seamed bodice of the Upton Dress.

(Just joining us? Make sure you head over to the main Upton sewalong page to catch up on everything you may have missed.)

This princess seamed bodice is included in the new Upton Mix & Match Expansion. (If you have the classic Upton, you can get the expansion as an add-on so that you can take advantage of these new features!) As with the darted bodice, you have the option of choosing between the sleeveless princess bodice and the sleeved princess bodice—these options exist so that you can get the ideal bust fit whether you’re using sleeves or not. Depending on your sleeve choice, make sure to choose the right bodice option! (Note that if you’re using the cap sleeve, you should still use the sleeveless princess bodice.)

For this tutorial, I’m using a light blue floral rayon for the outer bodice, and a darker blue floral rayon for the lining. For both the bodice and lining, I’m using a contrast thread so that you can see the stitches more clearly, but you can use a coordinating thread on your Upton.

Okay, let’s get started sewing!

Prepare the Pieces

To start, we need to staystitch the neckline. This type of stitch is a very short stitch that prevents the neckline from stretching out as we’re handling the pieces. Sew at 1/4″ (6 mm) from the edge and work in two passes, starting at each shoulder and stopping at the center.

If you’re using the square neck, keep your needle down and pivot at each corner.

Repeat with the front lining, as well as the back pieces (both outer and lining).

Sew the Front Bodice

Time to start assembling our front bodice. Start by pinning the side front piece to the center front piece at the princess seam, aligning the notches.

Let’s sew that seam using our 1/2″ (12 mm) seam allowance.

Excellent! Now we can press the seam allowance towards the side. Press over a tailor’s ham to maintain the nice shaping of the princess seam.

Repeat with the other side, and our front bodice is assembled!

Before we move on to the back, let’s repeat these steps to assemble our front bodice lining.

Sew the Back Bodice

Let’s do the same thing on the back: we’re going to pin the side back to the center back, aligning the notches.

Let’s sew that seam!

And again, we’re going to press the seam allowance to the side.

That’s one side done, and we can repeat with the second side as well.

Okay great! Go ahead and do the same with the back lining pieces as well.

Attach the Waistband

Next up, we’re going to attach the waistband. Pin the front waistband to the bottom edge of the front bodice, matching the notches with the princess seams.

Let’s sew that seam using our 1/2″ (12 mm) seam allowance.

Once that’s sewn, we can press the seam allowance down towards the waistband.


We can now do the same thing on with the back bodice pieces and back waistbands.

Excellent! Now repeat these waistband steps with the lining.

Trim Lining

Before we go further, we need to do a little bit of trimming on the lining. Trim 1/6″ (1.5 mm) off the neckline of the front and back bodices, lining ONLY.

If you’re making a sleeveless bodice, trim the same amount off the armscye of the front and back bodice lining as well.

Sew the Shoulders

For our last step of the day, we’re going attach the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulders. Start by pinning each shoulder.

Now we can sew that seam.

And let’s press it towards the back!

Great! Let’s do the same with our lining.

And now our princess seamed bodice is assembled! Next up, we’ll be preparing our sleeves (if you’re using sleeves) and then attaching the bodice and lining together.

We’d love to see your Upton Dress, whatever stage you’re at! Tag your photos on social media using #UptonDress so we can marvel at your progress.

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Let me know what you think!