The Acton sew-along : Making and attaching the straps


Over the last few days in the Acton sew-along, we have assembled the bodice, attached the pockets and assembled the skirt, joined the bodice to the skirt and inserted the invisible zip. Today we will be making and attaching the straps. 

Make the straps

Take the bodice strap pieces and fold in half lengthways, with right sides together. Press in place.

Stitch down the long side of each strap with a 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance. 

Trim down the seam allowance to about 3-4mm (⅛in) before using a safety pin (or bodkin) to turn the straps right side out. Press straps flat.

Position straps

Take the straps and place them face down on the front of the bodice, pinning them in place between the neckline and the armholes. The straps need to be positioned with the short end sticking up beyond the top edge of the bodice (it will become right way up when the bodice is lined). Stitch in place 6mm (¼in) from the top edge.

Try on the dress

Try on the dress and pin the straps in place at the back (this is when an extra set of hands really helps), at the length that they feel comfortable. Strap positioning is very important, so have a play around to ensure you have got it right. The peak of the princess seam on the bodice should sit on the peak of your bust. If you are struggling with this, it may help to check out some of the tester versions of the dress, to see how the bodice sits on a range of different figure shapes. 

Take the dress off and use a horizontal pin to mark the correct length on the back end of each of the straps, before unpinning.

With the dress right-side out again, being careful not to twist the strap, pin the strap in place
on the back, with right sides together. Stitch in place (within the 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance). Repeat for the second strap.

Okay, straps are in place! Tomorrow we'll be attaching the lining, then we just need to hem it, and the dress is done!

You may also like: