Adding Elastic to the Swirl Dress

I hope I answered all your questions on my Flag dress post about all four of the dresses I made for Independence day on my Flag Dress post. If you’re reading this you’re probably interested about how I attached the bodice with the open back. If you chose a bodice with no open back you can just attach the skirt to it the way you would in the pattern. As wonderful as the Peppermint Swirl dress is on its own, I wanted to change the dress a bit. This is after all my 10th peppermint swirl dress now. So here is an example of the back of the dress below.

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I’m so happy with the way it came out (My youngest got one just like it) AND BONUS, she fit in it two years in a row. I only had to remake my youngest’s dress along with mine this year. So hopefully you are able to make this dress last for a few years this way.

First, you will want to have your bodice and skirt finished according to the instructions. I have my bodice laying out to on my mat so I can see how long it is. This helps me to figure out how much elastic I want and how much to gather my skirt. *Be sure to finish the edges of your skirt before beginning.

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Second, I will clip or pin my skirt half way on each side as  you can see below. I personally prefer using clips because I’m less likely to sew over one on accident and doing that on a serger is BAD news. Ask me how I know. Plus I am less likely to use a bandaid every time I Sew something. I’m a walking accident.

These specific clips are form Amazon. Get yours here! 


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Next, you will make a one inch cut on both sides of your skirt where the clips are. Do not cut a seam. This may cause your flounce to detach. Fold down the back side of the skirt down 1 inch and clip along the fold. This will be our elastic casing.

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Create your casing by sewing a straight line on the back of the skirt where you folded . Depending on the size of the elastic you are using you will want to sew with enough room for your elastic to fit smoothly.

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Next cut your elastic. I cut my elastic 3 inches from the length of the bodice. Below you can see my bodice is 11.5 inches in length so I cut 3 inches smaller than that making the elastic 8.5 inches. You can adjust it accordingly.

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Next pin a safety pin to your elastic on one end and pull through your casing. Stitch only ONE Side of the elastic down in the casing and leave the pin on the other end.

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You will now baste the front of the bodice by setting your machine at the longest stitch length you can.

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Next you will take those handy clips and with right side of bodice on top of right side of skirt you will clip the bodice to the skirt and attach with your machine. If you want a hidden seam you will only sew it to the bodice and not the lining. Fold the lining in and top stitch. I unfortunately don’t have pictures of this at the moment but will get some on my next project.

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After the bodice is attached to the skirt you will check fit and adjust the elastic as needed. Attach the elastic on the other side and close up the casing as you did the other side.

And that’s it!

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