Today, we’re going to go step by step through the process of sewing the bias tape straps for Version 2 of the Dahlia dress. We’ll be using bias tape to both finish the raw edges of the neckline and create the straps.
As stated in the pattern, you’ll need 3 yards of ¼” double fold bias tape. You can use prepackaged bias tape, or you can go all out and make your own! Here is a tutorial for making your own bias tape.
(In these photos, I’m using a bodice mockup to illustrate the process, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve completed all steps prior according to your instructions. Essentially, your dress should be nearly complete except for the neckline and hem.)
Cut a piece of bias tape just a bit longer than your underarm seam. Unfold the first fold in the bias tape and look at the remaining two folds – one is smaller. Unfold this smaller fold and align the raw edges of the bias tape and underarm seam, right sides together.
Pin bias tape along entire underarm edge.
Stitch bias tape to dress following crease closest to the edge. This should be approximately a ¼” seam allowance.
Refold bias tape on creases around the raw edge of the fabric and pin.
Edgestitch along inner edge of bias tape through all layers.
Repeat with other underarm seam.
ATTACH FRONT AND BACK BIAS TAPE
Sew two parallel rows of basting stitches between dots on bodice front. Pull threads to gather fabric down so that it measures 6” between the dots. Anchor threads.
Cut a piece of bias tape that is 5” longer than the back neckline edge on each end.
Find the center of the bias tape and back bodice. Open bias tape and pin centers together, raw edges aligned and right sides together.
Pin rest of edge.
Stitch in first crease along entire edge to attach bias tape to bodice just like you did on the underarms. Stop there – we’ll be refolding and topstitching the bias tape later.
Repeat to attach bias tape to the front in the same manner. Again, don’t topstitch yet.
Mark 3” down from end of each strap. Open bias tape all the way and pin right sides [fold sides] together, being careful not to twist straps.
TIP: Mark the outside of each folded strap near the ends and match the marks when you pin so you don’t accidentally create a twist.
Try on dress and adjust straps if necessary. Stitch straps together and trim excess to ¼”. Gently press seam open.
Refold bias tape on creases all the way around neckline. Repress if necessary, especially where straps are joined.
Starting on the back bodice, edgestitch along bias tape all the way around the dress, stitching along back bodice, first strap, front bodice and second strap. Go nice and slow when you’re sewing the straps.
Clips all threads and press gently.