part one and part two.
This part is important because if your back bodice stretches, you want the back waistline seam to stretch too. If it doesn't stretch, your shirring won't be able to stretch at the waistline and that's no good! So it's just a simple process of elasticizing the seam.
First, gather your back skirt waistband by sewing a line of stitching with elastic thread still in the bobbin with a 1/2" seam allowance. This will help ease the skirt into the shirred bodice. (Note: I'm sewing shorts into my bodice below, but it's the same idea.) It doesn't matter which side the bobbin thread is on, since it will be hidden in the seam allowances. Steam it to shrink it up a bit more if needed.
Next, pin your back bodice to your skirt right sides together. Pin at one end and then stretch the bodice so you can pin it at the other end. Distribute evenly and pin throughout.
Sew by stretching the pieces to fit each other. You still have elastic thread in the bobbin.
Press the seam allowances as usual. Now you have a stretchy seam!
Note: You can also do this by sewing the bodice and skirt together the tradtional way--in the round--you just have to switch from regular to elastic thread in the bobbin once you get to the back.
Note: For this romper, I used a side zipper, which didn't work very well since it rippled along the side seam . If you followed the instructions from part one, you'll have a center back zipper like the dress in the first photo. So attach each side of the skirt to the two back pieces separately, using the technique to elasticize the seam, and then insert the zipper using a centered application. Hand picking works well with the smocking.
That's it, friends. I hope you've enjoyed this series and will be making yourself many comfy sundresses. Please share the results!