That’s it, you’re almost there! Skirt is done, bodice is done. They just need to come together and you’ll have a dress!
For being a fairly simple step, sewing the dropped waist seam can be one of the trickier parts of your dress, depending on your machine and the thickness of your dress stiffener. The bulky side pleat is often a bit too much for some sewing machines, especially slant-shank machines like some vintage Singers, which don’t perform well with too much bulk. If your machine just isn’t having it, here’s a simply way to sew the seam without having to stitch over a mountain.
1. Start by pinning the bodice to the skirt the same way you would normally. The side-pleats should be folded towards the front of the dress. Edge stitch from center-back to the side-pleat. Stop and backstitch, but make sure to keep the backstitching small and neat.
Move the side-pleat to point towards center back. Now that it’s out of your way, start stitching again where you left off and continue to the other side pleat. Stop and backstitch again. Fold the second pleat back towards center-front, and sew the last section of your waist.
You have just sewn the seam in three parts, avoiding the bulk of the side pleat. The under side of your dress should look like this.
Fold the side-pleats towards the center-front, and tack by hand at the seamline.
Aaand you’re done. Same result without the bulk (and without the cursing!). Stay tuned for more tips or ask a question yourself!