Finish all the peripheral details. In this case it meant the back skirt placket, the piped sashes, and the sash keeper.
Seam the dress at the shoulder seam only. Do the same for the lining. You can see how the front skirt is already attached but not the back. It has to be because the yoke attaches to the skirt mid armscye. This is standard procedure for smocked yoke dress.
Next the piping needs to be attached to the armscye. After that the piping is attached to the neckline and center back closure. The sides and bottom edge of the lining remain open and unstitched.
The lining is then stitched to the dress at the armscyes, neckline, and center back. Stitch again 18th inch from the original stitching line. Trim back to the last stitching line. You can see one trimmed armscye and one not trimmed in the pic.
Turn the lining by pulling the back bodice thru the shoulder seam area. Press.
Attach the skirt backs to the bodice back. Do not include the lining.
In the picture you can see the lining bottom edges turned back for clarity.
The sides of the dress are now placed together taking care to match the piping at the armscye edge. The front lining is now WRAPPED over the underarm seam. You now have four layers, skirt front face up, skirt back face down, back bodice lining right side up, front lining now wrapped around and and wrong side up.
Stitch the side seams of the dress. After stitching I serge the seam with a three thread as well. The seam is then turned at the lining. You will see the bodice side seam and lining ARE VERY SECURE, great for holding the sash. This technique secures all the side seams in one line of stitching that is then automatically finished when turned.
Why do it this way? For one, it enables you to do all piping, and other details as well, in the flat. It also makes for a very secure finish to the lining installation as well.
I hope this was clear. All that is left to do on the dress are the button holes and a good press. I am pleased, more than I thought I would be at the beginning of this project. It did kind of take on a life of its own. The good thing is I have it done in time for DGD to wear for Easter. In the mail tomorrow, that is, after all pictures are taken!.....Bunny