Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sew-Along #2 – Bella Pants - Lesson 2

The Bella Pants

I just want to remind everyone that I am not following the exact order and directions in the pattern booklet. I do however encourage you to read the directions in your booklet all the way through.  I also want to remind everyone that if you would like to enlarge any of the images posted in this blog, just click on them.  Finally; if you have any questions, suggestions, or tips to share; please make sure to post them on our Facebook group.

1. Sewing the pants. 

With right sides together, pin the two Pant Front pieces together from the center waist to the crotch.  Stitch together using a 3/8" seam allowance. 

Do the same with the two Pant Back pieces, stitching them together from the center of the waist to the crotch.

Finish the edges with either your serger or a zig-zag stitch.

With right sides together, pin the Pant Front to the Pant Back pieces.

Sew together the two side seams with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Note: We are not sewing up our inseam (from the crotch down) yet.  The pattern directions would have you do this now, but I find it easier to wait and do it later.  If you want to sew the inseam together now, that is fine.  Just understand that how you work with and attach your ruffles will be a tad different than how I do it.

Again, using your serger or a zig-zag stitch; finish the side seams.

Finally, press the side seams to the back of the pants using some good shots of steam to create crisp, sharp creases.  If you would like, topstitch these seams down stitching about 1/8" from the seam.  Don't forget to lengthen your stitches when you topstitch.  I increase my stitches from 2.5 to 3.5.

2. Sewing and Attaching the Ruffles - Single Ruffle Pants Only

If you are making the double ruffle pants, you are done for today.  We will construct and attach the double ruffles in lesson 3.

Those who are making the single ruffle pants will need to grab their ruffle pieces.

Note: The way I construct and attach my ruffles is different from the pattern instructions.  I find it much easier to gather and attach a strip of fabric than a loop of fabric.  This is why I have left my inseam open.  Also, even though I am creating single ruffle pants; I have chosen to make my ruffles out of Fabric B, the contrast fabric.  If you purchased a kit you will be making your ruffles out of Fabric A.

a. Rolled Hem

Use your serger to create a rolled hem along one of the long edges of each ruffle piece.  Make sure that you keep the width of your ruffle consistent, and that as you create the rolled hem you consistently trim of the same amount of fabric along the whole length. You DO NOT want the ruffle more narrow at one edge than the other or your pants will not line up and will look funny.

b. Traditional Hem

If you are not using a serger to create a rolled hem, but instead will be constructing a traditional hem, we will be doing that in lesson #3.

Next, you will be gathering your ruffle.  Their are many ways to do this.  You can gather using basting stitches like we did in steps E/F #9-10 here and then pulling the bobbin thread to gather like we did in step H #5 here.

I used my serger to gather my ruffles for this project.  If you want to use your serger, simply set your differential feed to 2 and overlock the raw edge of your fabric down the length of the ruffle.  Your fabric will softly gather under the presser foot.

Your finished ruffles should look something like this.

You will next want to attach them to your pant legs.  Lay out your first pant legs like so, with the right side up.

Note:  If you used your serger to ruffle your fabric, you will most likely need to pull on the needle thread(s) to pull up your ruffle tighter, making it fit the pant leg.  Do this carefully so you don't break any threads and work slowly ensuring that your ruffles are evenly distributed.

With right sides together, carefully pin the raw edge of your ruffle to the raw edge of your pant leg.  

Using a basting stitch, stitch the ruffle onto the pant leg.  Overlock or zig-zag stitch the seam to finish it, being careful to not catch up any of the gathers and cause puckers.

Once ruffles have been attached to both legs and the seams have been finished, press the seams upward toward the pants using some good shots of steam.  The crisper you get this crease the more professional your sewing will look.  Topstitch 1/8" from the seam.  Again, don't forget to lengthen your stitches when you topstitch.

You have officially finished lesson #2!  Congratulations.  Only one more lesson to go and you will have created an adorable pair of ruffled pants for a very special little girl.

Thanks for sewing with me,
Danielle Storm

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