Monday, September 24, 2012

Sew-Along #3 – Bella Skirt - Lesson 3

The Bella Skirt

Please note that I am not following the exact order and directions on the pattern. I do however encourage you to read the directions all the way through before starting to familiarize yourself with the steps.  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.

Please note that all seam allowances are 1/4" for this pattern.

1. Attaching Lower Ruffle to Tier #2.

A. Grab your Tier #2 piece.  You created this earlier out of fabric B.  Press side seams to the back.  The two seams will be at the sides of your skirt.  Mark center front and center back. 

B. Grab the long lower ruffle you made from Fabric A. 
Size 1-2: The seams on the ruffle will match up to the side seams of your Tier #2 piece.  Find the center front and center back and mark them.

Size 3-4 and Size 5-6: You created this ruffle out of three strips of fabric.  Pick one of the seams to be your center back.  Now find the center front and mark it.  Next, find the two sides and mark them as well.  The two sides will NOT be at the seams.

C. You should have already ruffled this fabric in a previous lesson.

Now, with right sides together, attach this ruffle to the bottom of Tier #2 matching up the center front, center back, and sides.  You might need to pull up or loosen your gathers a bit to make it fit correctly.
D. Stitch the lower ruffle to the bottom of Tier #2.  Serge or zig-zag finish the edge.
Press the seam up, towards the top of the skirt.
E. Topstitch catching the seam underneath.  Remember to lengthen your topstitches a bit to give it a more professional look.

2. Preparing and attaching the Petticoat to Tier #2.

A. First you will need to decide which fabric you want to be the front of your petticoat layer.  I chose fabric D for mine.  Find the center front and center back and mark them.  Find the two sides and mark them also.

Now, press all side seams to the back of the petticoat layer.

Next, press under the bottom edge of the petticoat layer 1/4", then press under 1/4" again, forming a narrow hem.

Stitch the narrow hem in place.

B.  We will be sewing top edges of Tier #2 and the Petticoat together.  Find the center front of your Petticoat layer and the center front of Tier #2.  With right side facing up and the hem at the bottom, lay your Petticoat layer down on your work surface.  Next, with right side facing up and the bottom ruffle at the bottom, lay your Tier #2 piece on top of your Petticoat layer, matching up the center fronts. 

Pin in place.

Repeat for the center back and the sides.  Continue to pin Tier #2 to the Petticoat layer.  These two pieces should be the same size, but you may have to ease in the Petticoat layer if not.  If your not sure how to do that, you may find this YouTube video to be helpful.

Stitch the Petticoat to Tier #2 using a set of long gathering stitches.  You might   Stitch these gathering stitches 1/8" and just under 1/4" from the edge of the fabrics.  You might want to use upholstery thread (or any strong thread) if you have it.  We are going to gather this Tier #2 and Petticoat together to attach to Tier #1.  I am going to use the gathering stitches to gather instead of my serger to reduce the amount of bulk in this seam.

3. Attaching Tier #1 to Tier #2.

A. Turn Tier #2/Petticoat layer inside out.  Turn Tier #1 upside down and tuck inside Tier #2/PetticoatWith right sides together, match up center back, center front, and sides, pinning into place.  Pull up gathering threads and pin the tiers together.

B. Stitch Tier #1 to Tier #2/Petticoat.  Serge or zig-zag stitch the edges.  Press seam to the top.

If you are not going to add any trim to the seam between Tier #1 and Tier #2 then you will need to topstitch the seam down.  If you are going to add trim, you can skip the topstitching if you like.  I did a quick topstitch with a long stitch length just to hold my seam in place and to give myself a clear line to add my trim too.

4. Attaching the Ruffle-Rac or Rick-Rack (optional).

Starting at the side (or the back) of your skirt, pin the ruffle-rac or rick-rack to the seam created by joining Tier #1 and Tier #2.  Leave about 1-2 inches loose at the beginning. 
You can either continue to pin the trim all around the skirt or just hold it in place as you stitch.  I find it easiest to just hold it in place.

Starting at your pin and using a matching thread color, stitch the trim in place.  With the ruffle-rac just stitch right over the existing stitches.  With rick-rack you will need to stitch right in the center being careful to keep your stitches on the rick-rack.  Go slowly and make sure the trim and skirt are both laying flat.  Also make sure you are keeping the trim lined up in the center of the seam.

When you get about 1-2 inches from the end stop your machine but keep your needle down.  
While keeping your needle down, you will now need to cut off the trim tails at the beginning and end making sure the trim overlaps.  Also make sure you leave enough so you can fold the trim under on itself.   

Fold each raw side under while trying to match up the "humps".  
Continue to stitch through the beginning stitches, securing your trim.  I then carefully tucked any raw edges of trim that were poking out and stitched down the width of the trim to secure these raw edges and prevent them from fraying.


5. Finishing The Waist
Your final step it to insert your elastic in the waist.  Once you have the elastic inserted, if possible, check the fit with the new skirt's owner.  Then, overlap your elastic, secure the ends together, close up your casing, add a tag if you like, and your done.  
Congratulations, you just created an adorable Bella Marie Boutique Bella Twirl Skirt!  Isn't it cute!!

Thanks for sewing with me,
Danielle Storm

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