Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sew-Along #5 - Naomi Dress - Lesson #4

The Naomi Dress by Modkid

Welcome to Day Four of the Sew Along!

The lucky winner from Lesson #3's is... 

Congratulations Megan Cheatham!

And even if you weren’t the winner, we all win today because we are at the home stretch! Just a few steps to go and we will be done!

We are going to start right where we left off in the last day of the sew along; the back dress panel.

Helpful Hint: If you would like to see any of the images in more detail just click on them to enlarge.

Using the measurements in the pattern, cut your elastic to the length indicated for your size. Now, you will need to thread the elastic through the casing you created. I have a set of elastic threaders, but find a large safety pin works just as well and I can use the same one for all sizes of elastic. I attach the safety pin to the end of the elastic and insert it into the casing. 

Then thread the safety pin through the casing. 

When I get to the point that my end is getting to the edge of the casing, I pin the elastic to the end so that it doesn’t get sucked inside the casing. 

Once the elastic is pinned in place, continue working the elastic through the casing and out the other side.

When it is all the way through, remove the safety pin and pin the elastic into place. Then baste along each edge to hold the elastic in place.

Now, lay the dress back on your working surface, right side up.

Grab the dress top and place it right side down on top of the back, matching the side seams.

Pin the side seams together and sew each side using a 1/2” seam allowance and backstitching at the beginning and end.
I put a pin inside of the back seam to help hold the back flush, since the shirring will make it want to pucker up there.

Once the seam is sewn on both sides, finish the seams with an overlock or zigzag stitch or a serger.

Then press the seams flat and topstitch along the seam.

Once the side seams are sewn and finished, we will move on to the ruffle.

Using the two remaining strips of fabric, you will want to place them right sides together and sew along one short end, finishing the seam.

I find it easier to hem the ruffle before I sew the other end together. You can hem by ironing a 1/4” fold onto the edge of the fabric. Then, turning it up again, iron the hem flat. Sew a stitch the entire length of the hem to finish it.

You can also use a narrow hem foot if you have one.
Love this little guy!

This is how you do a narrow hem with the foot:

Put the hemming foot on the machine.

Now fold your fabric edge over twice, just like you would if you were folding it to iron and hem. Your fabric should be wrong side up, with the folded hem on the right hand side (like the picture).

Now, with the hemmer foot lifted, place the folded fabric under the foot. Lower the hemmer foot and sew a couple of stitches to get the hem started, using the hemmer foot just like a regular foot at this point.

Once the first few stitches are in to get the hem started, make sure the needle is in the down position (through your fabric) and lift the presser foot.

Lift the folded piece up and around the loop on the hemmer foot, wrapping it around metal prong.

Lower the presser foot and start sewing. As I sew, I hold the fabric up and steady, guiding it along so it feeds nicely through the foot as it sews.

And voila! 88” of hemmed ruffle in about 3 minutes with no burnt finger tips! Did I mention that I LOVE my narrow hemming foot?
If you need a more visual reference, this is another good place to consult youtube. Watch a few in action and you will get it right away!

Okay, regardless of the technique you chose to hem your ruffle piece, you should have it done by now. So sew up the second side of the ruffle (you will have a big loop) and let’s get gathering!

There are many ways to gather, I used my serger (4 thread; tension on the needles up to 8; differential feed on 2; stitch length at its longest) to gather mine. Some sewing machines will also gather if you set the stitch length the the longest length and the tension to the highest setting; then sew along and the machine gathers for you . My machine will not do that. But if yours will, DO IT, it’s genius!

If you don’t have a serger and cannot (or don’t want to) use the long stitch/high tension method, you can also gather the same way we did the skirt front and pocket ruffle. Simply run two parallel basting stitches along the entire long (unhemmed) edge of the ruffle piece; do not back stitch at either end. Then, working from each end and into the middle, gather the fabric towards the center. Continue gathering until your ruffle piece is the same size as your skirt bottom.

Once your piece is all gathered, we need to apply the ruffle to the bottom of the dress. Matching the gathered edge of the ruffle and the unfinished edge of the dress, pin the ruffle to the dress, right sides together.

Work your way all the way around the skirt, pinning and matching as you go. If your ruffle is too short or too long, you can adjust your gather as you work your way around.

Once the ruffle is pinned and adjusted, sew the ruffle to the dress bottom using a 1/2” seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and the end of the seam.

When applying a gathered ruffle, sometimes it can get “bunchy” under your presser foot. As I am sewing, I try to smooth those out by stopping with the needle in the down position.

Then I lift the presser foot and adjust the gathered fabric so it is back in line and not folding or bunching.

Then lower the presser foot and keep on sewing!

Once the entire ruffle is applied, finish the seam with a overlock or zigzag stitch or serger. Then press the seam up towards the skirt and topstitch along the seam.

We are so close to being done, one last step!  

Okay, last thing; sewing on the buttons. One confession I did not make up front is that I loathe hand sewing. So I leave the buttons until the end. But, nothing else to procrastinate for, so here we go!

I used my multi-use point-turning/button gauge (which has paint on it from some non-sewing related usage at some point in the past) to mark the center of my pocket with a pin.

Then I applied the button to the center.

I like to sew three or four loops through the button and then tie it off. I tie it off by running my needle under the stitching on the back...

...then forming a loop and threading the needle back into the loop.

Pull it tight and you have a nice little knot.

See those little feet? They have now stripped off their clothes and are chanting “try my dress, try my dress!” as I sew on the buttons. It’s nice to have a cheering section in the last push to finish a project :)

Once you have tied off the pocket button, apply the buttons to the bodice in the same manner.

And now you are done! Go! Try that dress on a little body! It’s the perfect dancing dress.

Thanks so much for joining me on my first sew along! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! See you again soon, 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed making this adorable dress! Thanks Sarah for the easy to follow instructions and helpful pictures! (And the pictures of your little girl are so precious!)


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