Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sew-Along #7 - Penny Dress - Lesson #3

 The Penny Dress by Modkid   

* If you need to see more detail in any of the pictures please click on them to enlarge. 

We finished our shoulder seam in Lesson #2 so let's pick up there.  So, you have your ruffle (optional), empire waist (optional), and right shoulder seam finished.  

Let's get started....

Neck Binding
Now let's work on the neck binding.  I know you are nervous about this step but it is really easy peasy!  

Make a decision about what type of neckband you want on your dress, contrasting or matching.  I'm going with contrasting but I think matching is cute as well.

First we are going to fold our neckband piece in half and iron (one more trip across the room!)  I know it seems to not really help much to iron knit, but if you use a little spray starch on your fabric the crease will stay nicely.

Place your fabric with the right side facing up.

The placement of your neck binding is important here and I use a marking method to help me place it correctly.  First, find the center of your neckband piece by folding it in half and marking with a pin.  If you want to mark the halfway point from the pin to the ends that helps as well.

Now we need to find the center of our neck opening.  The center is not on the seam because we only have one seam complete at this point.  Fold the garment in half, matching the neck edges and place your pin to mark the center.  Again, you can mark the halfway point from the center to the edge on both sides of the center if you would like.

Let's line up our pins to make our placement correct.  You will need to stretch the neckband slightly as you pin around the neck.  Make sure right sides are facing each other.

This is what you should end up with!  Tons of pins!  The pins really help me keep everything in place and help make sure the neckband fits on the neck of the dress.  Take your neck over to the sewing machine and stitch the neckband onto the dress.

I have the neckband stitched in place and serged edges.

Let's stitch in the ditch now for our topstitching.  I am still using my twin needle so it looks like I have only have one stitch line because my second line of stitching is actually in the seam where the neckband and neck of the bodice meet, "stitch in the ditch".

Close up of stitch in the ditch.

Looking good!


Left Shoulder Seam
It's time to sew the other shoulder together in the same manner as before. Remember, you can use seam binding or ribbon in the seam to give more stability. Serge or finish your shoulder seam.  I also placed a little bartack on my serged edge (you may have a zig zag stitch or a trimmed edge instead) at the neckband to tuck the serging (or other finishing) out of the way.

This is a good time to decide if you want your sleeve to have a hem or remain a raw edge.  If you want to hem the sleeve, I think this is a good time to hem it while it is still a flat piece and easier to sew.  See below for my tips on hemming the edge.

I made a simple ironing guide out of a left over heavy piece of paper.  I cannot tell you how many times I have used this handy tool in the last 6 months! I marked lines at 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 and 2 inches.  When you are ready to press your hem, find the line and fold over your fabric to the desired length.  I typically use 1/4in for hems, so I folded the sleeve over to the 1/4in line and ironed (using starch).  Head over to your machine and topstitch in place.

Here's a better look at my ironing guide.

Here is my sleeve, topstitched.  I trimmed the inside edge as close to my stitching as possible.

Did you add a ruffle to your dress?  Go ahead and skip ahead to your "side seams" then, if not continue reading.  

You can decide now if you want a finished hem or raw edge on your skirt.  I chose to keep my edge raw but if you choose to hem, follow the exact same process as the sleeve hem above but for the bottom hem of the dress.

Side Seams
Now, on to the side seams.  Make sure your garment is right sides together and pin all the way from the under arm to the ruffle edge.  We're almost there!!!!  Head over to your machine and stitch up both side seams.  Serge or finish your edges.  Wait for it, wait for it.....

Are you doing the happy dance???  We're finished!  I hope you enjoyed making your Penny and I hope to see your pics on Facebook!

Let me hear from you!  Do you have questions?  Do you have an easier method? I'd love to know....  It has been an absolute pleasure sewing with you, let's do it again VERY soon.

Happy sewing!

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