Monday, October 28, 2013

Sew-Along #8 - Lucy Dress - Lesson #4

The Lucy Dress by Children's Corner
*If you need to see more detail in any of the pictures please click on them to enlarge. 

Day 4 - Hemming, buttonholes, buttons, closing the lining, and
top stitching.

Hello again everyone! I've enjoyed this dress so much, I hope you have too! Lets finish it! 

First up, hemming.  It's a tricky step. The logistics on how to get right sides together for the hem, without twisting it, is more challenging than actually sewing it. I used the children's corner method of dividing into quarters, Below is a video showing the steps to hem your dress! 

Note from Danielle: I use colored pins to help me keep everything straight when hemming a lined dress.  Watch the video and then check out my little trick below.

Since you have a ruffle hem, you will be doing your hemming slightly different than the video.  Instead of sewing the lining directly to the bottom for the dress fabric, you will be sewing it to your seam allowance you created by attaching the ruffle. 

Let's pretend my banded hem is a ruffled hem.

First, flip up your ruffle. 

The navy polka dot side of my seam allowance is the WRONG side.

The yellow gingham is the RIGHT side.  I am going to place a pink pin on the RIGHT side of my fabric (the side that I will be matching up with my lining).

The inside of the lining (the side that will be touching her skin) is the RIGHT side.  I am going to attach another pink pin, this time to the RIGHT side of the lining.

Now, flip your fabrics like Lezette shows in the video, matching up your pins.  The pins should be on the inside of your fabric sandwich, touching each other.

Remove your pins and replace with just one pin on the side you will be stitching on, the wrong side of the lining.
Continue to pin around the garment.  Lezette tells you to only go 1/4 of the way around.  I actually pin from side seam to side seam.  When you are done pinning go ahead and stitch your fabrics together and trim your seam allowance if needed.

To do the last part of the hem we have to work through the hole you left in the side seam of the lining.  First, I'm going to show you how to mark your hem with pins again.

Just like before, place a pin on the RIGHT side of your ruffle seam allowance and a pin on the RIGHT side of your lining.  Make sure these are the same color.

 Now move a little ways down your hem and do this again, but with different color pins.  I used teal this time.

I keep working my way down the hem using colorful pins to mark my way.

Now, shove your unfinished hem through the hole in the lining.  Be careful not to poke yourself with your pins!  Once you have it shoved through, start matching up the colored pins.  

Remember, the pins will be on the inside of your fabric sandwich.  Remove the pins and pin your fabric together.

Keep working around your dress matching up the colored pins.  Once you have it all pinned go ahead and sew.  Don't forget to trim your seam allowance if it needs it.

When you're all done, flip it right side out through the hole in the side seam of the lining.

Next up, buttonholes! I placed mine 3/4" down from the top edge of the piping, and 1/4" from the center point. This worked well, I could've moved them up 1/4" but I'm happy with them. 
Note from Danielle: The pattern calls for 1/2" buttons.  If you purchased a kit it came with 5/8" buttons.  These should work fine.  If you are making a very small dress check to make sure you have enough room on your straps to fit both buttons before you make buttonholes.  If you feel things are going to be too tight, just use one button.   
Refer to your sewing machine manual if you are new to buttonholes. I used a new machine for these, and they were fine but I'll do some tweaking next time! Using a seam ripper, carefully (very carefully!) open your buttonholes. I like to do several small sections to prevent cutting through anything. 
Note from Danielle: I always put a pin across the very bottom of the buttonhole, perpendicular to the hole, before I start cutting.  That way, if you slip, the pin will stop you from slicing through those bar tack stitches at the bottom.
Then using a washable fabric marker, mark where you need to attach the buttons. 

Next, i will show you how to cover your buttons! I was very intimidated by this step since I've never done it, but it was so simple!

First, cut out the template from the back of the package.

Using this template, cut four pieces on the fold. Mine did not turn out perfectly circular in the least, but that is OK!

Next, place a circle on top of the mold.

Press a button top down into the mold, taking care to keep the fabric centered.

Once the button top is in place, make sure all edges are pointing towards the center with none folding back towards the edge.
(^^^avoid this!)

(^^^ that's better!)

Using the blue pushing tool, press the button back into the mold. It doesn't take much effort to snap it in to place, but I did find it helpful to place it on the table top while pressing. 

Pop the button out of the mold, and you have a perfect button!

Stitch your buttons on according to your marks.

Closing the Lining
The next step is to close the hole in the lining that you used to turn the dress right side out. I prefer to use a stitch that is blind, because it looks nicer than a whip stitch. To begin, place your threaded needle on the interior of the lining. Poke it through within the fold of the seam near one edge of the opening. 

Make a stitch that is approximately 1/8" long on one side in the fold.

Begin a new stitch on the opposite side, directly in line with where the previous stitch ended. This will prevent a gap or thread showing. This stitch will need to be smaller than the first. Repeat these steps until you reach the end of the opening.

For the last stitch, pull it nearly all the way through, leaving a small loop. Run your needle through this loop twice, from back to front. Pull the loop snug, and it will secure the stitching.

To hide the ends of the thread, push the needle through approximately 1" of fabric, and clip near the fabric. This will bury it on the interior of the lining! 


Note from Danielle: Press your hem with the seam allowance pointing up towards the bodice.  Give it some good shots of steam as you press to get a nice, crisp hem.

Finally, topstich around the bottom of the skirt to keep your ruffle laying nicely! 

Note from Danielle: I always topstitch the bodice too.  I start at an underarm seam and go around the whole bodice.  It's totally optional but I feel it gives the dress a more finished and professional look.
If you want to add some cute little bows, grab some of your leftover bias tape. The length isn't too important, but 6"-8" will do. Fold it in half, right sides together, then stitch at 1/4". Using a small safety pin, turn the thin tube right side out. Press it flat, with the seam on one side.

Note from Danielle: You can add a fun applique, embroidery, ribbons, and trims to your Lucy too.  Customize her and make her one of a kind.  Have fun and get creative!

You are done my friends! I can't wait to see everyone's work, and I hope you enjoyed this piece!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sew-Along #8 - Lucy Dress - Lesson #3

The Lucy Dress by Children's Corner
*If you need to see more detail in any of the pictures please click on them to enlarge. 

Day 3- Attaching the Lining, constructing the dress, making/attaching ruffle.

Welcome back! Today we will be putting together the dress, and you will begin to see the true fruits of your labor!
Note from Danielle: If you would like to reinforce your straps with interfacing, now is the time to do it.  This can help stabilize your button holes and reinforce the fabric under your buttons.  Whatever type of interfacing you use, please make sure to preshrink it.  The preparations post for this sew-along described how to go about doing that. 

First, make sure you have transferred your pattern markings to your lining pieces.  I also added a line across the top of my front lining straps.

Now cut four small pieces of interfacing to over the rectangular sections at the top of your straps.

Next, pin the interfacing rectangles onto the wrong side of your lining.

Sew along the line across your straps attaching the interfacing and lining together.

When you are done it should look like this.

Trim the interfacing closer to the line you sewed.  I forgot to do this and did it after I sewed the lining and dress together.  Do this before and it will be easier.  ;)

Attaching the Lining

We will start the day with attaching the lining to the bodice. 

To attach your lining, first place the lining piece on top of the corresponding dress piece with right sides together.  Pin in place around the piped edges.

Stitch at a quarter inch seam allowance.

Clip the corners and curves.

Turn right side out and press.

Constructing the Dress
We will begin by pulling your lining away from the dress, and matching right sides of the lining with each other and right sides of the dress with each other. Pin carefully, and make sure to match up the arm seams! 

Note from Danielle: Make sure to leave about 6 inches of one side of the lining un-stitched.  We will need this hole to pull the dress through when we hem it.  I usually leave this hole about half way up in the side seam.  Be careful not to create it too close to the bottom where we will be hemming.  Don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of the hole to keep your seam from pulling apart.

You want the piping to be laying towards the lining  This helps it stick up above the main dress once its turned right side out. 

Stitch at a quarter inch using your normal foot. Make a notch where the arm seams meet to reduce bulk.

Turn it right sides out, and you will see that all raw edges are hiding within the lining!
Note from Danielle: There is no need to finish your seams since they will be enclosed within the lining and will not show or fray.  It is a good idea at this point to press open your seams so that everything lies nice and flat.

Making/Attaching Ruffle
Let's get started on the ruffle! I decided that I wanted my ruffle to be about two inches when finished. 
  • You could do a traditional hem on the ruffle, folding up 1/4", ironing, then folding another 1/4" and stitching. 
  • Alternatively, you could double the height of the ruffle, then fold it in half wrong sides together before ruffling. 
  • I did a rolled hem on my serger, so I did not have to account for hemming, only seam allowance at the top. 
I use my ruffling foot, which I know the perfect setting to reduce the length by half, once ruffled. Therefore, I measured my skirt pieces, then doubled that measurement to figure out how to cut the ruffle. 

You may use any other ruffling method if you don't have a ruffling foot. You could also increase or decrease the length of the ruffle for more or less fullness, depending on your taste :-)

Whatever you decide you need for the length of your ruffle pieces, make sure to cut them a bit longer then you think to give yourself a little wiggle room.  That way, after it's been ruffled, you can measure your ruffle across the bottom of the dress and cut it to the correct length. Don't forget to give yourself an extra half inch or so for seam allowance at each place your ruffle fabric strips will be joined together (quarter inch for each side of the seam).
Note: The pattern does come with a little sheet that discusses the different ways to do ruffles.  Pull this out and read if you would like more information about different options. 

Note from Danielle: I love to create my ruffles by doubling the fabric over.  That way, all raw seam edges are hidden inside. I just carefully measure and create my band (a big continuous ring of fabric), fold it in half with wrong sides together, ruffle it (or not, sometimes I just like a banded hem), then attach it to my dress.  It gives you a very finished look with no seams showing on the inside at all.

Now to attach the ruffle, you want to align the raw edges with right sides together. Pin in place, then stitch close to the basting/ruffling stitch.

That's it for lesson 3. Next time we will hem the dress and put all of the adorable finishing touches on!
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