Monday, October 21, 2013

Sew-Along #8 - Lucy Dress - Lesson #1

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 1- Cutting out pattern, making bias trim and piping.

Hello everyone! Who is excited to create this adorable Lucy dress?! I love how this turned out, and I can't wait to help you create your very own that you will treasure! 

Cutting Out Your Pattern
The first step will be to cut out your fabric using either the tissue pieces from your pattern or the freezer paper tracings you created. 

For view A, you will need:
Front (on fold) - 1 main and 1 lining
Back (on fold) - 1 main and 1 lining
Pockets - 4 main (2 reverse) and 4 lining (2 reverse)
Pocket tops - 4 contrast (if following the pattern) OR create additional piping instead as I will be showing.
Ruffle- 1 in contrast

I personally liked working with the pique, it made it very easy to find the grainline. If you are not familiar with finding the grain, here is my favorite way to do so. I learned this when I was ten while working on a 4-H project, and it stuck with me :-)

All you have to do is create a fold from the selvage to however wide you need it. Measure from the selvage to the fold at different points along the edge. If the measurements match exactly, you have found your grain!

Now lay your pattern front and pattern back out on the lining fabric with the straight edge aligned on the fold. Pin in place or use handy pattern weights. Mine are super fancy mini cans of soda. We had them leftover from a birthday party a few years back, and it works perfectly :-) I also had enough room to place my pocket pieces next to the front piece.

Repeat for your main fabric.

Making Bias Trim
Now on to the bias tape to be used for piping. This step sounds intimidating, but with a little bit of effort, it makes a gorgeous addition to this dress. 

The first step is to create a perfect square out of the accent/contrast material. This makes it much easier to stay lined up on the bias while you are cutting. I used two 15"x15" squares for my size 2 dress, and it was more than enough. I think one square would have been perfect. 

Take your square to your quilting mat. Align the edges on all four sides with the lines on the mat. You will find a 45 degree angle line, that is what you will be using for this method! (Don't mind the strange markings on my mat, I tried my hand at making cloth diapers previously!)

Now, you will use your quilting ruler and rotary cutter to make 1" cuts that are parallel to the 45 degree angle line. I achieve this by making the first cut directly in the center, then working my way to the sides by moving the ruler over one inch on the 45 degree line. 

I used the cording to measure around the front arm and neck opening.

Then the back neck and arm opening.

And finally around each pocket. The picture shows only around the curve of the bottom, but you will need two going all the way around, then two just across the top plus another inch or two down the sides.
Note from Danielle: Below is a diagram for the length of cording you will need to construct the pocket like Emily is teaching.  Don't mind how poor I am at drawing with my mouse.  ;)  You will need two pieces in each length shown if you are putting two pockets on your dress.

I used these cording pieces to determine which bias strips would work lengthwise.  If you have any cording that is longer than your bias stripes, piece them together at a right angle to make what ever length you need. Press the seam flat. 
Note from Danielle: If you are not sure how to splice your bias trim together just follow the instructions below.
 Lay your bias strips right sides together like this.
I like to use my ruler and a fabric marker to draw my stitch line.  You don't have to do this, but sometimes I forget where to sew when I'm at my machine.

Stitch down your stitch line.

It should look like this when you are done.

Trim the excess seam.

Press the seam open.

Constructing Piping
Now we are ready to construct the piping!

Take your strips and your cording to your machine. Attach your zipper foot, and set your stitch length to the longest setting.

Fold your bias tape in half, then carefully hold your cording in between the top and bottom piece of the strip.

Use your zipper foot to stitch close to the cord.

You now have a beautiful length of piping. Congrats!

Meet us back here Wednesday for day two, where we will work on the pockets, as well as attaching piping and constructing the dress!

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