Friday, January 31, 2014

Sew-Along #11 - Exchange Dress - Lesson #3

The Exchange Dress

If you would like to see any of the images larger just click on them. 

Day 3 - Sewing Center Front Panels and Finishing the Dress

1. If you haven't already, you first need to add some applique or embroidery to your two (or four) center panels.  Keep in mind that you need to leave room on the edge and hem for a ¼" seam allowance.  You will also need to leave room on the sides for the button holes.  I like to mark off the seam allowance on the panels.

This just gives me a visual reference for how much room I have to work with.

I also will sometimes print out the designs so that I can move them around to see exactly where I want them.

2. Once you have your panels embellished it's time to move on to creating our piping.  To do this we first need to make bias trim.  Grab your piece of coordinate fabric.  Fold the fabric so that you are lining up a selvage edge with a cut edge.  This will create an edge with a 45 degree angle.  You will want to lightly press this folded edge.

3. Next, with your straight edge, measure and cut a ½" strip of fabric along the folded edge.  *We need 1" strips for the bias trim, but since this first one is folded, cut it at ½".  When you unfold it you will have a 1" wide strip.

4. Unfold (or really just take a part) your fabric and continue to cut 1" strips of fabric along this bias edge you created.  You will need about 2 yards total.

Once you have 2 yards of bias strips, splice them together. Ignore the fact that I am now using a different fabric in the picture.  

5. Lay your bias strips right sides together like this.
6. 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.

7. Stitch down your stitch line.

8. It should look like this when you are done.

9. Trim the excess seam.

10. Press the seam open.

 11. Next you need to fold the trim in half and iron it.

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

13. Fold your bias tape in half, then carefully hold your cording in between the top and bottom piece of the strip. Please ignore the fact that the fabric has changed again in my pictures.

14. Use your zipper foot to stitch close to the cord.

15. You now have a beautiful length of piping.

16. Next, using some basting spray, attach your interlining (center front panel piece you cut from your lining fabric) to the back side of one of your panels.

17. It should look like this when you are done.  Make sure to match up all edges well.

18. Take your other embellished panel, matching raw edge to raw edge, pin your piping to the front side of it.

19. Do this on both long sides.  It's okay to have it hang off the edges a bit.  We'll trim that later.

20. Still using your zipper foot, attach the piping to both sides of the front center panel.

21. With right sides together, matching up raw edges, and the panel with piping on top, pin your two center fronts together.

22. Sew together right along the stitch line created from when you attached your piping.  Make sure to leave an opening in one of the sides for turning.  I did mine where you see the missing pin above.

23. Trim seams, clip corners and curves.  Turn your panel right side out through opening.  Press out corners.  Iron well.  Handstitch your opening closed.  I used a ladder stitch for mine and hid the knot and thread ends inside the layers.

24. It's now time for buttonholes.  You first want to determine your spacing.  I made a size 4 here and spaced my buttons 3" apart.  The instructions give some good information about placing buttonholes.  Make sure to read that on page 7.

25. Using a tape measure I marked out where I wanted the center of each button.  Remember, in order for this panel to be reversible the buttonholes must mirror each other from side to side.  Otherwise, when you flip the panel over the buttons and buttonholes will not match up.

26. Next I did a test buttonhole so that I knew exactly how large my buttonhole would be.

Note: Your buttonhole setting might work differently.  Follow your manufactures directions.  If you are not well versed in making buttonholes, practice, practice, and practice some more.  I can't stress enough how important it is for you to know exactly where your buttonhole is going to be stitched when you push that button. 

27. Then, I marked exactly where the I needed to start my buttonholes.  Those are the blue marks you see below.  This told me exactly where to place my needle. 

28. Once all of your buttonholes have been stitched go ahead and rip them open.  One trick to keep from ripping to far is to place a pin in the end of the buttonhole.  Wouldn't you be crushed if you ripped right through the bar tacks and ruined your panel.  Use that pin!

29. Now you should have an adorable, reversible, panel like this!

30. Our final step is to attach the button on the front of the dress.  To do this I first mark a line 1" from each of the sides.  Remember, we extended the front sides by 1½".  Our seam took up ½".  That leaves 1" for our buttons.

31. Then, using the same spacing as I did for my buttonholes, I marked off where the center of each of the buttons should be.

32. It's time to sew on those buttons.  I really don't like hand stitching buttons and there are so many to do on this dress.  So, I'm going to show you a little trick.  You might already be doing this, if not, I think you're going to be excited about how much time it will save you.  We are going to sew our buttons on with our machine.  Please promise me though that you will be VERY CAREFUL and not sew your fingers or catch a piece of needle in your eye!

33. The first thing you will need to do is snap off your foot and set it aside.  The one on your machine silly!

34. Next you need to set up your machine so it does a zigzag stitch with a stitch length of zero.  The width of your zigzag will vary depending on your machine and on the buttons you will be using.  These are my settings.

35. Place the button exactly where you want it.

36. Now, center the button under the needle and slowly lower the presser foot.  The shank will rest on your button like so.

37. Slowly lower the needle by turning the hand wheel, making sure it is centered on the hole.

36. Keep turning the hand wheel until the needle is lowered into the second hole.  If your spacing is off, adjust the width of your zigzag.

37. Keep hand turning the wheel slowly until you make sure you have it set just right.

38. When it's right and you have a few stitches in, go ahead and sew that button on.

39.  Don't you just love how quick that was!!  Now your dress is done.

40. Clip all those loose threads and button on your center panel.  Isn't is adorable!!

Congrats!  You just finished The Exchange Dress.  Great job.  I hope you enjoyed this Sew-Along.  I sure enjoyed putting it together for you.

If you would like to enter the prize drawing, please make sure you submit a picture of your completed lesson to the Facebook Album by 8:00 AM CT, Wednesday, January 29th. Also, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Thanks for sewing with me,

Danielle Storm

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sew-Along #11 - Exchange Dress - Lesson #2

The Exchange Dress

If you would like to see any of the images larger just click on them. 

Day 2 - Sewing the Dress

Note: If you are new to pique it will be helpful to know that the right side of your pique will have small cords or ribbing.  
Front of Pique
Back of Pique

First, let me apologize for the quality of the pictures.  I had to use both hands to demonstrate some of the steps.  So, I set all the settings on my camera, gave my husband a mini tutorial, and handed it over.  Let's just say he needs a little more teaching time with me.  Also, I'm slightly appalled at how horrible my hands look.  Please don't judge me.  LOL   Anyway, we are starting at the top of page 6.  Let's sew!

1. Grab your dress back and two dress side fronts.  With right sides together pin them at the shoulders.

2. Now, grab your lining back and your two lining side fronts.  With right sides together pin the shoulders.

3. Stitch the shoulder seams for both the dress and the lining using a ¼" seam allowance.

4. Press seems open on both the dress and the lining.

5. If you are using interfacing in the button area, cut that interfacing now.  You will need two pieces, each 1.5" wide by the length of your lining side fronts.
6. My interfacing strips. 

7. Adhere your interfacing according to the manufacture's directions to the wrong side of your lining side fronts.

8. With right sides together pin your dress to your lining following the diagram in your instructions. You might want to also follow the instructions regarding having the edge of your lining stick out from the dress fabric as you pin.  I love this trick.  It will give you a very professional result.  Remember to keep your hems lined up though.

9. Stitch pinned seams with a ¼" seam allowance.  If you desire you can follow the instructions regarding creating a winter version dress.  Don't you just love all these little tips Trisha adds to the instructions!!

10. Trim your seams to ⅛", clip curves and trim corners.

11. We are now going to pull our dress right side out through the shoulders.  To do this you will need to grab the open side of one of the side fronts.

12. Grab the bottom of the side front and push it up through the shoulder.

13. Keep pushing it all through.  It's a tight squeeze, but it will fit.

14. Now, reaching through the open side seam on the dress back, reach up into the shoulder area.

15. If you look closely you can see my hand/arm under the fabric coming in from the left side of the picture frame.  My hand is in the shoulder grabbing the side front section.

16. Keep pulling it through.  (Why does my right hand look so strange? LOL)

17. And pulling . . .

18. And pulling, until you pull it all the way through. 

19. Push out the corners well.  Repeat for the other side.

20. Iron your dress on the lining side.  Look how beautifully the dress fabric pulls over to the inside.  No boring lining fabric poking out.  What a professional finish this creates!  

21. Turn your dress inside out.

22. Pin the dress back to the dress front at the underarm and at the hem on BOTH sides.  Use a different colored pin for the underarms than you do for the hems.  Note the color you used.  I used purple for the underarms and pink for the hems on my dress.

23. Now, reach between the lining back and the dress back at the right hand side seam.  You will have three layers of fabric above your hand and one below.

24. Reach all the way across the dress.

25. Grab the four layers of fabric on the left side side.

26. Pull the left side seam layers towards the right hand side seam.

27. With right sides together, begin to match up and pin the lining to the lining and the dress fabric to the dress fabric.

28. When you have this finished pinning it will look like a circle.

Note: When you are pinning you will most likely have to adjust your pins at both the underarm and hem.

Notice how my lining fabric is folded over because of the pin.

To fix this just remove the pin and straighten out the seam.

Don't forget to match up the seams.

Repin and . . .

. . . . keep on pinning.

29. Follow the directions regarding stitching the side seam.  Start on the dress fabric at the underarm (purple pin for me).  Don't forget to adjust your seam allowance once you reach the lining.

30. Press these seams open as well as you can.  This is sort of tricky, but the better you press them the smoother your seam will look.  If you wrinkle your dress doing this that is okay.  You can press those out later.

31. Now we are moving on to seaming the right hand side.  I have a purple pin at my underarm and pink pin at my hem.  Turn your instructions to page 7.

32. Grab your dress fabric and start pinning it with right sides together.

33. Keep pinning.  Remember when you get to the underarm and hem seams that you will most likely have to unpin, straighten out the seams, line them up, and repin.

34. You will need to stuff the dress down inside it's self to keep pinning the lining.

35. When you are done it will again look like a circle.

36. Remove a pin (or pins) in the middle of the lining side so that you have a 5" opening.

37. Starting at the underarm (purple pin for me) sew the side seam like you did before.  Don't forget to change the the seam allowance when you sew the lining.  Also, don't forget to leave the 5" opening in the seam of the lining.

38. When you are finished stitching, press your seam open as well as possible.  Again, this is going to be a bit difficult.  Make sure to press the opening area flat too.  The better job you do of this the smoother your seam will look.

39. Now, pull your dress through the opening in the lining.   Push out any corners well.

40. Hand stitch closed the opening in the lining. I like to use a small ladder stitch as it is very hard to see when finished.  Also, don't forget to hid your thread ends between the lining and the dress. 

41. When you are all finished press your dress well. 

We are all done for today.  Great job.  Isn't it looking amazing?

I'm going to give you a side assignment.  You will need to add your embroidery/applique to your center panels before you begin the final lesson.  You should start working on that soon so that it doesn't hold you back from completing your dress.  Please CAREFULLY read the information under "Center Font Panels" on page 7 of your Exchange Dress Instructions regarding applique/embroidery placement. 

 * If you would like to enter the prize drawing, please make sure you submit a picture of your completed lesson to the Facebook Album by 8:00 AM CT, Friday, January 31th. Also, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Thanks for sewing with me,

Danielle Storm
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