Monday, March 24, 2014

Sew-Along #13 - Stella Dress - Lesson #2

The Stella Dress View B by Izzy & Ivy Designs

Welcome to the Stella Dress sew-along.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or tips to share; please make sure to post them on our Facebook group.

Hopefully you have already read the Stella Dress instructions all the way through. It's probably a good idea to read through today's lesson once too before you begin.

*All seams for the Stella are ½" unless otherwise stated.

I also want to remind everyone that if you would like to see any of the images posted in this blog larger, just click on them. Let's begin now.

Day 2 - Ruffles, Ruffles, and More Ruffles!

Hello again and welcome to day 2 of the Izzy and Ivy Stella Dress Sew Along. Today we are going to tackle the ruffle panels for the skirt.  They are not hard, but they do take a bit of time to make because of the many ruffles that need to be made.  They are totally worth it though!  It is, in my opinion, what sets this dress apart from the others and gives it the "wow" factor.

So let's get started...

The first step is to finish the long edges of your ruffle strips.  Depending on the size you are making, you will have 12-16 ruffle strips and will need to finish both long edges of each strip.  This is where having a serger is going to come in handy!

If you don't have a serger, no fear!  You can use a narrow hem foot to do a narrow hem on each long edge.  You can also iron a 1/4" fold along the edge, then turn up again with another 1/4" fold to encase the raw edge; stitch along the second fold and you'll have a nice narrow hem for your ruffles.

I used my serger to roll the edges of my ruffles.  To do this, I set the serger to my rolled hem settings (each serger is different, so please consult your owners manual!) and started rolling.

I like to chain stitch my pieces when I am doing a bunch like this.  All that means is that as one piece finishes, instead of stopping and clipping the threads to remove it from the machine, I just keep serging and start another piece.  The pieces are held together by a short chain of stitching in between them.  I clip those chains after I am done with all of the pieces to save time as I am rolling my edges. 

Once I am done rolling one edge, I start all over again rolling the second edge.  

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

Holy smokes! That's a lot of ruffle!

Once the rolled edges are complete, we need to gather the pieces to the same width as the strip 3 piece we will be mounting the ruffles to.  

There are a few methods to gather your ruffles, and you can use whichever one you are comfortable with.  I like to set my stitch length to the longest setting and loosen my tension to about 2.  Then I sew a basting stitch along one edge. Once the basting stitch is sewn, I pull the bobbin thread and gather the material from each side towards the center until I get the correct size.  

For a ruffling project the size of this one, I also like to use my ruffler.  They take a bit of trial and error, but once you get the settings correct, you can ruffle through a project like this in no time!

I used the ruffler for these ruffles, again to save time because there are so many of them, but you can easily do the basting stitch and gathering method.

Once the ruffles are gathered to the same width as strip 3, we are going to place them on the panel and stitch them down.  There are two strip 3 panels; half of the ruffles go on each panel.

***NOTE: Again, if you are using a directional print, now is a good time to make sure you have your print direction correct!

Using the chart on page 12, I pinned the bottom layer of ruffles along the edge at the distance specified in the chart.  For a size 7, it was 5" from the bottom edge.  

I will admit that I did a little measuring and a lots of eyeballing when I placed my ruffles, but on my next dress I think I will mark my lines with chalk or disappearing ink to make it simpler to place my ruffles.  

I am not a huge fan of pinning, but I would strongly encourage a lot of pinning for placing the ruffles.  It makes the process a lot smoother when you are sewing on the ruffles.

Working from the bottom to the top, follow the chart on page 12 to space the ruffles up strip 3.  For the size 7, I spaced each row 2 and 3/4" above the previous row.  I continued placing and pinning each row of ruffles until I had half of the ruffles on one of the strip 3 pieces.  

Once all of the ruffles were pinned to strip 3, I started stitching down each row of ruffles from the top down.

After stitching each row, I flipped up that row to keep it out of the way as I stitched the next lower row.  

Working your way down the panel, continue stitching all of the rows of ruffles. Then...

Once you are done with your second ruffle panel, you are done with this step of the sew along (AND the hardest part of the dress, so it's all easy street from here!)

* 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, Thursday, March 27th. Note, you have 2 days to complete this lesson.  We thought you might need it with all those ruffles.  ;)  Like always, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

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