Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sew-Along #14 - Frannie Dress - Lesson #1

The Frannie Dress

Welcome to the Frannie Dress sew-along.  I want to remind everyone that I am not a "professional" seamstress, nor was I formally taught.  I'm just a girl who loves fabric, sewing, and pretty much everything related to those two things.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or tips to share; please make sure to post them on our Facebook group.

Please read the directions in your Frannie Dress pattern all the way through before you begin.  It's probably a good idea to read through this lesson once before you begin also.

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.  It might be helpful on some steps.  Let's begin now.

Day 1 - Tracing the Pattern, Cutting Out the Fabric, Sewing the Collar

1. Unfold your pattern sheets, locate the pattern pieces for your size and fussy cut around them.  There will be three pieces; the dress front, the dress back, and the collar.  

2. With most tissue patterns I like to iron the pieces before I trace them.  This ensures that they are nice and flat and makes tracing easier.

3. I also like to place a piece of white paper behind the pattern piece when my surface is dark to make the pattern lines easier to see.

4. Place a piece of freezer paper, shinny side down, on top of your pattern piece.  Use some pattern weights or tape to hold it in place.

5. Using a Sharpie, carefully trace around your pattern piece.  Make sure to transfer all markings and information onto your freezer paper. 

6. Next, fussy cut around your freezer pattern piece.

7.  Repeat for all three of your pattern pieces. 

 8. Grab your stack of prewashed fabric and trim.

9. Give your fabrics a good pressing with your iron to remove any fold lines.
Like my husbands fix for my Rowenta?

10. Now, the beauty of freezer paper patterns.  I love this stuff!!  Using the layout diagram in the pattern instructions, lay out your freezer paper pattern pieces, shiny side down onto your dress fabric.  Take your iron and iron over the pattern piece. 

DO NOT touch the iron to the glossy side of your freezer paper! It will melt and make a mess of your iron.

11. The freezer paper will temporarily stick to your fabric making it super easy to cut your pieces out.

12. Once you have ironed on your pattern pieces onto your dress fabric go ahead and carefully cut them out.  Don't forget to transfer all of the pattern markings onto you fabric (shown here on the lining fabric).

13. After cutting out and transferring the markings to the dress fabric carefully peel off the freezer pattern pieces and apply them the same way to your lining fabric.  The beautify of the freezer patterns is that you can use them over and over.  Next time you are ready to make another Frannie Dress just pull out your pattern pieces, iron them on your fabric, cut, and go!  How awesome is that?  Don't you just love it?
Note: I chose to make my collar out of just the lining fabric because I  wanted the look of the solid collar.  You may use your dress fabric, lining fabric, or a coordinate.  It's totally up to you.  Just make sure that you line up the grainline on the pattern piece along the lengthwise grainline of whatever fabric you choose to use.  This is very important. 
14. Cut four ties, 1½" x 11" each.

15. You should now have the following;
  • 1 Dress Front
  • 1 Dress Front Lining
  • 1 Dress Back
  • 1 Dress Back Lining
  • 2 Left Collars Pieces (one reversed)
  • 2 Right Collars Pieces (one reversed)
  • 4 Ties
If you would like to add a ruffle to the bottom of the dress you should cut that out now.  The Frannie Dress pattern comes with an insert that guides you in how to cut and add a ruffle to your dress.  I will not be adding a ruffle to my dress.

16. Grab your dress back and mark your seam line ¼" from the edge at the center of the collar.

17. Mark two lines ⅛" from center on either side.

18. Using a straightedge, draw two line down from your previous lines to the slit dot.  Repeat for the back lining.

19. With right sides together line up the shoulder seams of your dress front and dress back.  Using a ¼" seam allowance stitch together. Repeat with your front and back lining.
20. Press all shoulder seams open.

21. We are now going to sew the collars.  Mark the outer edges with ¼" seam allowances on both top collar pieces.

22.  Grab your Wonder Tape or glue pen and apply it to your prewashed ric-rac.

23. Carefully apply the ric-rac to your seam line.  Make sure to start at the front of the collar. You want the valley of the ric-rack located on the inside of the collar to just barely cover the seam line.  You can stretch the ric-rac slightly around the curves to make it fit.
24. With right sides together, place your bottom collar piece on top of your ric-rac making a ric-rac sandwich.  Stitch the outer curved edge using a ¼" seam allowance.  Turn your collar right side out.
25. You might end up with Wonder Tape or glue showing on the outside.  

26.  Place a pin into the ric-rac tail at the front of your collar so you can remember which end if the front.  Then, carefully wash away the Wonder Tape or glue with warm water.  Pat to dry and then hang from the back ric-rac tail to dry all the way.  Make sure to keep the pin in place so that you know which end is the front when you are ready to sew the collars onto the dress.

We are done with our first lesson.  Woo hoo!  Great job!  Check back here tomorrow for lesson two. 

* If you would like to enter the prize drawing, please make sure you submit a picture of your completed lesson one to the Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CT, Thursday, May 29th. 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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