Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sew-Along #21 - Dress No.17 & Leggings No.8 - Lesson #2

The Dress No.17 and Leggings No.8 by E+M Patterns

Welcome to Day 2 of the Dress No.17 & Leggings No.8 sew-along. 

If you have any questions, suggestions, or tips to share; please make sure to post them on our Facebook group.  Also, if you would like to see any of the images larger that are posted in this blog, just click on them to enlarge. 
NOTE: Please make sure you read over the E+M Patterns Dress Tutorial prior to starting this lesson.  You should keep this tutorial open and where you can read it as you go through this lesson. 
All right, who is ready to make a Dress!?!?!?  Don't be afraid if this is your first time working with knits.... I'm going to tell you a little secret - knits are the EASIEST thing in the world to sew.  Did that blow your mind???  How many times have you been told how difficult they are - well throw that nonsense out the window, we are talking easy as pie and you are about to fall in love.  Now there are certainly tricks, and there is some learning involved, but stick with me through these two patterns and you may just have a new addiction on your hands!

Start by reading page 9 of the instructions, there are specific details for zig zag stitches, straight stitches, stretch guides, type of needle to use, and what to do when the pesky fabric wants to roll.

And now, we sew!

1. Lay down your back piece, right side up, and lay the front piece on top of it, right side down (this is what we call right sides together, or RST).

2. Sew the shoulder seams, I will be showing all serged seams, the instructions show a zig zag stitch.  You can also use a long straight stitch.
• Sew slowly  if you are learning knits, do not pull the fabric, just let the feed dogs feed it naturally under the foot. 
• When you start sewing, start 1/2 inch in, and back stitch a few stitches, then sew forward again.
• If you are serging, lift the foot and place your fabric under it so that it will feed evenly.

3. Ready for another trick.... get out your clear elastic (aka Mobilon).  All kits came with 2 yards of Mobilon.
• Cut two pieces the length of the shoulder seams.
• As you fold the seam allowance to the back side, slide your elastic between the seam allowance and the main fabric.
• Top top stitch the seam in place through the clear elastic - this acts as a stabilizer for the shoulder so that you will not pop stitches as your child puts the garment on and off over time.

4. So your front and back are attached at the shoulder, we will now attach the sleeve. Setting a sleeve in Flat (which means setting it in before you sew the side seams together), is perhaps the easiest way to sew in a sleeve, and just another way that knits are going to win you over.

5. Mark the center of the sleeve cap (this is the rounded top part of the sleeve).

6. Match the center with the shoulder seam and pin in place, RST.

7. Pin the sleeve to match the arm hole working from the center out, you will stretch the sleeve cap as needed to fit the arm hole.

8. Sew the sleeve into place.

9. Press your seam allowance towards the body of the garment and top stitch - once again this is great for adding strength to the garment (no clear elastic this time!)

10. Repeat on the other side.

Optional Pockets and Belt Loops
Pockets: I love pockets, but they certainly add more time to the construction of the garment - so you do not have to include them, but if you want to, follow along and I'll make it easy as.... well not 'pie', 'cause pies aren't easy ;o)
1. Take your pocket pieces, you should have 2 pairs.

2. Take one pair and lay them side by side both right side down.

3. Match the pocket pieces to the front and back matching the top and bottom of the piece to the markings on your fabric. 

4. Pin in place.

5. Lay a piece of clear elastic on top of the pocket edge.

6. Sew in place through the elastic.

7. Repeat for the other side of the garment both front and back.

8. Now that all the pockets are sewn on, press them out so that they look like wings.

Belt Loops: You only need belt loops if you are doing the version with the belt. Your belt loops can match the main fabric or be contrasting, your choice.
1. Fold the piece in half RST so it looks like a long skinny rectangle.

2. Sew the long edge.

3. To turn such a tiny tube right side out, take a safety pin and pin it through one layer of fabric at the opening, turn it into the tube and push it through and out the other end.

4. Press the rectangle well.

5. Cut in half so you have two equal pieces.

6. Fold the loop as pictured on page 13, and baste in place at the marking on your fabric.

7. Repeat for the other side.

Side Seam

1. It is now time to turn this awkward thing into a dress! 

2. Lay out your garment RST with the sleeves and side seams matching up. 

3. If you have pockets, make sure they are still sticking out like wings. 

4. If you have belt loops, make sure they are facing in towards the center of the garment and not out like wings.

5. Pin the garment at the sleeve, the armscye, the top of the pocket, the bottom of the pocket, and the hem.

6. Sew together, make sure at the pocket that you follow the edge of the pocket.

7. Finish the seam with a serger or zig zag stitch.

8. Repeat for the other side.

9. Press your side seam and pocket opening well.

That is it for today - tomorrow we will finish the neck and hem the bottom and sleeves. 

* 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, Friday, January 30th.  Also, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

See you on the flip side!  

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