Monday, December 7, 2015

Sew-Along #29 - Fairy Tale Dress - Lesson #1

The Fairy Tale Dress by Oliver+S

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Welcome to Day 1 of the Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress sew along!

If you do not have your pattern yet you can purchase it from the shop. It is in PDF format so you can print today and be ready to start. You can also purchase a kit as well from the shop. It has everything you need, other than thread, to make a gorgeous dress.

Before you begin today's lessons please read all of the pattern directions first. Today's lesson will include how to make muslin of the bodice for the perfect fit on your little girl. We will also be cutting out all the pattern pieces today. I highly recommend making a muslin as the patterns calls for, as this dress pattern is a more fitted dress for young girls. It really is worth the extra time put into making it and does not require that much time to ensure a good fit.

To start, measure your child and trace out the bodice size the best fits her

We will now be cutting out fabric for the muslin. If you purchased a kit there will be a small amount of white fabric that was included. I you did not purchase a kit you can use a batiste or broadcloth for making your muslin.  

If you know before hand that there will be a fitting issue with a certain area, such as the belly is measuring snug already, please add extra inches of fabric to the side of the pattern pieces when you cut out the muslin. Cut only one front and two back bodice pieces out of your muslin fabric.

Now, mark all your darts with a pen onto your fabric. You want these markings to stay and not wash or rub off. If you added "extra" to the sides of the pattern piece be sure sure to mark the original side of the pattern piece too. 

We will now sew our muslin bodice pieces together at the shoulders and sides along the pattern seam line with a long stitch length. This is so that when we are done sewing and making our changes, if needed, we can take this stitching out. I also sew a line for the seam line at the neck and back. Make sure to use a dark colored thread so it is more visible.

Now cut some slits into the neck seam line only. Be sure to stop before you cut through the stitching line. This will help the muslin to sit properly on your child while you are make fitting adjustments.

Take straight pins and pin all the darts into place on both the front and back bodice pieces. 

Take your muslin and try it on your child now.

On the back, fold one side on the stitching seam allowance and place at the opposite side seam allowance. Pin in place.

Check for proper fit. On my child's back side the bodice is too loose. She is broad shouldered, so it fits perfect at the top but not at the back bottom. The bodice fits very well on her front side. So I am leaving the front side as is, but if your fitting problems is on the front the same concept will work for adjusting that area.

You can see with the photo below at the back dart how much extra fabric is there. (There is quite a bit!) So to fix this problem I am making the dart a 1/4" bigger. 

First, I mark the bottom of the dart where I want to take the dart too. Then, I redraw my lines for the dart on both sides, using the new mark at the bottom and the dot transferred from the original pattern piece. (see photo below)

I then redrew both darts on the back and repined the darts with the new lines to check the fit. 

If your little girl has not enough room in the belly area you can take this same method and let the darts out. You can do this to the front and back darts (or on just the front or on just the back) to make a great fit on your girl. 

If the tummy has some real fit issues you can add the the side seam allowance as well. This is very helpful for chubby toddlers bellies. Just mark on your muslin where and how much the bodice sides need let out, resew the new side seam and retry it on your little one to ensure a good fit.

When you are all done it should be a nice fit but not tight. My daughter's bodice has about 1½" - 2" ease. The fit should be spot on but have wiggle room. (As my daughter calls it.)

After working hard making sure you marked all the changes you need to make, take your muslin apart at the seams and use this and the markings to make your pattern pieces for your final dress.

Ready to start cutting out your dress now? This is always my favorite part of this dress!

Before we cut into our fabrics I want to point out three lines on the skirt pattern pieces. The top arrow points to the cutting line for the tulle skirt of the dress. The middle arrow is pointing to the cutting line for the lining skirt of the dress. After the lining skirt is hemmed it will be the same length of the tulle skirt. The bottom arrow is pointing to the bottom line on the skirt pattern, where the main skirt will be cut. This skirt will have a deep hem. This is why it is much longer than the lining skirt's cutting line.

Here are all the dress's skirts stacked up. It's hard to see the tulle but it is a ½" shorter than the lining skirt. 

For dress View A you will need to cut out:
  • Front and back bodices out of main fabric
  • Front and back bodices out of lining fabric
  • Four collar pieces and two collar interfacing pieces
  • Two main sleeves with mirrored images
  • Two lining sleeves with mirrored images
  • One waist band cut on the bias
  • Two of each of main skirt, lining skirt and tulle skirt back
  • One of each of main skirt, lining skirt and tulle skirt front

For dress View B you will need to cut out:
  • Front and back bodices out of main fabric
  • Front and back bodices out of lining fabric
  • Four collar pieces and two collar interfacing pieces
  • Two arm bias strips
  • Two sashes
  • Two of each of main skirt, lining skirt and tulle skirt back
  • One of each of main skirt, lining skirt and tulle skirt front

Happy cutting! See you tomorrow for Day Two!

* If you would like to earn entries into the prize drawing, please make sure to submit a photo of your completed Lesson One to this Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CST, Wednesday, December 9th. If you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Happy Sewing,
Danielle Storm

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