Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rectangle dress sewalong

I did a lovely photo session sewing the green model of this dress. 
I did a lovely job deleting it forever while editing the photos. I am making a finished version for myself, but out of black crepe rayon, not sewalong friendly material.

So here is the sewalong. In shortened, scale model form.

Copying the pattern piece drawing from the pattern instructions, and scaling it up so it's handle-able, is a great way to audition assembly of a tricky project.

Cut one of back on fold, cut two of front (on selvage)
 This might be a good place to discuss selvage. It's a fine, finished edge, but one that is prone to puckering when it shrinks. I do use mine in my sun dresses (I like to know what the name of the fabric was, and I am a novelty cotton gal), and I clip it when it misbehaves, but it's a cheat in the long run. Better removed and used as a seam stay tape in better clothing.

Which reminds me, when you make this up, it's a good idea to coverstitch or serge the front center edges now. If you're going to add side seam pockets, do the side edges now as well.

Mark front fold (you would not use a permanent marker)

Add stay tape along fold (flap side)

Sew down and iron over fold.

Mark gathers on front edge

Fold over to match marks

Iron down
Gathers folded down!

Topstitch 4" along fold edge.

Make up other side front

Match fronts together, right sides together

Match em up and sew em down!

Iron out flat, open up front seam and press. Don't iron the gathers out.

Right side view

Sew front to back (should have sewn facing first...oops)
 A mistake I can drive around, should have sewn back neck facing on first before shoulder seam. Oh well, iron out and spread out flat, right side up.

Facing! I can save this! Match up diamonds, pin and sew
 In a real dress, there would be interfacing under that back collar facing.
Flip over to wrong side up, clip seam to diamond (clip along curve, too).  Iron and topstitch along back neck.

Fold over this edge of the facing and hand stitch to front,  covering a multitude of facing sins right there. Ha!
On seam pocket decision time! Cut one the shape of your hand, line it up where your hand would hit an onseam pocket. I left them off the pattern because not everyone is as pockety as I am.
 There are plenty of online videos regarding pockets, this one remembers to top stitch the top (leading) edge of the flap (she also uses light colored fabric for better detail viewing, and I love her Northern accent!). Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing video series "Pocket Particulars" is full of great stuff, and is probably available at the library.

Pin on, right sides together

Sew, press open. Repeat for other side

Match up sides, right sides together. 

Sew down from sleeve opening mark, one inch allowance, down to top of pocket, then around pocket with 1/2 inch, then back on side seam at on inch allowance

Press open,  pocket facing front. Clip seam allowance on back side, NOT on the front like I did. Tack stitch to hold forward

Just a reminder NOT to clip the front seam allowance. Tack stitch where the pin is to hold the pocket open to the front.
It's so... pockety!
 If you didn't do a pocket, sew the ONE INCH side seam down from the sleeve opening mark (about ten inches from shoulder seam).
Iron open side seam.

I've folded the seam allowance over again to finish the sleeve opening. Iron, pin and stitch down.

You can continue the rolled seam down the side, or coverstitch the seam to finish. Or do both, rolling on back and coverstitching on front to compensate for that darn pocket, complicating things again!

Anchor stitch at the base of the v neck and the sleeve opening, to reinforce.

And that's what it looks like in muslin (shortened by half).
Yes, your results will vary!

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