Summer Dress along Day Four

Whooo Hooo! Day four- the home stretch.

How empowered and strong do you feel?! You are DOING IT!

This has been so fulfilling for me personally, as everyone has been so helpful and kind to one another. It's so great to have a group of people work together towards a common goal. I truly appreciate every single one of you.

This week we'll finish it up with hemming and add some of YOUR finished dresses!  Yaaaaaasssssss..... channel your inner BeyoncĂ©. 

Image result for beyonce
I heard this crown was made from zip ties. That is craftiness at its peak Yo.

If you're just starting, NO WORRIES-- head over to the Day One post HERE and start from there. Pop back over to us when you're ready.

Hem the Dress
Step 8 a-d in pattern

Turn your machine to a baste stitch length (longest stitch length) and sew around the entire circumference of the bottom of the outer dress 1/2" from raw edge.  (Pink dashed line in diagram below.)

Fold and press  1/4" toward wrong side of skirt (green line), then again another 1/4" enclosing raw edge. The previous basting stitches will be along the fold- they are your guide. Pin in place and edge stitch to finish the hem. 

Repeat for the underdress exactly the same steps.   You're DONE!

Here are my awesome illustrations for your viewing pleasure:   (LOL)!

There was a suggestion to bind the bottom edge of the inner dress instead of a folded hem, as the underdress will show the hemline inside out when wearing it with patch pockets out. Do what makes you happy! Patterns are there for YOU to interpret. There really is no wrong answer.

I have serged my hems and left them as is. The lazy girl's way- but I like it! :D

Here's a peek at some of what's been happenin' 'round here:

You all are so amazing!

Image result for how to champagne popping

Comment below for a chance to win random prizes for the rest of June.  Use the hashtag on IG to qualify as well!  #summerdressalong

I'll be posting more finishes as they roll in. 

NEVER EVER feel rushed, hurried, anxious, or like "Oh my shnizzle I have to finish now!!!!!"    

No, you don't. 
You can finish when it's right for you. 
These blog posts and the FB group will remain up indefinitely. 

I just had the State Farm jingle go off in my head, "like a good neighbor, state farm is therrrrreee"....   

 Send help. 

Don't forget- I'll be popping on the Facebook Group daily to answer any questions until June 30th. The group will stay up but my participation will (mostly) end, as I'll be moving on to the next dress. 

If you need extra help or cheer leading tag me (my name) on FB or IG so I'm sure to see it. As another option you can email me anytime. Contact info on about me page- (the bots do weird stuff to my blog if I put it here, and I get loads of calls from India already-- and let's be real- "ain't nobody got time fer that")!

Happy Sewing!

 If you're up for more.............

Join us in July for the Painted Portrait Dress sew-along. This dress pattern was designed by the one and only Anna Maria Horner. 

It's a step up in complication, but no fancy zippers or complicated closures. There is a touch more fitting that goes into it, as you can see in the photo below-- but --you can use quilting cotton!

Bring a friend and let's have some more fun. See you July 6th!


Many thanks to our lovely sponsors:

Cottoneer Fabrics Logo


Summer Dress along Day Three

All right! Week three is rolling in and we're ready for the funky burrito method. This is such a super cool way the dress comes together- I can't wait till you see it. 

If you're just starting, NO WORRIES-- head over to the Day One post HERE and start from there. Pop back over to us when you're ready.

Meg made a very helpful video to get us through this bit, so I'll post hers here.

First we'll sew the neckline.

Sewing the neck seam

(Step 6a in pattern)

Top dress is RST with Under dress, match up the neckline and shoulder seams and pin a ton. Sew around the entire neckline, then clip curves. 

Turn bodice RSO and press well. You may have to take some time here to press that neckline nicely. I like to use my sewing ham, not to be confused with this:

Image result for ham


You can buy one here if you don't have it already.
They are great for curved pressing.

*I must add- my Dad said he's engineering something to help me film for next month's sew along (Painted Portrait Dress)! I'm excited to see what he makes for me, because this was not easy having my phone in the ceiling. LOL!!

Sewing the neckline:


Burrito Method

(Step 6 b + c + d in pattern.)

This method does best with few words and more viewing:

It's important to roll tightly enough (I mean don't go crazy or anything, but--) when the roll arrives at the other side you have to take the armscye edges of the unrolled strap and wrap them around to meet. The wrong sides are facing out. Pin a ton again, and sew. Clip curves (always!) and turn the bodice RSO. 

Repeat for other side, starting with the finished side and rolling towards the unfinished armscye.


Sewing the Side Seams

We are SO close. Let's get this dress together so next week all you have to do is hem. YAY!!!

(Step 7 a + b in pattern)

Match outer dress front with outer dress back RST and pin a ton. Sew starting from the bottom of outer dress allllllllllll the way down to the bottom of inner dress. Remember to follow around the in seam pockets--don't sew them shut! LOL Look at the diagram with the dashed line, that's where you'll sew on both sides.


Stop here if you wish (or keep going). 
 Next week we will hem the dresses in step 8 a-d. 

Don't forget- I'll be popping on the Facebook Group daily to answer any questions. Link here. 

You can do this.

Happy Sewing!

Comment below for a chance to win random prizes ALL WEEK!
Bring a friend along too!

Many thanks to our lovely sponsors:

Cottoneer Fabrics Logo


Summer Dress along Day TWO

YAY! We're on day two. If you're just starting, NO WORRIES-- head over to the Day One post HERE and start from there. Pop back over to us when you're ready.

Today we will gather the skirts (all four), sew the skirt to bodice on both under dress and over dress, and sew the shoulder seams. 

Deep breathe! It's not a race.
Each day do one thing if you don't have time to do it all at once. 

Sewing should be self care, don't put undue stress on yourself. Live your life and come to this when you are able to.


*If you are using a fabric that is not substantial or strong (like a gauze or (gasp a knit) fabric-- you'll want to reinforce those shoulder seams--we'll get there in a minute.

Image result for sewing free images

Gathering the skirts 

Step 4 a in pattern

My favorite method for gathering is to turn my tension up to 10 (highest level) on my sewing machine, and turn the stitch length to the longest setting. Place fabric as usual and begin to sew. It should naturally gather itself. The video shows this on my rayon skirt. 
*This way I only make one row of gathering stitches and there is no unpicking later of the visible gathering stitches.

You can also use the traditional method (Meg's instructions) which is sewing two parallel rows of basting stitches, and then hand pulling them to gather-- very carefully. One row is 3/8" from the top of the skirt, and the other row is 5/8" from top of skirt. 

I recommend back stitching two stitches at the beginning if using this method, so you will gather from the opposite end. Only pull on the bobbin threads NOT the top threads.  Don't use your machine cutter when trimming thread after sewing- use scissors and leave those tails long. Gently pull and gather, pushing the fabric gathers down the row so you can keep gathering. See my linen gathering video below.

Gathering linen:
Awe Vimeo calls it a movie. That's precious.

Attaching to Bodice
step 4 b-c-d
(Both under dress and over dress)

Once all four skirts are gathered, we sew them RST to the corresponding bodices.  This is when you must make sure the gathered top of the skirt is the same width as the bottom of the bodice.

Gathers should be spread as evenly as possible.

Sew from the gathered side of the fabric-- in other words, be looking at the gathers as you are sewing.

If you used the traditional method of gathering, you're sewing right between the rows of gathers. It's a 1/2" seam allowance. 

Press seam towards skirt.

Do all 4 bodice/skirt sections.
Pop back up to the first video and watch it again if need be. 


Shoulder Talk

Step 5 a in pattern

Pin shoulders RST for each dress and sew the seams making sure to back stitch at start and stop. Sew another row of stitches inside the SA for extra strength, or zig zag stitch several times across. As Meg mentions in the pattern, this seam bears all the weight of the dress. It's very important to lend extra strength here.

Press seams open. 
(Flatten those babies as they will be layered soon.)

If you used a not-so-strong fabric I want you to do one of two things now:

1) reinforce this shoulder seam with bias tape, twill tape, or stay tape ---- OR

2) reinforce this seam with clear elastic

Here is a stay tape tutorial from Sewaholic.

Here is a video on You tube- skip to 5 minutes 16 seconds in to see the shoulder part.

Here are some pictures of sewing clear elastic into the seam, scroll down to photo 5 on this page.

Reinforcement of seams is critical if you used double gauze, knit, or any "not so strong" fabric. I had a dress pull apart (it was modal) as I forgot to do this. Don't do what I did, do what I advise! LOL!!!

Image result for whew

 That's it for this week.

Don't move on to Step 5b unless you want to forge ahead on your own (which is totally fine).

The funky burrito method is next week's lesson. :D 

Which reminds me- we need a dance sesh!

Comment below for a chance to win random prizes ALL WEEK!
Bring a friend along too!

Many thanks to our lovely sponsors:

Cottoneer Fabrics Logo

Don't forget- I'll be popping on the Facebook Group daily to answer any questions. Link here. 

You can do this.

Happy Sewing!