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.

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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!!!

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 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!

Ready for day three? Click here.

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!


  1. I have been waiting all morning for your post! I love reading along as you explain step-by-step how to do this. Such a nice change from trying to figure out something like an Ottobre pattern with it's limited instructions and ZERO photos!

  2. I want to get sewing but instead I'm sitting here with two broken machines. Off to try machine #3 at my Mother in Law's house.

    1. Oh no! I hope she has a machine that will be nice!

  3. Thanks so much for the tips and instructions! My pattern is arriving today, I am excited to start this dress and to wear it!!

    1. Yay Pam! I hope you have fun making this dress. <3

  4. Thank you so much for all the help! My fabric should be arriving today. My husband is working 12 hour shifts this weekend; boo for him, yay for extra sewing time!

  5. Love your tutorials! I can't wait to get home and try that gathering method you suggested... I've never done it that way before!

  6. I want to try your gathering method also! I’m intrigued!
    lag110 at yahoo dot com

    1. I hope it works for you- so glad you're sewing with us!

  7. Hoping I make it through. Lol my first garment and I’m jumping all in.

  8. When you do your gathering method, do you do the gathering row at the 3/8" or 5/8"?


I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)