Day Four of Sewalong!
Today is the final day of the sewalong!! I hope you have been enjoying it. I can't wait to see all of your creations tomorrow!
FOURTH STEP: Attaching the Skirt(s) and Belt
- Starting on page 8, you will start constructing the skirt. Sometimes people get confused by the term "skirt" because we are not actually making a skirt. But that just means the gathered ruffle portion that is attached to the bodice we have already constructed.
- You should have two rectangle pieces for the skirt (the shorter one if you are making the dress). You are going to place these right sides together and stitch each end so that you have a circle.
- You will want to finish the bottom raw edge of this circle. You can either run it through your serger and stitch a rolled hem along the edge. Or you can press it to the wrong side two times (1/4" each time) so that the raw edge is enclosed and then stitch in place. For our example, we used that same pre-pleated trim to finish off the edge.
- Next, you are going to gather the opposite raw edge of the circle. To do this, you will move your machine to the longest stitch length (I usually use a 4 or 4.5). Then, you will stitch around the top of the circle, just 1/8" from the edge. Remember to leave a long tail of thread when you start and stop so you can gather it later. You will then stitch another row 1/4" below your first stitching line. I know some of you only stitch one row and that's fine. The reason for stitching two lines is because when you attach it later, you are going to be stitching in the middle of the two rows you just created. That will leave nice, even gathers, with no folding over and without looking wonky (why yes, that is the technical term!) Some heirloom sewers, will actually sew THREE rows of gathering threads.
- Before you attach this skirt to the bodice, you are going to want to overlap the bottom left of the bodice over the right and baste together. I baste all the way around the bottom of the bodice so that the lining and the fashion fabric are kept together when adding the skirt.
- Follow step #5 on page 9 to attach the skirt, adjusting the gathers to fit and matching the side seams. When you stitch it together, you will want to use a finished seam edge (either a serged edge or use the overlock stitch on the sewing machine) so that it will look finished on the inside.
- If you are making the shirt, you're done!! Press that seam up and top-stitch it in place! Proceed down on this page to the belt instructions.
- If you are making the dress, follow step #6 to attach the second skirt as you did the first one. THEN, you can also press the seam up and top-stitch in place.
- The below picture shows that beautiful top-stitching which helps everything lay so nice.
- So, now you have one really long strip with a seam in the middle. You are going to fold this in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. You are going to stitch all around the three open sides. I leave a space in the very middle of the belt by the middle seam about 2" long. This is where you will turn it right sides out.
- Follow step #2 on turning right side out and pressing well. You may need to use a chopstick or a pointed end to push out the corners and get a nice crisp edge all around it. Press it really well. That opening you left should have the edges turned in as you press it, following the seam allowance on either side.
- You are going to top-stitch all the way around all four edges. When you stitch along the edge, you will be closing up that opening you left before.
- Time for the belt loops. You are going to make the belt loops almost as if you are making double-fold bias tape. You are going to press each end towards the center and then press in half. This is easier than turning that tiny little piece. Stitch each long edge closed.
- You are going to pin each of the four belt loops evenly around the dress. The easiest way to do this is to find the center on each of the front bodices and pin a belt loop there. And then, visually divide the back bodice in half and find the center of each of those halves for the remaining two belt loops. The raw ends will be folded underneath when you stitch it so that after you stitch it in place, they are not visible. The bottom of the belt loop should come right to the bottom of the waist seam.
If you made the shirt, included in the pattern are a pair of ruffle pants also. We are not going to cover that in this sew along since they are easy-peasy and probably like most of the pants patterns you own with regard to construction. But, they are a fast complement to the pretty shirt you just made. I use those pattern pieces for so many things including pajamas because I love how fast they are to put together.