I am so excited that we will be sewing this summer frock together! This has been one of my most favorite sews over the past few months while working on developing this pattern, which I am so thankful for! How unfortunate would it have been if I was working on this for months and months and actually disliked the sewing part?
For this sewalong, I am trying out some new things!
1) I will be doing it over the course of 8 days, releasing one new part per day. That way, no one feels super rushed to try and get this dress done all in one sitting. Feel free to pick it up, put it down, and come back whenever you are ready!
2) I will be following my instruction booklet as closely as I can so that you can flit back and forth between this sewalong and the drawings in the booklet with as much ease as possible!
3) I will continue developing supplemental material for this pattern as I can! I already have so many ideas to share with you all, I just hope I find the time to write them all out and photograph them for you!
4) I am doing both the sleeved and sleeveless sewalong simultaneously! Each works with a different back view as well, so if you are mixing and matching your views, feel free to jump back and forth between the sewalongs, picking up whatever information is most beneficial to you!
Today, we are going to take on some prep work and get started on our darts! And what does any good prep work start with? Supplies!
Check page 24 of your instruction booklet for my handy Materials Checklist
Download it HERE
Before You Start!
There are a few things I'd like to note before we jump in to your project!
1) If you haven't already, I highly suggest washing your fabric! Nothing is worse than finishing a project and then having it ruined come laundry day. I can't tell you how much I've regretted not taking the time to wash my fabric before sewing it up. So many cute items are now basically child-sized because they have carelessly been tossed into the dryer and they were never pre-shrunk.
2) While you are waiting for your pretty fabric to wash & dry, I highly highly suggest sewing up a toile of this particular pattern. It has some unique features that may need tweaking before cutting into your final fabric, including a curved waistband, center front darts, and an open back of your choice. And since we all are shaped differently, any one of these special features might lay on us imperfectly. Might as well work out those kinks while the fabric is tumbling away in the dryer!
3) The seam allowance for this pattern is 1/2" / 1.3 cm unless otherwise noted!
4) Remember to be easy on yourself and take lots of breaks! Sewing is supposed to be fun, so if you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath, tell yourself nice things, and grab a sweet treat for yourself! That could mean taking a TV break, walking around outside, grabbing a special cup of coffee, or opting for a quick nap!
Let's Get Started!
1) With the wrong sides facing you, interface your back bodice main fabric , two button placket pieces & one of each (front & back) waist band pieces. For your Back Bodice, cut 2” / 5 cm wide strips and fuse to the long edged openings as seen below.
As my family might say, I am a bit extra, and this includes how I choose to interface my projects. I tend to stay away from fusible interfacing mainly because I like the idea that one day my entire garment can return to the earth and decompose all at once.Instead, I opt to use scrap fabrics as a sew-in interfacing for most projects.
I know, super hippie. I also like the fact that I can utilize my toile fabrics after they have served their initial purpose of fitting. I save all of my scrap muslin in a bin and I will pull from it to utilize it as a sew-in interfacing from projects such as the Amelie!
For this particular view, I cut out all my interfacing pieces and sewed them in using a 1/4" seam allowance. For the open back portion, I needed to secure the edges to the actual bodice pieces, but I didn't want the stitches to show through to the right side of the garment.
So, after I pinked the raw edges that wouldn't be sewn directly to any other piecesI grabbed my hand sewing needle and thread and essential did a blind hem on my interfacing.
This process takes a bit more time because traditionally with a blind hem you only pick up a single thread with each stitch, but I think it is so worth the effort! Not only does my garment feel a bit fancier than normal, stopping to hand stitch allows me to ease into my project and set a nice pace from the start!
This isn't just a close up of my stitches (I mean, they are pretty beautiful!). I actually use my thumb as a guide for my stitch length. Someone showed this trick to me once and I just loved it! Your thumb never really changes size, at least not through the course of a project generally, so your stitches come out nice and even!
2) Once your interfacing is in place, stay stitch your front & back necklines, back opening, & armholes on both your face fabric & lining fabric.
I photographed the lining side of the fabric because I thought the stitches would show up better, but I still wound up having to digitally show where I stitched. I hope that isn't confusing!
Before I sew my darts, I have recently gotten into the habit of marking them in chalk. It makes the entire process of sewing a straight line on a angle sooooo much easier than eyeballing it.
I generally do one dart at a time to prevent pins poking me all around, and I like to start with the largest darts first. I am not sure why, but it feels very satisfying getting those darts done and out of the way!
3) Sew your front bodice darts by matching up the notches and sewing to a tapered point creating a triangle using a straight stitch . Do not backtack at
the end points. Repeat for lining.
3A) For the Open Back Bodice you will also need to sew those back darts. I do the same chalk process for my back darts that I do for my first darts & then I'll
Repeat for the lining.
4) Tie off the ends of your threads at the dart point and press CF (Center Front) darts towards the side seam of your bodice & UA (underarm) darts
towards your waist. Baste in place.
4A) For the Open Back Bodice, tie off the ends of your threads at the dart point and iron darts towards CB (Center Back). Baste those in place as well.
That wasn't so bad for a day of work now was it? Tomorrow, we will be ready to put together our bodice now that it is all prepped and ready to go! Eeep, are you feeling the excitement?