Button Strap Fleur Sewalong- Part 1- Prep Work (Interfacing & Straps)

At the start of this year, I noticed that I lacked quite a bit of clothing that I could use in the garden. I remember I posted some sketches of ideas I had for what my gardening wardrobe might include at the start of the year, and one of them was a pinafore design.

Originally, I had different plans for this design. Actually my last three designs I had other plans for, but those changed at the start of this year as I was feeling overwhelmed by life events happening. So, I wasn't sure this particular design would even come to fruition.

However, someone commented about how excited she was at the prospect of my making this into a design and I suppose the seed was planted right then and there! And oh my goodness am I thrilled that I took the journey to create this pattern because it is definitely one that I have been LIVING in for the past few weeks! And I am equally excited to bring you this sewalong to help navigate you through any tricky bits you might encounter.

For this sewalong, I'll be doing the following:

1) I am going back to my first ways of releasing this sewalong, with one part coming out per day. It's just much easier for me to manage, especially now as spring is in full swing and I am out in the garden much of the day!

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 have already finished a few of the posts directly linked in your instruction booklet. But if you wish to find ALL of the posts associated with the Fleur, simply type in Fleur into the search bar at the top of the web page.

4) I am doing the Button Strap, Tie Strap, and the Skirt sewalong as simultaneously as possible (I am a bit behind on the skirt sewalong- sorry!)! I will include various techniques across all of the sewalongs, so feel free to skip around through each of them, picking up the pieces that are most beneficial to you in this process :)

Today, we are going to take on some prep work! And what does any good prep work start with? Supplies!

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Check page 30 of your instruction booklet for my handy Materials Checklist


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. That way, you can be 100% certain that the pinafore/ skirt will fit you EXACTLY how you envisioned before you cut out all the pieces in your pretty fabric.

Plus, you can work on some techniques throughout the process that may be tricky and find your favorite way to put everything together! And since we all are shaped differently, any part of this garment 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! 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!

I always like to get all the little prep bits out of the way first. That way, when the major sewing begins, I don’t have to stop to change a bunch of settings on my machine- I can just dive right in!

We are going to start by interfacing the wrong side (WS) of:

• One of the front waistbands
• One of the back waistbands
• The front bib main fabric (along the top edge) and half the width of the straps
• Along the side seams of the skirt

For those of you who have been following along in my sewing journey for some time, you will notice that I don't use iron-on interfacing. Instead, I opt for utilizing scrap muslin pieces as sew-in interfacing. I find this to be:

  1. More sustainable as I have loads of excess scraps that I would otherwise have to toss
  2. Longer lasting as the fabric doesn't breakdown too quickly with wear
  3. A more comfortable fit because the muslin moves in the same way as my clothing and is not stiff like other interfacings

When working with muslin interfacing, you want to make sure that your muslin has been pre-washed & dried so that it shrinks at a similar rate to your garment (if you plan on drying in the dryer). It's also best to find a muslin fabric that is similar in weight to your main fabric, especially for mid-light weight fabrics.

To attach your interfacing, simply baste it to each pattern piece that is mentioned above, making sure you sew within your seam allowances. For the skirt and bib, there will be one edge where the basting might show through. If you don't like the idea of that you can either:

  1. Hand sew an invisible catch-stitch along the edge of the interfacing that is not touching the side seam , OR
  2. Remove those basting stitches later and allow your interfacing to "free hang" on the inside of your skirt / bib. Which shouldn't be too bad as you will be sewing buttons through your skirt/ bib & interfacing at some point.

Set your newly interfaced pieces aside and grab your straps.

With Right Sides Together (RST), fold your straps in half lengthwise (like a hot dog!) and sew along the long raw edge plus one of the short edges.

Trim your seams and clip your corners (without going through your line of stitching!).


There are a few different ways in which you can turn your straps, including using a chopstick, a safety pin, or a rouleau turner. I will demonstrate two of the three below. I also have an entire blog post dedicated to this that you can check out HERE if ever you need a quick refresher!

Option 1

The Safety Pin

This option is best used prior to sewing your straps closed, so if you have already done that, you can use this as inspiration for your next set of straps!

First, clip your safety pin to a part of your strap near one of the short ends. Make sure that it is not anywhere near the seam allowance as you don't want to accidentally run over this when sewing.

Continue by folding your straps RST and sewing along the short end near your safety pin, and the long raw edge.

Trim your seams and clip your corners (without going through your line of stitching!).

Now, you are going to slowly snake your safety pin through your strap, just as you might a normal strap.

Once your strap has been fully turned right side out, you can poke out the corners with the thin end of your chopstick. 

Then, press it nice and flat and voila! You have successfully turned a strap that happened to have an enclosed end. Pretty nifty, right?

 

 

Option 2

The Chopstick

This option is perfect if you have already sewn your straps and you happen to have chopsticks lying around your kitchen (I know we do!) It also works well with the long end of a paintbrush if you have one of those in lieu of a chopstick.

Pinch out a small pocket at the sewn short end of your strap and slide the thinner end of your chopstick into the pocket.

Begin rolling the fabric over itself and the chopstick.

Don't accidentally poke your chopstick too hard and go through your corner piece (like I did!).

Once you have your strap turned to the right side, use the thin end of your chopstick to poke out the corners of your strap.

All that's left to do is iron your strap nice and flat!

Whew- I think we got through a good bit today! Let's pick back up tomorrow with Part 2 - Bib Pocket. As the name implies, we will be sewing our bib pocket pieces and getting those ready to be attached to the actual bib!


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