Friday, March 16, 2012

Step by Step Sewing Part 3 - Construction

Alrighty, finally the next installment of the sewing project! I've named this dress the "candy striper" dress, for obvious reasons. Check out Part 1 and Part 2. Now let's tackle putting this thing together!

First things first we'll make the bodice. Really what you're making here is a kind of vest that eventually will be attached to the skirt. I ironed the interfacing onto the fabric, giving the fabric some stiffness and strength in places you'll need it. Most importantly here, where we'll be putting the buttons and button holes.

Next up, we sew in some darts onto the bodice pieces as well as the bodice lining. You basically have two mirrored copies of the bodice, one in your good fabric and one in lining. You'll sew them together so that on the inside of the bodice there are no exposed seams.

That up there is the lining. There are bust and waist line darts in the two front pieces (left and right sides) and then two waist line darts in the back piece. Darts are super easy, you basically are sewing out a wedge in your fabric, creating some definition/three dimensionality to your fabric. It makes your garment more fitted and tailored to your body. It also creates space to put your lovely boobs. Yes I just said boobs.

So I sewed in all my darts to all the bodice pieces and lining, then I sewed the front pieces to the back piece at the shoulder seam. Then I sewed the fabric and lining versions of the bodice together, good sides facing, so when you flip it right side out you can't see the seams on the inside or outside. Secrets of the trade here y'all. Just kidding, if you've sewn a pillow, you can do this.

Inside out:

Right side out:

Next up, the skirt! I pleated the top edge following the pattern guide. The nice thing about this pattern is that the pleats are intentionally uneven and random, so if they're not perfect, no worries! I love pleating. The other option is usually gathering, which I am not a fan of. More on that another time.

The pleated front and back skirt pieces:

Here come the pockets! Each pocket is half lining, half good fabric sewn together.The side with the lining goes on the front side of the skirt and the fabric side goes on the back. This is because when you've got your hands in the pockets or they're partially open, you'll see more of the back of the pocket than the front. Ideally, I guess this is saving you on fabric, but since the pocket pieces are so small it would be easy and just fine to make both sides of them out of your good fabric.

The right pocket is super easy. You sew the pocket made of lining to the front half of the skirt and the one made of good fabric to the back half. Then you basically sew the sides of the skirt and the pocket pieces together at the same time in one long stitch, leaving an opening for the pocket.

Finished right pocket:

The left pocket is a little different, and was easily the most challenging part of the dress. Since there is a zipper along the left side seam of the dress, you have to sew that side differently. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper, but since that requires an invisible zipper sewing foot (and way more steps), I just got a regular zipper. I might actually have an invisible zipper foot, but I lost my machine's manual years ago so I'm pretty clueless as to what a lot of my machine's accessories do. I need to buy a new manual online.

So anyway, I sewed the zipper and the left pocket in on the same seam line, leaving the pocket open. It was way more complicated than that sentence, but I don't think it's worth explaining. And I took no pictures of that part because it was stressful haha.

After sewing the skirt sides together, you attach the bodice to the skirt. Super easy, just a straight seam. Here's the dress, inside out, with the pockets sewn in:

Adding the buttons and button holes is up next! Using the button hole guide the pattern came with, I marked out where the holes would be sewn in.

I love sewing in button holes. Mostly because the machine does all the work, and they look so fancy! You just use a button foot on your machine, use the button hole settings to make stitches that reinforce the area around the hole, use a seam ripper to cut open the area between stitches and BOOM, button holes.

Then use the guide again on the other side and sew on your buttons. Sophie is helping me out here, by sitting exactly where I need to sew. She's awesome like that.

The bodice is all done! 

All that's left is to hem the skirt:

And we're done son! Obviously this is a highly simplified version of what took a few days. But as far as sewing projects go, this dress was fairly simple. And it would be a super easy pattern to alter.

I'll save pictures of the whole finished dress for later. I want to build suspense! But mostly I look terrible and there's no way I'm taking any pictures of myself today. But soon y'all!

No comments:

Post a Comment