Summer Dress: Part 1

Life is catching up to me again.  I sewed a bit earlier this week, but may need to let my sewing machine rest for a while.  I went out of town for the weekend to attend the wedding of some good friends of ours – it was beautiful and fun and a very happy event.  Next weekend is poker night for the boys, so surely SOME sewing will happen.  The following weekend is my sister’s bridal shower, and I will be traveling for that.  So I guess what I am saying is … my posting may be a bit slower in the next few weeks.

On with the post!

Remember when I was so excited to have cut multiple projects out because they were going to keep me busy for a while?  Well this past week, I tackled the last of those.  I am sad to say that I will most certainly have to cut something new in the next week.

I made Butterick 5485, View C.  Decided to use a very soft but also very sheer jersey knit fabric that I ordered online a while back.  It’s pretty – white with pink and purple flowers.  Very spring / summery.  Since the fabric was sheer, I decided I would need to line the dress, and thankfully I had some white satin lying around.  I had planned to use it for a different project, but it was needed for this, so I’ll have to figure that out when I get there.  The pattern called for lining the top of the dress, but sadly not the skirt portion.  I knew from the get go that I would have to do some modifications.

Speaking of modifications… I have also had difficulties in the past with seamlines winding up in the wrong places, such as with this tunic.  My goal with this dress was not to have the same problem.  So when I cut my fabric, I left extra space to ensure a more appropriate fit in the bust area.  Below is a shot of my very scientific and measurement heavy process (HAH!):

I began here.  I sewed darts in the top back pieces of the lining and the outer fabric, then attached the top front to the top back pieces at the shoulder seam.  Then I took the outer fabric and the lining and stitched them together along the neckline and the sleeve opening.  The bottom picture from below shows what it looks like after, inside and out.  I found that using the stretchy knit for the outer fabric was a little weird because it was pretty easy to wind up with wrinkles and crinkles due to its stretchiness.

Next up was under-stitching.  I have done this before on facings and have even been told to do it for reasons I don’t understand on pockets.  I puzzled over the instructions a little bit, but ultimately the picture was pretty helpful.  And the instructions were too – crazy, I know.  It told me I did not have to under-stitch along the whole seam, but just as far as I could manage to go.  This was the key for me, since I had no clue how I was going to make my machine go through the shoulder straps of the top.  For those who don’t know, with under-stitching you press the seam towards the lining, and then sew within the seam allowance to help reinforce necklines and parts of a garment that might misbehave.  You stitch so that the seam from your under-stitching shows up on the lining side of the garment.  Below you can see my under-stitching in progress, and then a view of the lining after under-stitching was completed.  I used straight stitches here, but sometimes use a three point zig-zag.

Now that the scary under-stitching process was finished, I came across an instruction in the pattern that told me how to sew down the side seam of the dress top.  Because the lining was attached at this point, I had to open the lining and the outer fabric and pin it like in the picture below.  Then I sewed a single line of straight stitches down the side.  This allowed for a seam but kept the lining from being stitched to the outer fabric.  As far as pattern instructions go, I have to say this was one of the better sets I have used.

Now for fun with waistbands.  As you can see from the top picture below, I had to put some gathers in on the front of the top.  Then I connected the waistband pieces.  There were 3 of them – a front and two back pieces.  I attached the outer fabric to associated lining pieces for the waistband at the same time that I connected them.  Then I pressed a seam allowance on a second “lining” waistband, and attached it, right sides together to the top lining (see the middle picture).  I under-stitched all those seams to the lining, which you can see in the bottom panel of the picture.  This time I did use a three point zig-zag.  I’d also like to point out that this is a good example of when the little triangle tags from the pattern instructions come in particularly handy.  You can tell I had a bunch of spots to line things up on this project.

This is where I am gonna stop for today’s post.  The dress itself did not take me too long to finish, but you will have to wait until Thursday to see and hear about the finished project.  Yep, I admit to needing to stretch this project into two posts, or you won’t get two this week!  😉  To be continued …


5 comments for “Summer Dress: Part 1

  1. May 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I love your fabric- can’t wait to see this one!

    • jadesabre9
      May 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks! I would have loved the fabric more if it hadn’t been quite so sheer and required a lining … but still!

  2. Truckerswife
    May 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Good Job! I know that must be hard!

  3. Truckerswife
    May 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Good Job! I know that must be hard!


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