Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Summer Dress - Part 1

The Princess wanted a couple summer dresses. I am currently working on Butterick 4443. I am doing View "C" which is the yellow one in the middle - but with sleeves as shown on View "F" (the green one on the left).
I am doing the skirt portion first. I learned from a sewing blog I enjoy that on a bias skirt it is best to sew it first and let it hang at least overnight so that any potential fabric stretching will fall out. If you don't do this step and just go ahead and hem it, you can end up with a hem that falls unevenly, especially at the sides.
Anotehr tip I have learned is to put a 1" strip of fusible interfacing along the seam area of the zipper. This dress will have a zipper that extends from the bodice into the skirt portion. Here I have fused the interfacing strip to the skirt and basted the zipper area closed. The zipper in this dress is one of the last steps, but the area is now all prepped.
And my last tip for this entry is my seam finishes. There are many ways to finish a seam, but whichever way is chosen, the seams really need some type of finish in order to hold up over time, otherwise they fray and just plain look ugly. Many people use a serger to finish the edges, but this is not currently an option for me. Other methods include overcasting the edge, zig-zagging the edge, or just using pinking shears. Bias binding and a really nice technique called a Hong Kong finish are other choices. They all have a place and depending on the fabric and garment usage, I have used some of these choices at various times. My favorite seam finish, and the one I am using on this dress, is to just pink the edges and then sew a line of stitches along the edge of the pinking. I have found that just using pinking shears alone can still allow some fabrics to unravel over time so the line of stitches prevents that from occurring. This finish also lies very flat and adds no bulk. The down side is that I do have to sew down each seam 3 times - once to join the seam and then along the edge of each pinked side, but it isn't hard and the results are worth it.
Here is a picture of the seam finished, but unpressed. It bubbles a bit until it is steamed flat.
And now pressed flat.

No comments: