Featured Patterns | New York Minute Dress | Sterling Leggings/Shorties

5 Knits for Kids – New York Minute Dress and Sterling Leggings Patterns (on Cali Fabrics blog)

We are blogging about some gorgeous knits today over at Cali & Co.! Come learn about the 5 amazing and different knits we chose and how Gina sewed them into two very different outfits with our fabulous New York Minute Dress and Sterling Leggings patterns! Also, read to the bottom of this post to save $5 on your CaliFabrics order too!

Here’s a peek at outfit #1 – New York Minute dress featuring the hood, kangaroo pocket, and long sleeves options in Gray Snakeskin Brushed Jersey Knit and Sterling Leggings in Hot Pink Premium Cotton Lycra Jersey.

And a little look at #2 – New York Minute dress with “ribbed” hems, inset pockets, and short sleeves options in a fascinating “Liverpool” fabric along with Sterling Leggings were made using Black Grunge Double Brushed Poly Spandex (“DBP”). There has been so much talk about these fabrics lately!

To tie this second outfit together, an infinity scarf using this luxuriously soft Charcoal Heather Lightweight Rib Knit.

Many more photos, as well as tips and tricks for sewing all of these knits over at our Cali & Co. post.

When you’re ready to order some of these for yourself, come back here and save on your purchase! We’ll earn a discount on our Cali Fabrics too when you use our affiliate link. Click here to get $5 off  off your first purchase over $25 at Cali Fabrics!

Featured Patterns | Garnet Dress, Top and Skirt | Opal Knit Tunic and Dress | Tutorials

Opal and Garnet Pattern Mash Up

I enjoy mashing patterns together, dreaming up the possibilities of what can be made.  Getting the most out of a pattern, personalizing it, and making it our own is why we sew, right?  Today we have a very simple but exciting mash up for you!

Our first mash up pattern is The Garnet Dress, Top, and Skirt.

This pattern has no less than 19 different combinations.  Really, 19 ways?  Yes!

*Dress with long sleeves and knit single fabric skirt.
*Dress with long sleeves and woven single fabric skirt.
*Dress with long sleeves and knit paneled skirt.
*Dress with long sleeves and woven paneled skirt.
*Dress with ruched long sleeves and knit single fabric skirt.
*Dress with ruched long sleeves and knit paneled skirt.
*Dress with ruched long sleeves and woven single fabric skirt
*Dress with ruched long sleeves and woven paneled skirt.
*Dress with short sleeves and knit single fabric skirt.
*Dress with short sleeves and woven single fabric skirt.
*Dress with short sleeves and knit paneled skirt.
*Dress with short sleeves and woven paneled skirt.
*Top with long sleeves.
*Top with ruched long sleeves.
*Top with short sleeves.
*Skirt with knit single fabric skirt.
*Skirt with woven single fabric skirt.
*Skirt with knit paneled skirt.
*Skirt with woven paneled skirt.

There are also no closures to worry about, as it just pulls over the head.  Don’t want to include the collar, there’s a tutorial for that!

Our second mash up pattern is the Opal Knit Flutter Tunic Top and Dress.

This pattern includes flutter sleeves, an optional bodice ruffle, fabric flower, and of course the two lengths.  It really is a sweet yet comfy top.  Have you ever stopped and thought how nice it would be to add sleeves for colder weather though?  Well today we’re going to show you how easy it is to add short or long sleeves to the Opal using the Garnet sleeve pattern!

Adding Sleeves in 2 Easy Steps!

Step 1:  Find your pattern size for the Opal and use the same size for the Garnet sleeve, length of your choice.

Step 2:  Notice the sleeve notch markings where you gather your fabric on the Garnet sleeve?  Now move that notch over to the left and gather from your new notch. I moved mine over 1″ (shown by the pink arrow) for size 3 and it fit perfectly!

That’s it!  Just more gathers to make the Garnet sleeve fit the Opal!

Here is the tunic length with short sleeves made by Rachel:

Here is the tunic length with long sleeves:

Here is the dress length with long sleeves:

The Opal bodice is perfect for lace overlays and ruffles.  This version was made for a birthday party.  The pattern could have been dressed up even more if I had added a lace overlay to the skirt portion, but I wanted her to be able to wear the dress casually as well.  I just love the silhouette of this dress!

Both patterns will be available at a special price through March 3rd in the Tie Dye Diva Pattern shop.  Also be sure to share your Garnet and Opal mash ups in the Tie Dye Diva Facebook group or tag us @tiedyediva on Instagram.

Now that you’ve seen our mash ups, we can’t wait to see yours!

Dress and Top Patterns | Featured Patterns | Perfect Party Dress | Romper Patterns | Ruffled Romper

Romper and Dress in Flutter & Float!

So excited to share these projects with you today! I sewed up a sweet sister set with the Perfect Party Dress pattern and the Ruffled Baby Bubble Romper pattern using the brand new Flutter & Float collection by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics.

The Perfect Party Dress is made with Float in Green, Flower Crown in Pink, and finished off with a sash in the Breeze print. Don’t you love it when you have the perfect color KAM snaps on hand?

I made the Ruffled Baby Bubble Romper with Float in Blue as the main fabric with Buttercup in Blue straps, and tied it together with big sister’s dress with Breeze ruffles. The wavy print makes the ruffles look extra ruffly!

We’ve updated our Criss Cross Back Romper Pattern modification post to make it even easier to use and to include instructions for KAM snaps – it’s so simple, two steps! The pattern itself will now include the criss cross instructions, and if you have already purchased the baby romper pattern or want to make criss-cross straps for the Girls Ruffled Romper pattern, you’ll find those instructions right at the link.

Ready to see these sweet sisters? Hold on to your hat, the cute might carry you away!

Many, many thanks to Jessi at Darkroom Junkie Photography in Amarillo, TX for bringing The Perfect Party Dress Pattern and the Ruffled Bubble Romper Pattern to life on these absolutely beautiful children!

I know this hot air balloon fabric and the coordinates are going to be super popular, so give a search around the internet (here’s a current search of Etsy listings for Flutter & Float) or your local quilt shop for Flutter & Float soon so you don’t miss out!

free tutorial | Pocket Tutorials | Tutorials

Free Kitty Cat Pocket Pattern and Tutorial

A lot of people spied our adorable kitty pocket on last week’s New York Minute Dress peplum tutorial!

How about we show you how to make them, and give you a free downloadable pocket pattern too.

Kitty Pocket Tutorial

  • First, download the free pocket pattern piece: TDDkittypocket.pdf (52 downloads) .  Then print at 100% or to your personal preference – the finished pocket printed at 100% is 4.5″ wide and 4″ long.
  • As directed on the pocket pattern piece, cut two kitty shapes per pocket.
  • Embellish the kitty face as desired. I’ve included a few sample faces you can trace. Below shows the faces done with heat-transfer vinyl, sewing-machine stitches (tight zigzag for lines and the built-in eyelet stitch for eyes), and, my favorite, hand embroidery. You can use tiny buttons for eyes and nose if they safe for the age of the wearer.

  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew two pockets right sides together.  Leave about an inch unstitched on one side for turning.  You may find it helpful to mark the stitching line so you can sew precisely around the ears and top of the head.

  • Before turning, clip into the inner corners where the ears join the head and across the points of the ears.  Also, clip around the curve or trim with pinking shears.  Do not trim or clip the area left open for turning.

  • Now turn your kitty through the opening.  Use a small tool (knitting needles, chopsticks, small screwdriver) to push out the curves and ears.  Press well turning under the 1/4″ seam allowance at the turning point.
  • Topstitch around the entire kitty a scant 1/4″ from the edge.  Again, it may be helpful to mark your stitching line. Then, edgestitch (1/8″ from the edge or less) across the top of the head from the outer point of one ear to the outer point of the other. Remember, start 1/8″ in from the edge and end 1/8″ in from the edge.
  • Pin pocket(s) in place on your garment and edgestitch around the bottom of the head to secure the pocket to the garment, connecting your stitches to the ones you sewed on the top portion.

  • Finally, sew a bartack or tight zigzag across the tops of the ears to reinforce the pocket.

Solids or ‘blenders’ work best for the kitty face; you want to avoid fabrics with a bold or busy print. We’ve shown this tutorial to you in fabrics from the Tutti Fruitti and Panda-Rama collections by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics with the exception of the hand-embroidered sample shown on a solid linen.

Mrrrow!

Featured Patterns | free tutorial | Garnet Dress, Top and Skirt | Tutorials

How to Make A Fabric Bead Necklace

The moment I saw the pink colorway of the Panda-rama collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics, I knew the Garnet Dress, Skirt and Top pattern for Girls would be perfect to showcase these playful prints.  The pattern is available in sizes 12 months – 10 years and includes the dress pattern with knit bodice and woven or knit skirt, long or short sleeves, and a sweet woven collar, as well as views for making a knit top and a circle skirt that can be sewn using woven or knit fabric.  The skirt on the dress or separate skirt can be made with either a single fabric print or with fabric panels and features a knit waistband.  Of course I was going to use those panels to feature Panda-Rama’s adorable pandas, lanterns, and geometric prints!

Blend Fabrics has provided us this fabric free of charge but all opinions are our own.

The top is made with cotton/lycra knit fabric, and I used the Pink Pin Tip tutorial in the Garnet pattern for the ruched long sleeves.  I love ruching as it adds a bit of fanciness to an otherwise simple top.  I also appliqued that sweet little panda face because, well, pandas!

The pattern also includes a darling woven collar, but I decided to just add a simple neckband to let the fabric necklaces we’re making stand out.  You can revisit our tutorial on Omitting the Collar on the Garnet Dress/How to Sew a Neckband on Any Knit Tee if you would like to do this too.

Making a fabric bead necklace (and bracelet) is such a fun way to showcase the tonal geometric prints.  The wooden beads also add a fun bit of color and break up the pattern.

You can also make a fabric bead necklace without visible beads, like we did here with the hanging lanterns print.  Instead of using more beads for contrast, we simply used knots.  The ring is sewn on using a zipper foot.

To make these fabric bead necklaces and bracelets, you will need fabric and larger sized beads.  We used three different sizes.  If you would like to make the fabric bead necklace with the gold ring, you would also need one of those.  I was able to find the beads and the ring in the macrame section of my local craft shop.  The wooden beads are also non-toxic, and although we left them natural, you can always paint them to match the fabric too if that’s your thing.

My girl took the reins on this project and made most of them herself, so if you can you should definitely make these with your kiddos too!  We used a few simple techniques to make these fabric bead necklaces and bracelets.  We kept it simple because they’re kids’ jewelry, but you can definitely add clasps and closures to make them more “grown up”.

Now let’s make some fabric bead necklaces and bracelets!

First, you will need to cut strips of fabric to fit the largest bead you will be putting inside of your fabric bead necklace.  Here is your cutting guide:

  • 16mm beads – cut your fabric 2 3/8″ wide by about 16″ long (length for bracelet)
  • 20mm beads – cut your fabric 2 7/8″ wide by 45″ long (length for necklace)
  • 25mm beads – cut your fabric 3 1/2″ wide by 45″ long

Lay your fabric strip right side up, then fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together, and sew along the long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stopping about 1″ from the end.

Turn your tube right side out using a safety pin or bodkin.

Taking the end opposite of the one with the 1″ opening, tie a knot leaving a tail.  For the bracelet leave only a few inches for the tail, but for the necklace, leave several inches depending on the design you’re working on.

Begin with your first bead, pushing it all the way inside to the knot you just tied.  If the bead won’t fit in your tube easily, you’ll need to cut a wider strip.

If you want contrasting beads on the outside, pinch your fabric at the end to push inside the bead, twisting and using needle nose pliers if necessary to pull it through.

Alternate this way until you get your desired length.

When you finish with your final bead, tie another knot at the end closely to your last bead.

Here we tied both ends and simply cut the tails off.  You could also fold the ends in and hand or machine sew them closed.

These are so fun and easy to make, and they complete this Garnet skirt and top ensemble.  Look at how that paneled circle-skirt twirl just shows off these prints!  The pattern recommends 5 different prints for the skirt panels, but I was able to use just 4 (1 extra panel each of the panda and lantern prints), and it still looks great.

It looks great little too!  Aren’t these the sweetest little panda faces on this Ruffled Baby Sunsuit/Romper?  Check out those charming little birdies in the background with their rosy cheeks.

Panda-rama is arriving in fabric shops now (I see it in Fat Quarter Shop now) and is available in two colorways, including this blue you see above.

 

Featured Patterns | New York Minute Dress | TDD Pattern Add Ons | Tutorials

T(h)utorial Thursday: Adding a Peplum to the New York Minute Dress

The New York Minute Dress is not just a dress pattern, but did you know it also includes a bonus tutorial to make a pullover top?  Today we’re going to share with you how to take it a step further and add a sweet little drop waist peplum top pattern.

Peplums are such a great way to dress up a casual fleece top, and with this one, you can still add several of the other options that already come with the pattern, like the kangaroo pocket, hood, ribbing, or whatever you choose!


Make sure you have a copy of the New York Minute Dress pattern!  This pattern is designed to be a quick sew using those fun fleece fabrics we love to stock up on.  If you don’t have fleece, don’t fear, there are several other fabric recommendations like french terry, interlock, velour, and some have even sewn it up using cotton lycra!  It’s also available in sizes 12 months to 9/10 years.

Let’s go ahead and jump right in shall we?!

Choose a Size

After printing and assembling your pattern, you will want to wait before making any size changes.  Make sure to select the size based on your child’s chest measurement.  If your child is in between sizes, the pattern recommends sizing down for the dress, but if you want to layer this top version, go ahead and size up.  Also note your child’s height size, but save that for later.

My daughter’s chest measurement is 21.5″, so she falls smack dab in size 3, and I’m going with that.  Her height is 43″ and puts her in size 5 for length.

Creating the Top

To determine the drop waist length for the top, measure from your child’s underarm to their upper hip, or wherever you would like the peplum to start.  If you don’t have access to that measurement, go ahead and use the chart below (the chart’s measurements include seam allowance).  I recommend using your child’s height measurement for your cut length.

My daughter measures 8″, and I’m adding 3/8″ for seam allowance, so my total length measurement is 8 3/8″.

Taking your NYM front and back pattern pieces and a ruler, draw a straight line from the underarm seam straight down the number of inches you just measured, then draw a line straight across to the center fold line.  If you’re using the cut chart, remember to use the chest size for the underarm seam, and the height size for the cut length.

I drew an 8 3/8″ line straight down from the underarm seam for both my front and back pattern pieces.

Peplum

To figure out the size of your peplum piece we’ll need to do a little simple math so grab a calculator.  Don’t worry, we’ll break it down into little bite sized steps!  You can also use the charts below if you would prefer to (chart measurements include seam and hem allowance).

Peplum Width

Step 1:  Measure the width of your waist pattern piece and multiply it by 4.

My waist piece is 6.25″ wide, so I multiplied that by 4 and now have 25.

Step 2:  For heavier fleece and knits, or for less gathers, multiply your number in step 1 by 1.25.  For lighter knit fabric, or for more gathers, multiply your number in step 1 by 1.5.

I’m making both versions to show as an example in the same fabric, you would only choose one.  These are my peplum width calculations.

Step 3:  Now take that final number and add 3/4″ for seam allowance (3/8″ for each side).

Peplum Length

For the length of the peplum piece, I used the chart on NYM pattern page 14 to derive these measurements.  If you would like it longer or shorter, just add or subtract from the number under your size.

My daughter is a size 5 for height, so using 5″ for length, these are my final peplum measurements LxW:

Also make any changes to the length of your sleeve’s pattern piece at this point and choose your neckline option.  If you want to include the kangaroo pocket, follow the instructions on page 14 of the pattern.

To help you choose…

This version has less gathers.  The peplum is basically eased into the top.

This version has more gathers and plenty of poof.

Here is the hoodie version with more gathers and a kangaroo pocket.

That’s a lot of preparation, or at least it looks that way, but it goes quickly right?

Sewing the Peplum

Well now let’s get sewing!  We’ll start on Step 2 of the pattern, with the sleeves.  Continue with each step, omitting the pocket steps, until you reach Step 6.

You should have your top done except for the bottom.  Taking your peplum piece, fold it in half right sides together, and sew the short ends using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Now follow the hemming instructions in step 6a of your pattern to hem your peplum piece.

Next, sew two rows of gathering stitches at the top of your peplum piece using your favorite gathering method, but don’t gather yet.

Turn your peplum piece so the wrong side is facing out and mark center and sides with pins.

Place your top right side out, inside of the peplum piece.  Pin peplum to top matching the center back of your top with the seam of your peplum.  Pin the center front and sides of your pieces.

Gather until your peplum and top openings match and sew together using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Carefully press your seam towards the top, remove any visible gathering stitches, and topstitch to help it lay flat.  If you’re adding a pocket you would also do that now.


A little sneak peak at this adorable free kitty face pocket tutorial that’s in the works.  Some hand stitching and a heart-shaped stud for the nose, and I LOVE the way it turned out!

Now you have a dropwaist peplum top!  It’s fashionable and cozy!

Daffodil Capris | Daffodil Top Pattern | Featured Patterns | sewing tips | Tutorials

How to Sew an Underlining – on the Fabric.com Blog

[This post contains affiliate links, which are indicated by *. More information here.]

Tie Dye Diva is blogging over at the Fabric.com blog again today! Last time we showed you how to sew a blind hem. Today our fabulous new TDD assistant Gina is over there showing you step-by-step how to sew an underlining so you no longer have to pass by fabrics you love but just seem ‘too sheer’.

Our post features our Daffodil Top pattern in *Liberty of London Tana Lawn lined with an inexpensive Sheer Mist voile. We’ve paired it with our Daffodil Capri pattern in a yummy *Kaufman Brussels washer linen blend. How cute and classy is this for a Valentine’s look?

You’ve probably drooled over Liberty lawn before, but maybe were not sure how to sew with a slightly sheer fabric. Head over to Fabric.com’s blog and learn how easy it can be to sew an underlining!

Featured Patterns | free tutorial | Knot or Not Headband | Perfect A Line | Pocket Tutorials | Tutorials

Foldover Patch Pocket Tutorial – Riley Blake Enchanted Blog Tour

Welcome to Tie Dye Diva’s stop on the Enchanted collection blog tour sponsored by Riley Blake Designs! We are super thankful to Dodi Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow for again asking us to sew up one of her new collections – her designs are always perfect for children’s clothing and versatile for so many other projects too.

We chose to feature the Enchanted Plaid in Pink – because, you guys, PLAID! And PINK! Best of all, it’s printed on the bias so you get that fabulous diamond pattern without having to cut and work with bias-cut fabric. We chose the pretty Enchanted Main in Mint for the reverse of our Perfect A-Line dress and Knot or Not Headband. As coordinates, we’re using the collection’s sweet little dots in Mint and Pink. You can see the rest of the Enchanted collection here. These fabrics were provided to us free of charge so we could bring you this post and free tutorial, but all opinions are our own. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find out how to enter to win a bundle of Enchanted of your very own!

Our Perfect A-Line Dress pattern is one of my go-tos when a I want a special fabric to take center stage on a smooth surface, unbroken by seams or gathers. As soon as I saw the gorgeous pink plaid, I knew I wanted to use this pattern, along with our Knot or Not Headband pattern. The result is so cute and classic!

An A-line dress is a great canvas for embellishments like applique or pockets, and we created some sweet and simple little foldover patch pockets we want to share with you today.

How to Sew A Foldover Patch Pocket

You’ll need only scraps of two coordinating fabric for the foldover patch pockets (one for the main side and one for the reverse, which will show as the folded-over top portion), a snap or button, a little fusible or sew-in interfacing, and our downloadable foldover patch pocket pattern piece here: TDDfoldoverpocket.pdf (73 downloads)

For each pocket you want to make, cut 1 pocket from each of your two fabrics, and 2 pieces of interfacing. Mark the large black dots on the right sides of the fabric pieces and mark the button/snap placement on the right side of the reverse fabric.

Next, apply interfacing to the flap portion of both the main and reverse pocket pieces – this will be the top of the pocket above the fold line, inside the 1/4″ seam allowance. Then with right sides together, sew the two pocket pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving about 1″-1.5″ open on a straight side for turning. (I sewed first and interfaced after, which is why you don’t see interfacing in my sewing-step photo.)

Clip the curves, or be lazy like me and using pinking shears, but leave the seam allowance remaining outside of the turning gap. Turn and press, rolling the seam to the exact edges and turning in the seam allowance at the gap. Stitch all the way around, a scant 1/4″ from the edge.

Be sure the large black dots are marked on your pocket piece. Pin the pocket in place on your garment and edgestitch (1/8″ from the edge) around the bottom only of the pocket, from black dot to black dot.

Bar tack or narrow zigzag between the topstitching lines at the black dots on both sides. I used a 3 height, 0.3 width zigzag.

Fold and press the flap along the fold line. Last, sew a button or press a snap through the flap and the pocket, but not through the garment fabric.

How simple was that? Enjoy your foldover patch pockets!

Thank you to Willow Jane and Kristi Marie Photography for the modeled photos!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, Jan 23rd – Little Londyn

Tuesday, Jan 24th – Jedi Craft Girl

Wednesday, Jan 25th – Loose Threads

Thursday, Jan 26th – Meags and Me

Friday, Jan 27th – Pretty by Hand

Monday, Jan 30th – Tie Dye Diva

Tuesday, Jan 31st – Two Sisters as Squirrel Hallow

Wednesday, Feb 1st – Striped Swallow Designs

Thursday, Feb 2nd – Izzy and Ivy

Friday, Feb 3rd – Ellis and Higgs

Monday, Feb 6th – Aurifil

Tuesday, Feb 7th – The Crafy Quilter

Wednesday, Feb 8th – Two Sisters at Squirrel Hallow

Thursday, Feb 9th – Jina Barney Designz

Friday, Feb 10th – Riley Blake

You could win a bundle of Enchanted fabric by visiting Dodi’s blog, Loose Threads (www.sashgals.com) and leaving a comment.

One entry per blog post, per day of the Blog Tour, there on Loose Threads.

Enter every day to increase your chance of winning!

Featured Patterns | Seaside Sailor Dress

Sweet Collared Dress for Baby featuring Anna Griffin Charlotte

Just a quick post today to share adorable Miss Willow Jane in our modified Sailor Dress for Baby pattern made with Anna Griffin Fabrics’ Charlotte collection!

How sweet would this dress be at a special Valentines’ Day event or Easter brunch? When it comes to sweet, romantic florals, Anna Griffin fabrics never disappoint! I was so excited to cut into my stack of this collection, I forgot to take a picture of all the prints together. Good thing my fellow Blend blogger Sew Can She is better organized and let me use her photo, below! Sew Can She also has a super cute free tutorial for a tote bag with many pockets that she made from the Charlotte collection, so head over there and check it out.

Ask your local quilt shop to carry Anna Griffin fabrics (if they don’t already) or take a look on etsy – I found the shop Sew Stitching Happy carrying many of the fabrics from the Charlotte collection.

You can find our  Sweet Sailor Dress for Baby pattern on our website, and the rounded collar modification takes only a minute and is detailed on our blog here.

Baby Sailor Dress with original collar (made with True Blue collection by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics)
Baby Sailor Dress with modified collar (made with Anna Griffin’ Charlotte collection)

Enjoy!

Dress and Top Patterns | Featured Patterns | Perfect A Line | TDD Pattern Add Ons | Tutorials

How to Make an Unlined Perfect A-Line Dress

I love sewing reversible dresses and other reversible garments! You get two looks for the ‘price’ of one, plus a tidy, all-seams-enclosed finish that means no hemming and no seam finishing. Our popular Perfect A-Line Dress pattern is a great example of a fully reversible dress that I love to sew. If you love reversible, you can sew right from our pattern and make the dress that you want!

But sometimes, you might want to make an unlined a-line dress instead. You might be short on fabric, live in a hot climate, or want to embellish the outer side with dimensional embellishments that would be too bulky to wear on the inside of the dress (like our fun Perfect A Line Dress with Tuxedo Ruffle tutorial!). When you want an unlined a-line dress, it’s really simple to make it from this reversible pattern and today we’ll show you how.

We’re again using the adorable upcoming Tutti Fruitti collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. You’ll be able to find it at Hawthorne Threads when it arrives any day now. It’s so perfect for a sweet little baby dress, isn’t it? The fabric has been provided to use free of charge so we can bring you great tutorials like this one.

Making an Unlined A-Line Dress

1. Draft the All-In-One Facing

First, you’ll draft an ‘all in one’ facing that will line and finish the edges of the straps, neckline, and armholes. Don’t worry – it’s easy!

After cutting your front and back fabric from the Perfect A-Line Dress pattern pieces (remember, only one of each because this dress will not be reversible!), lay your pattern front and back out in your workspace. On the pattern front, measure down 2.5″ from the neckline and draw a little mark perpendicular to the “fold” line.

Measure 2″ down from the underarm and draw another little mark. Join these marks with a gently curving line. Don’t make the curve too steep, as it will be easier to hem/finish with a gentle slope.

On the pattern back, measure 2″ down from the underarm and mark this point on the side line, then square this line across to the ‘fold’ line.

Cut these new facing pattern pieces on the lines you drew.

2. Sew the Facing in the Unlined A-Line Dress

Use your new pattern pieces to cut 1 on fold of each front and back from your facing fabric, which can be same-fabric, a contrasting fabric, or any woven fabric of a similar weight. With right sides together, sew the facings together along their side edges and press the seams open. You don’t need to finish these seams.

Finish the bottom edge of the facings by serging/zigzagging, or by hemming. Serging or zigzagging is easier.

To hem the facings, sew a line of stitching around the bottom edge a scant 1/4″ from the edge, then use this stitching line to press the raw edge to the wrong side, then use this fold to help you fold a second time, and stitch close to the fold. I had some little puckers in the hem around the curve that only showed on the wrong side.

It’s a good idea to interface the snap/buttonhole areas on the facing, so do that now, using the marks given on the pattern.

Then, you’ll need to change the order of construction on your dress. Place the dress front and dress back with right sides together and sew along both side seams. Finish the seams and press them open or to the back.

With the dress right side out and the facing wrong side out, place the facing around the dress, matching raw edges of the straps, armholes, and necklines, and pinning all around. Stitch the entire top edge 1/2″ from the edge. Clip and notch seam allowances as appropriate.

Turn the facing to the inside, using a long thin turning tool like a chopstick to press the seam line to the very edge between the fabrics. Press well and topstitch the seam.

From the right side of the dress, “stitch in the ditch” of the side seams to hold the facing in place. Add your snaps or buttons/buttonholes.

view inside front (hemmed facing)
view inside back (serged facing)

3. Hem the Dress

Hem the dress by pressing under 1/4″, then pressing under 1/4″ again and sewing close to the fold. OR, use last week’s hem facing tutorial to finish the dress with a hem facing.

Enjoy!

Special thanks to Willow Jane and Kristi Marie Photography for the modeled photos!