Today we’re blogging some very cute fabrics over at Cali & Co.! We selected four fabrics and two patterns (in addition to the striped Garnet top I made last month) to make four fun and different looks, all while only sewing two garments! Here’s a little sneak peak…
Of course we couldn’t stop there since we could recreate our look for an 18″ doll too! Even with just one yard of each fabric, there was enough leftover to sew a doll outfit too. What little girl doesn’t love matching her dolly?! To recreate this look, Emma Dolly is wearing the 18″ doll size Reversible Fleece Hoodie which comes with the girl size pattern, and the Potato Chip Skirt Set for 18″ Doll patterns.
Today we have a quick and simple tutorial for you! There’s still a little more time to squeeze in another cute warm weather top, although this one still looks great layered with long sleeves or a cardigan. Plus, it has twirl factor!
We used the Fair and Square Top/Dress which features a lovely square neckline, includes a hem band or ruffle hem options, and instructions for a sweet little flower. There’s also a no buttonhole option too if you want to sew this one up even quicker! It’s available in a variety of sizes, including baby (0-24 months), girls (2T – 8), and even the 18″ doll size.
We’re including two different looks with this modification. You can add two tiers for a very fun cropped look…
Or add a third tier for a twirly longer tunic/top.
Both are absolutely adorable, especially in these lighter weight cottons. The apples are a light weight quilting cotton, and the white on black floral print cotton lawn is from Cali Fabrics (psst, read to the end for a special discount from Cali!). A thicker or heavier cotton fabric might be too poofy with the measurements we’re providing here, but if you want that look, then go for it!
To get our Fair and Square top look, you’ll need to cut these pieces from your fabric:
Fair and Square yoke front and back pieces (main and lining) for your chest size.
Fabric strips using the appropriate size charts below. For the cropped top version cut 5 strips, or for the longer tunic/top version, cut 9 strips.
If you need to add length to your top, just select the length according to height size, and the width according to your chest size. I am making a size 4 chest with a size 5 length, so I cut my strips 6 5/8″ x 21″.
Once you have all of your fabric pieces cut out and ready, you’re all set to sew! For now, set aside the fabric strips for tiers 2 and 3. We will come back to those at the end.
First, we’ll begin by sewing step 1 on page 4 of our Fair and Square pattern and continue through to the end of step 5, skipping step 6, and finishing up with step 7 on the bottom of page 10. We’ll be treating our first tier strips of fabric (there should be 2 strips) like the “skirts” portion in the pattern’s instructions. When you’re done, you should have an assembled upper top (front/back).
Now grab those tier strips of fabric we put aside earlier. Taking only the tier 2 strips (3 strip pieces), sew them right sides together at the short ends using a 1/2″ seam allowance, pressing the seams open and finishing them. You should have a loop after all side seams are sewn together.
Repeat this with your tier 3 strips of fabric if choosing this tunic/top option (you should have 4 strips left) to create another loop. Once you have your loop(s) done, mark your side seams, and your center front and center back.
Now here is my longer tunic/top version that I’ve assembled out of order so you can see the different parts to get a better idea of what I mean by tiers and loops. I love visuals! Makes it so much easier for me!
Now sew some gathering stitches using your preferred method along the top raw edge of your loop(s). If you want to take a look at the variety of gathering methods you can choose from, take a look at our Great Ruffle-Off! Which Gathering Method is Best? blog post.
Now with your tier 2 loop wrong side out and the top portion right side out, align your gathering stitch raw edge to the bottom raw edge of your tier 1 fabric (the “skirts” tier attached to the yoke). You will want to match up the center and side points, then begin gathering your fabric until your tier 2 loop fits evenly over your tier 1 loop, and the gathers are evenly distributed. Sew around this edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance and finish seam.
Press the finished seam up and top stitch close to the edge on the upper loop.
Repeat with your tier 3 loop if necessary, attaching it to your top and topstitching in the same manner. To finish, turn your bottom hem under 1/4″, press, then turn under another 1/4″, press and sew.
Isn’t this so cute?! All she needs is a cardigan and she’s ready for fall weather.
I love the way the tiers look in this cotton lawn though, so delicate and light. It’ll be very easy to layer this under a cute cropped cardigan, wink wink.
One thing I love about sewing with cotton lawn is that although it is a lighter weight fabric than quilting cotton, it is still pretty easy to sew with. I used a microtex needle and black fusible interfacing for the snaps, and that was pretty much it. I love the drape it gives to this tiered Fair and Square. As you can see, it has significantly less “poof” than the lightweight quilting cotton cropped version, although to be fair, it also has the weight of that third tier.
If you’d like to pick up some of this pretty cotton lawn, or one of the other gorgeous lawns, from Cali Fabrics, you can take $5 off off your first purchase over $25 using our unique referral code: http://califabrics.com/?redeem=58f5bd92a18db30013d2c109. You save $5 and we get $5 too for our fabric stash account!
You can find the Fair and Square Dress/Top pattern and more in Tie Dye Diva’s Pattern Shop. As always, we love hearing your ideas too. Do you have a Tie Dye Diva pattern hack or tutorial you would like to see, leave a comment and we just might do it!
One of the most satisfying aspects of sewing is mashing patterns together to create something new. This is especially true when I love certain aspects of the patterns and wish they existed together, but then I make it happen, which is even better! I have to give design credit for today’s pattern mashup to my girl though because this one is her idea…totally proud mama moment!
She loves skirt-alls, so when she saw another little girl wearing some at the park, she said they reminded her of something I had made before. When we got home, she showed me her sister’s Storybook Pinafore short dress, and she commented that it would look great attached to her Potato Chip Skirt. Right then I knew I had to make this awesome mashup happen!
The Storybook Pinafore Dress is an adorable vintage inspired pinafore pattern available in baby sizes (0 – 24 months), girls sizes (2-10 years), or as a bundle to save. The Potato Chip Skirt is a wardrobe staple reversible skirt with optional pockets, available in sizes 12 months to 13/14 years. Since we are mashing these two patterns together, our mashup will includes sizes 12-18 months to 9/10 years. If you don’t already have them, make sure to grab both patterns to complete today’s mashup.
You can make this skirt-all mashup with ruffles or without, add trim or piping as you like, although we left ours pretty simple. The blue version without ruffles is made with a chambray.
Both are simple to pull on, so big girls can help get themselves dressed in the mornings. This means there are no closures in this mashup, just a quick and fun sew! Let’s get started!
Preparing Your Pattern Pieces
Since we’re mashing these two patterns together, we will only be using a couple of pieces from each pattern. We will need to alter some as well, but it’s pretty simple and sews up quickly.
Let’s begin with the Storybook Pinafore pattern. You will need these pattern pieces:
Straps (cut 4)
Bodice (cut 2)
Ruffle (optional – cut 2)
Before cutting out your pinafore pattern pieces, you will need to alter the bodice and strap pieces. To calculate the length to add to your pieces, follow these simple steps:
Measure your strap pattern’s long side (shown in red below).
Multiply your measurement by .35, then divide the amount you get in half. That is the amount you will need to add to each short end of your strap and bodice pattern pieces (shown in purple below). We add this amount to each end so that our center point on the pattern is still accurate.
For example, my strap piece for size 4/5 years measures 16.25” on the long side, so I multiplied 16.25” x .35 = 5.688, and rounded up to 5.75” to make it easier on myself. My total length increase is 5.75”, so I divided this amount in half, 5.75/2 = 2.875 or 2 7/8″. I added 2.875″ to each short end of my straps and bodice pieces as shown below.
If you are using the ruffle piece, we will modify the length to be 2x the length of the new strap. I simply put my ruffle piece on top of my newly lengthened strap piece, then extended and redrew the ruffle curve to match the length of my strap. You will cut two ruffle pieces on the fold of your fabric.
From the Potato Chip Skirt pattern you will need these pattern pieces:
Main Fabric Skirt Front (cut 1)
Skirt Back (cut 1)
Pocket Backing (optional – cut 2)
Pocket Liners (optional – cut 2)
We won’t be altering any of these pattern pieces, but it will sit a bit higher on the waist when we’re done assembling everything. You may want to add length to the skirt, an inch or so, using the lengthening instructions on page 15 of your Potato Chip Skirt pattern. I didn’t add any length to my pattern, but I did use a narrow hem to finish my skirt.
Now for the waistband pieces, use the cutting chart below. Find your Potato Chip Skirt hip size, and cut the following waistband and elastic pieces:
Remember to place a mark at the center front and center back of your waistband pieces.
Sewing and Assembling Your Pinafore and Skirt
Now that you have your pattern pieces ready, go ahead and cut out your fabric. Don’t forget to mark your center notches for those pieces that need it. Once you have your fabric cut, you’re ready to sew!
Sewing the Pinafore Bodice, Skirt, and Waistband
First, assemble your pinafore bodice according to the Storybook Pinafore pattern (step 4). If you are adding the ruffles, you will need to prepare them (step 1) and attach them to the bodice (step 5). When you are done, it should look like this.
We will be making the unlined skirt version for this tutorial. If you are adding the pockets, begin with step 1 of the Potato Chip Skirt pattern. You can also find a wonderful piping tutorial on page 6 to add a little contrast to your pockets! If you’re not adding pockets, begin with step 2. Proceed through to step 3 then stop. You will have an assembled skirt that looks like this.
Now we’re going to move on to our waistband. You should have two front and two back pieces. Following step “e” on the bottom of page 5 of your Potato Chip Skirt pattern, also apply the interfacing to the wrong side of your front waistband.
Taking one front and one back waistband piece, place them right sides together and sew along the short ends with a ½” seam allowance (fabric looks different because I made a few of them!).
Now press these seams open. Repeat this with the other front and back waistband pieces.
Assembling Your Pinafore and Skirt
Now we’re going to put everything together!
First we will attach our pinafore to the waistband pieces. Place your waistband main and lining pieces right sides together, pinning at the side seams. Now sandwich your front pinafore bodice into the front waistbands, matching right sides and center front notches.
It will look layered like this. Your pinafore bodice’s raw edge is lined up with the raw edge of the waistband.
Repeat this with the back pinafore bodice piece, matching center back notches. Continue pinning around entire bottom of waistband to hold together in place. Sew around this entire seam with a ½” seam allowance, then trim the seam allowance to a 1/4″.
Pull the waistband down with wrong sides together and press well. Top stitch close to the seam using no more than 1/8″ seam allowance. We will refer to this entire pinafore bodice/waistband piece as just the bodice in the rest of the tutorial for simplicity.
Now we’re ready to move on to our skirt portion. We’re almost done!
First, turn your skirt inside out. With your bodice right side out, slide it down into your skirt aligning raw edges, matching center front, center back, and side seams. Pin well so nothing moves around.
Make sure the waistband’s lining is pushed down and out of the way. Sew around the waist seam with a ½” seam allowance.
Now pull up your waistband and lining, press the seam you just finished up towards the waistband, and press your the raw edge under towards the wrong side 3/8”.
Pull your bodice out of the skirt and turn everything right side out. Reach inside to turn your waistband lining down, and from the right side pin your back waistband lining down to form the elastic casing. Stitch close to the bottom edge of the back waistband only, from side seam to side seam. I like to sew this from the right side to keep my seams nice and straight, making sure I catch my waistband lining in the seam.
Looking at the inside of the skirt, pull your elastic through the opening at the sides until ½” of elastic sticks out and secure by stitching in the side seam ditch. Pull the other side all the through and stitch in the same manner to secure your elastic.
Optionally you can add an additional row of stitching in the center of the back waistband after securing your elastic. I do this by stretching my waistband and elastic as I sew, and I use a slightly longer stitch length.
Now pin and top stitch the front waistband down, catching the front waistband lining.
Yay! You’re done!
This is such a great piece to layer with long sleeves, tights and boots for cooler weather, or with a tank and sandals for warmer weather. Including the back bodice, seen in the pictures below, helps make this skirt-all easy to pull over, but I think this would look pretty cute with the blog tutorial for vintage inspired cross back straps too.
We hope you enjoyed this pattern mashup as much as we have! You can find the patterns mentioned in this post in Tie Dye Diva’s Pattern Shop, and don’t forget to share your makes with us! We love seeing them, so if you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, you can find us at Tie Dye Diva Sewing Patterns.
Today we have a fun and extremely simple little pattern hack for you. These cute little ruffle tops seem to be everywhere right now, and they’re so easy to sew that it’s the perfect project for beginning sewists, and those with more sewing experience will be able to whip up lots of these in no time! They’re seriously so fun to select fabric for and sew, not to mention an excellent project to refashion those thrifted men’s dress shirts.
The Daydreamer Dress pattern you see above is the perfect pattern for our top hack. It’s a twirly dress pattern with a sweet ruffle neck collar and sash. It’s available in a range of sizes from 2t through 9/10, and is a great pattern for beginners. The pattern itself only has a few pages to print, making this ruffle top one of the simplest pattern hacks ever.
Modifying Your Pattern
First, you will select your bodice size based on your child’s chest measurement. My daughter is a size 4 chest, so I will use the size 4 bodice.
Using their height size, select the length you will need to add to the front bodice from the chart below.
My girl falls in the size 5 height range, so I will add 10.5″ to the length of my size 4 front bodice piece. I draw a line down from the center front fold line that is 10.5″ long. I also draw an angled line down from the underarm point, and draw another bottom line to meet my center front line. You can see my modifications in pink below.
Now that you have your basic outline, you will want to adjust the bottom hemline to curve up 1/4″ to 1/2″ at the side seam, as shown in green below. You basically want this corner to form a 90 degree angle.
Here is my final front top pattern piece.
Now take your back bodice pattern piece, place it over your front top pattern piece we just made, matching underarm points and center fold side. Tape down the back bodice pattern piece only at the bottom.
Here I am cutting my fabric on the fold using my back pattern piece.
This makes it very easy to use the same top pattern piece we just drew for both the back and front. To use as the top front pattern, simply fold down the back bodice pattern as shown in blue, and it should be completely out of the way.
Here I am cutting my fabric on the fold using my front pattern piece. Notice I’ve flipped down my back bodice section using the tape as a hinge.
I placed my pen just under the back bodice piece so you can see it’s flipped down and out of the way.
Cutting Your Fabric
Now you’re ready to cut your fabric. Our top consists of only three fabric pieces: top front, top back, and the neck ruffle. You will also need 1/4″ elastic for the neckline. Your pattern gives you cutting measurements for your neck ruffle on page 3 and the elastic piece on page 4.
Sewing Your Top
Now you’re ready to sew! First, place your top front and back pieces right sides together and sew down each side seam using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish this seam.
Now jump to step 4 on page 9 of your pattern to finish the armholes, and continue with step 5 to attach the neck ruffle. To finish, turn your bottom hem up 1/4″, press, then another 1/2″, press and sew. You’re done!
It’s easy to add trim to the neck ruffle too, because who doesn’t like to personalize with a little crochet lace or pompoms? I added my trim after pressing up my neck ruffle’s hem.
I paired this adorable watermelon top with Daffodil Capris turned into shorts using Rachel’s Daffodil Shorts tutorial. I absolutely love the look of these shorts with their contrast ruffle. The watermelon and pink fabric are part of the Tutti Fruitti collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics, and they scream summer time and picnics!
This sweet Daydreamer top is all about our feathered friends. It’s part of the Garden Roost collection by Elizabeth Grubaugh for Blend Fabrics, and the ruffle top is perfect for coordinating small quantities of fabric you may have sitting in your stash.
I decided to whip up a pair of Potato Chip Shorts in a light blue twill fabric to complete this fun little summer outfit. These are the bermuda length shorts featuring a simple tie hack in the front and cuffs (wink wink…tutorial coming soon!). They’re perfect for outdoor activities like running around in the park, or you know, chasing chickens!
I also went a little crazy refashioning this ruffle top. My girl demanded I add these cat buttons, so I replaced the other buttons as well. I love that this is such a great top for repurposing men’s shirts and getting really creative. This one was covered in strange ink stains towards the bottom, but it was pretty easy to place the top pattern to avoid the stains. You can also just use the original shirt’s hem if you can to make this top even faster!
Our Lemon Drop Dress Sew Along has come to an end and we hope that you have enjoyed it as much as we have! We have loved seeing everyone’s progress as they sewed along and are so proud of the many of you who went out of your comfort zone to stretch your sewing skills. The overwhelming favorite sew-along bonus option was those pretty flutter sleeves and we love how you made them! Remember, the instructions for the hi-low hem and the maxi length Lemon Drop are here on the blog whenever you might want to give them a try. Here’s the daily recap:
Many other sew-alongers also chose a classic hemmed-finish Lemon Drop:
Others loved pairing the sew-along flutters with the ruffled-hem finish for extra ruffly goodness!
Congratulations to Christina who won the $35 gift certificate from One Red Blossom Fabrics, to Meagan who won the KAMsnaps pliers and snaps kit from KAMsnaps.com and to Casey who won a little bonus prize of sewing goodies from the Tie Dye Diva stash including fabric, vintage trim, and buttons.
Get ready to see your finished Lemon Drop Dress – it’s the last day of our Lemon Drop sew-along! Today we’ll add the closures (and talk a little about what wonderful little gems KAMsnaps are) and finish any hemming steps you may have left. Or, you may be very quickly sewing up a whole Lemon Drop so you can enter our giveaway – go for it!
We are absolutely loving what we’ve seen so far! Seriously, the beautiful fabric combinations and creativity are so inspirational!
If you’re just joining us, you can find the previous sew-along posts here:
Yesterday you should have completed through Step 8 of construction – so your dress is hemmed, faced, or has the ruffle added, you’ve sewn your pockets in place, and you have attached the skirt and bodice and topstitched all around. Now we’re ready for some closure! (See what I did there?)
The Lemon Drop Tunic and Dress pattern provides instructions for two different types of closures, button holes and snaps. We’ve seen that snaps have been the most popular closure option because they’re fast and easy, and KAMsnaps are so colorful, it’s fun to coordinate them with our fabrics – there is always the right color!
I used KAMsnaps for my ruffle maxi dress and hi-low tunic, and I love how fast they were to install. Sometimes I don’t relish those final steps, like closures, but KAMsnaps sure make it faster! They squeeze in with hand-held pliers in a flash.
Buttons are fun too though, and I was going to use a beautiful, large, vintage button on the back of my maxi hemmed dress, but alas, I’m still getting used to my new sewing machine, and the buttonholer is so sensitive it touched fabric and began to reverse, making my button hole much smaller than I wanted. I was able to find a fun contrasting button from my stash though, but this explains why there’s just one button!
Snap/button placement is another way you can give your Lemon Drop a final fitting adjustment. The pattern instructions give exact placement measurements for your snaps or button holes, but if you try on your Lemon Drop and want to make it a little more snug, you can reposition your closures for your preference.
Enter Our Giveaway
Our generous sponsors have donated a $35 gift certificate to One Red Blossom Fabrics and a starter set of KAMsnap pliers and snaps from KAMsnaps.com, and we just might have a surprise thrown in too. To enter the giveaway, finish your Lemon Drop, snap your best photo, and post it to the Giveaway thread in Tie Dye Diva’s Facebook group which will be posted later today (Friday).
Here are the giveaway details: Winners will be chosen randomly from eligible posts to the giveaway thread, entries will be accepted through Sunday 6/18 and winners chosen on Monday. Open worldwide – winners of KAMsnaps prize who are outside the US or Canada will need to pay their own shipping cost, or can choose a Tie Dye Diva Patterns gift certificate of equal value. Photos posted to the giveaway thread will be reposted here on the Tie Dye Diva blog on Monday. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
On Monday we’ll post our winners and have a wonderful Lemon Drop Parade here showcasing all the pretties you made this week and posted to the giveaway thread!
We’ve made it to Day 4 of Tie Dye Diva’s Lemon Drop Dress Sew Along, and your dresses are all looking so great! We’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress and the variety of bodices and skirts. You are all working so hard, and by the end of today we should have a mostly assembled Lemon Drop. If you are just joining us, you can still catch up with our Sew Along posts:
Today we’re going to attach our skirts to our bodice (step 8 beginning on page 12 of the pattern) and begin working on our hems.
If you’re making a hi-low hem, read our first section below. We’ll show you how to draft your hi-low hem facings and finish this type of hem.
If you are sewing a maxi length, skip to Maxi Hems further down in the post for some pointers.
If you’re sticking with the standard Lemon Drop pattern for your hem and length, follow the pattern instructions for all of Step 6 and we’ll see you tomorrow!
The Hi-Low Hem
The hi-low hem is a fun and trendy hem style that is traditionally higher in the front and lower in the back. My girl is wearing a hi-low hemmed tunic along with a coordinating Knot or Not Headband. Although it is a modest hi-low difference (less than 3″ between the front and back), it still appears somewhat dramatic from the side.
You should’ve made your hem’s pattern changes on Day 1, and today we will prepare our hem facing pieces and finish our skirts. Again, your hi-low hem can be as dramatic or modest as you prefer, but keep in mind that the inside back hem will be visible when facing the front of the tunic/dress (you can see the back) depending on how dramatic it is. This is why we’re finishing it with a hem facing to keep it looking pretty. You can have your hem facing match your skirt fabric, or select a coordinating fabric for a bit of extra fun!
Creating the Hi-Low Hem
Creating and adding a hem facing is pretty easy. You might have already used our tutorial to create a hem facing for the Perfect A-Line Dress – the process is the same. To create the pattern needed for our front and back hem facings, you will need your front and back skirt pattern pieces. Make sure you have already cut your fabric out for the front and back skirts as we’re making changes to these pattern pieces. First, taking your front skirt pattern piece, trace a new line 2.5″ above the curved hemline (seen in blue below).
Cut on this newly traced line, mark it Hem Facing Pattern – Front, and re-mark the fold line, and this bottom portion will now become our hem facing pattern piece. Repeat this for the back skirt pattern piece too, and you will have your front and back hem facing patterns.
Cut 1 front hem facing and 1 back hem facing from your fabric on the fold as you did with your skirt pieces. Mark the facings as front and back as they can look quite similar when they’re opened up to sew! You can use chalk, low tack tape, or clip the upper edge once to mark the front and twice to mark the back. Do this before you get them mixed up!
Place your hem facing pieces right sides together, matching side seams. Sew the side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance, then press open. You don’t need to finish this seam.
With your skirt right side out and your hem facing wrong side out, slide your hem facing up over the bottom so they are right sides together, matching side seams, and front and back curves.
Now sew around the bottom hem using a 1/2″ seam allowance, shown by the dashed line below.
Turn your skirt and hem wrong side out, and press your hem facing down away from the skirt, then press the raw hem facing edge over towards the wrong side 1/2″.
Turn your hem facing up so the skirt and hem facing are wrong sides together and press well. Pin your hem facing in place making sure to match side seams and center front and back. Sew in place using a 1/8″-1/4″ seam allowance.
You are done with your hi-low hem! You can also tape the hem facing pattern pieces back onto the skirt pattern if you want to make more of these, or trace the hem facings onto pattern paper first to keep them handy for next time.
There is just something so elegant about a maxi dress, especially when we’re attending those fancy events where our girls want to wear something special. Or you know, when we’re going to the beach and the wind will be blowing that gorgeous fabric just perfectly! When finishing your maxi Lemon Drop Dress, I would recommend trying it on your child first if you can to ensure you are happy with the length before hemming. The maxi lengths are designed to hit at the ankles.
Hemmed Maxi Dress
The hemmed maxi dress is lovely, especially in a border print. Here I used a cotton sateen fabric which is similar to sewing with quilting cotton.
The instructions for finishing the maxi hemmed dress are the same as the pattern instructions, step 6a on the bottom of page 9. I made sure to try this maxi dress on my girl before hemming though, and instead of using the full 2″ hem allowance, I decided to finish with a narrow hem to keep the dress longer per our personal preference.
Ruffle Maxi Dress
The ruffle maxi dress is so festive, and I absolutely love the way this red ruffle looks as it’s being whipped around!
We’ve added length to the ruffle per our pattern changes on Day 1 (and to the skirt pieces in the larger sizes), but I decided to highlight the bottom even more with some trim.
It is completely up to you regarding the trim, and you can even make the ruffles longer if you prefer, but remember to remove the same amount of length from the skirt portion of the pattern if you do. The instructions for finishing the maxi ruffle hem are the same as the pattern’s instructions, step 6b on page 10. I didn’t alter any length on the maxi ruffle dress, as it was perfect hitting at her ankles.
We love our small, family-owned and operated sponsor businesses so much! Wei at One Red Blossom has donated a $35 gift certificate to their amazing online fabric shop, which always carries an amazing selection of on-trend knits and wovens. Seriously, you could order by closing your eyes and pointing at your screen, and have one of the best fabric collections around. Judy at KAMsnaps.com has donated a pliers and snaps starter kit, and let me tell you, if you don’t already use KAMsnaps, you are missing out. Easy to use, every color under the sun, and no more buttonholing! We’ll talk a little more about KAMsnaps tomorrow when we add closures to our dresses.
It’s not too late to jump in, and Friday is a catch up day, so there’s still time! Today we will begin assembling our skirts and pockets, but let’s take a moment to focus on the back placket first. This is step 5, “Create the Placket” on page 8 of the pattern. Since take some practice, take is slowly if it’s new to you and consider practicing on a scrap. Even for those who have done a few plackets, it can be tricky to sew them without wrinkles, but once you get the technique down of smoothing them out right before you get to them, you’ll have perfectly smooth plackets. Jen even put a helpful video together for us!
Hi all! I hope this will help a little with the smoothing technique for sewing a placket without sewing any pesky creases into it. The video’s taken by my 7 year old, and for some reason I can’t ever seem to think and talk at the same time once I am being taped but I hope this will help! See the video by clicking here.
Now that we have our placket in place, we can move onto assembling our skirt pieces.
When deciding how to assemble the skirt pieces (think side seams), you’ll need to choose which pockets you’ll want first. If you are going to use the pattern’s gathered pockets (or no pockets at all), you can finish the skirt’s side seams using this tutorial for French seams. It is definitely doable to finish in-seam pockets with a French seam, but we will not be covering that in this sew-along.
Using French seams is a great choice for the hi-low Lemon Drop as the inside of the skirt is visible when looking at it from the front. This cherries hi-low tunic has a modest height difference, but we can still see inside it. If you are using a more dramatic hi-low difference, you definitely want to make sure your inside seams are finished.
If you’re not finishing your skirt with French seams or adding in-seam pockets, go ahead and follow the pattern’s instructions, step 6 on the bottom of page 9, to assemble your skirt pieces.
I love adding these pockets to the maxi’s sew-along version. They provide hidden, or as my girl calls them “secret” pockets that don’t disturb the lines of the dress. They’re also very easy to sew, so let’s get started drafting those pattern pieces.
First, you will want to mark your front skirt pattern piece and your front and back fabric pieces with the measurement below for your length size.
You will measure down from the side seam. This is going to be where we place the top of our in-seam pocket. I am adding in-seam pockets to my littlest one’s ruffle maxi dress, so I’m using the size 3 length skirt piece, and measuring down 3.25″ and placing a little notch (keep your notch within the seam allowance).
The way I draft in-seam pockets is simply by tracing my girl’s hand directly onto the pattern. I like to mark my side seam allowance too so I know where that will fall with her hand placement. I usually just give myself enough pocket and seam allowance room by drawing a 1/2″ seam allowance while tracing around her open hand, beginning at my pocket placement mark. Also keep in mind how wide the opening of your pocket is to make sure it’s wide enough for them to get their hands in and out easily. As you can see in my example below, I go over my initial drafting lines until I get it just the way I like it.
Cut out or trace your pocket pattern piece, and now you will cut 4 of these from your fabric (2 of them in reverse/mirrored). Finish the rounded edges of your pockets with a serged or zigzag stitch.
Now taking your skirt front piece, place one of your pocket pieces right sides together with the skirt, matching the top of the pocket with the marking for the pocket placement. Sew your pocket’s straight edge seam to your skirt’s side seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Repeat this for your other pockets and skirt back piece.
Since we aren’t using French seams for our skirt’s side seams, lets go ahead and finish them with a serged or zig zag stitch.
Then press your pocket away from your skirt. I like to stitch 1/8″ away from this seam, on the pocket side. This helps the pocket lay away from the skirt fabric.
After you have repeated this for each of your pockets, place your skirt front and back pieces right sides together, matching up pockets, and sew down your side seam and around your pocket using a 1/2″ seam allowance. It can be helpful to draw the sewing/pivot points at the corner top and bottom of where your pocket meets your skirt. Always test before drawing on your fabric though to make sure the markings can be removed!
Press pockets towards front, turn right side out and enjoy your perfectly secret, in-seam pockets!
Tomorrow we will attach our skirts to our bodices and begin hemming them. We’ll also show you how to make that hi-low hem, if that’s one of the sew-along options you’ve chosen. Don’t forget to share your in-progress Lemon Drops in the Tie Dye Diva Facebook group (also where you’ll post your completed Lemon Drop Friday)! Although daily posts aren’t required, we just love seeing how everyone’s tunics and dresses are coming together.
We are getting closer to the end, but there’s still time if you want to join in. Those who enter their completed Lemon Drop sew-along tunic/dress on Friday are eligible to win prizes from our lovely sew-along sponsors, One Red Blossom Fabrics and Kam snaps. A gift certificate for fabric and a KAM snaps starter kit with size 20 snaps? Yes please! On that note, I’ll see you here tomorrow!
Press the straps in half lengthwise with wrong sides together to make a crease and unfold. Then press one long edge of each strap under 3/8″ to the wrong side. Be sure to press so they are mirror images of each other as shown in this photo. It’s also helpful at this point to mark the lengthwise center by folding the short edges together and marking the midpoint of the strap.
Fold the flutter to mark the lengthwise center, then with right sides together, align the raw curved edge of each flutter with the long raw edge of a strap. Pin at the midpoints and endpoints.
Gather the flutter to fit the strap and adjust gathers evenly. Pin and then sew the flutter into place, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Press the flutter to the outside and press the seam allowance toward the strap.
Re-fold the strap along the creased center line and pin the 3/8″ fold so it just covers the line of stitching.
From the front of the strap, sew 1/8″ from each long edge.
Just one more thing you need to know before returning to the Lemon Drop instructions for assembling the bodice and straps in the usual way – in Step 3 at the top of page 6, when you attach the straps to the bodice liners, be sure you are looking at the *right* side of the straps and flutters (another way of saying this, place wrong side of straps/flutters against right side of bodice liners). When you sew the liner and main fabric together, with the straps sandwiched between, you may need to move the flutter portion out of the way of your stitching line to be sure you are just catching the strap.
Continue with the Lemon Drop pattern instructions through Step 4 (bottom of page 7). You’ll see a big pink
where you should stop and check the fit of your bodice (worn layered over a tee or alone as you intend to wear the dress). How exactly you want it to fit is up to you, and how it is going to be worn. You don’t want it skin tight, but you don’t want it revealing either. If you are layering or layering sometimes, you’ll want some extra room.
So, if the bodice width is larger or smaller than you’d like, adjust the side seams (that last seam you sewed) being aware that taking off or adding just 1/8″ on each side seam changes the all-around fit by 1/2″. Also check the strap length so you have a custom fit for your wearer. It’s advised to adjust this fit in the front to maintain the correct angle on the back strap attachment.