Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 3
Day 3 : Pockets & Straps
Day 3 is here, and we are finally ready to sew something! I know many of you have been waiting for this moment. So, get out your pocket and strap pieces, get out your machine and thread, and let’s get started!
The first thing you need to do is put your pockets and straps together front sides facing. The wrong sides should be on the outside.
Now, I’m going to let you in on something that I ran into. My straps seemed a little large to me. This is a matter of preference. So, hold your straps up to your dress pieces. See if they seem the right size to you. This is a judgement call. If they seem large, you will need to use a larger seam allowance than the 3/8″ one that we measured. I ended up using a 3/4″ seam allowance on my straps, and a 3/8″ seam allowance on my pocket pieces.
Once you have that decided, you are ready to begin. I didn’t pin my pieces this time. They are small and I was able to keep them together fairly well. You may want to pin if you are a beginner. This will keep your pieces from shifting.
Start with your pockets. These will be done in exactly the same manner. We are going to stitch them together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Start about a 1/4″ from the top center . This will keep your corners crisp, and give us enough room to turn the pocket right side out.
I want to add a little tip here for you beginners. You need to keep your corners crisp. To do that, make sure that your needle stays in the down position when you are not sewing. This will allow you to pivot the fabric in the corners. You simply sew to the corner, take your foot off of the pedal, turn your fabric, and begin sewing again. My machine has a button that you press to keep the needle in the down position. I use a Kenmore. Yours may have something similar. The first picture below is of this button.
Once you have stitched both pockets together, lay them to the side. Now, get your straps together. It is time to sew them. Remember what I said earlier, you may need to modify your seam allowance to get the straps the right size. I used a 3/4″ seam allowance (at least that is what it added up to the second time I sewed the straps 🙂 )
You will only sew the straps around three sides. One side will be left open because it will be sewn to the back of the dress. You will start at one end of one long side, turn go down the short edge, and then back down the other side.
If you are using a print with a direction, it is important that you make sure that the open side is in the direction you need it to be. Check this by holding the strap to where it will be sewn on the back of the dress. You can see what direction that print will go. I used one fabric on top of my straps and another on the bottom. One has a direction to it and you can use that for reference.
Now, everything should be stitched and ready to be trimmed. Our next step is to trim the seam allowance, clip the corners, and turn these pieces right side out. This really can’t be described any more than that, so I’ll just show you the shots.
This picture above shows me clipping the outside curve on the pockets. I thought it would help it lay flat. I didn’t notch the other curves, but I didn’t think they really needed it. You may decide to notch those curves, too, if you like.
Now, turn these pieces right side out.
I used my trusty bamboo skewer to poke the corners out. Now, take all of your pieces and press them flat. You want them to be crisp. We are going to top-stitch them next.
Top-stitching is very important. It helps your pieces hold their shape and also adds a decorative touch. You will need to make another decision here. You can use thread that blends into your fabric. This choice will leave you with less noticeable lines. This will help hide any imperfections in your stitching.
You could also choose a contrasting thread. This will add a decorative punch to your pieces. The drawback is that your stitching will be more noticeable. The plus is that your stitching will be more noticeable. That is the whole point. Your stitching will stand out.
I’m a stand out kind of girl. So, I chose a fun variegated thread from Coats & Clark. It was perfect because it contained all of the colors in my fabric. I thought it would add a fun and unexpected punch to the outfit.
The choice is totally yours and will help make the design your own.
You will top-stitch each piece. Again, the straps will only be top-stitched on three sides. The pockets will be stitched all the way around. The pattern also calls for a second row of top-stitching at the top of the pocket.
I chose to top-stitch the straps about 1/4″ from the edge. I chose to top-stitch the pockets 1/8″ from the edge. I went 3/8″ from the top edge to add the second row of stitching. Here are the pictures to help you along:
And, there you have it. You have finished with this step of the process. It was good to finally get to sewing! You are doing great, and remember there is no absolute right or wrong. Nothing will ever be stitched perfectly. Just take a deep breath. Look at it tomorrow. I bet it looks fabulous!
If you have pictures of what you have accomplished so far, post them to your blog or site. Then, come back here and share the link. If you don’t have a blog or site, just send the pictures to me at: idoru(at)popstar(dot)com,and I’ll share them for you on an upcoming post.