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Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 4

June 24, 2008

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Day 4 : Putting the Dress Together

I can’t believe we are already at Day 4.  This dress really does sew up quickly.  Today, we are putting the dress together.  This means we are sewing the lining in and sewing the side seams together.  Exciting!  We’ll actually have something that  you can try on your little model at the end of this day. 

Before we get started, let’s look back at what we’ve done so far:

Day 3 : Pockets & Straps

Day 2: Fusible Interfacing

Day 1: Getting Started

Remember, it is never too late to start this sew-a-long.  It will be available here for as long as wordpress holds it.  Just jump in a catch up whenever you feel like making this pattern.

Ok, get out your lining pieces, you dress pieces and your straps.  The first item on the agenda is to pin the back lining piece to the back dress piece.  You will need to sandwich the strap pieces in between these two pieces.  These pieces will be place with their right sides facing.  For strap placement, center them where the back comes up into what looks like straps. 

Here are the shots of this:

Remember, you are going to use a 3/8″ seam allowance.  Once your pieces are pinned together, you may start sewing carefully.  You will sew from the arm curve on one side all the way across to the arm curve on the other side.  Make sure that you leave the side of the lining and dress unsewn.  Once you have sewn across, you will need to notch the arm curves.  This entire process needs to be repeated for the front lining and front dress pieces.  This side is easier because there are no straps to sew.  Make sure when sewing the back pieces that you keep the straps out of your way and do not get them caught in any seams expect the top of each strap.

You should also clip any corners that need to be clipped.

Now, you can turn your back piece and front piece right side out.  I used a bamboo skewer as my turning tool.  You could also use a chop stick or your scissors.  Just be careful not to poke it all the way through your corner.

Now, press your pieces flat.  You want them to be nice and crisp.  No puffy spots.

You now need to flip the lining sides up.  This will create a flat edge down the lining all the way to the bottom of the dress piece.

As in the above photo, you need to place the front piece on top of the back piece, matching the side seams.  I pinned my sides, if you are a beginner this is the way to go.  Those of you that are advanced sewers really don’t need to pin these sides.

I am going to use my serger to sew this seam.  If you do not have a serger, do not be alarmed.  You will simply use your regular sewing machine, sew a 3/8″ seam, then, go back and finish the edge by zig-zagging or using an overcast stitch.

Here are all of the photos of the way that I finished both side seams.  You will sew from the lining side all the way to the bottom of the dress piece.  Both sides are sewn exactly the same way, so when you finish the first move on to the second.

Make sure that each seam between the side and dress fold the same way.  I made both of mine fold toward the lining.

The next step is hemming the lining all the way around.  You need to fold the dress so that the lining is sticking out the top.  I’m going to hem mine by running the serger all the way around.  If you have a regular sewing maching, you could run a simple folded hem all the way around.  Remember, keep to a 3/8″ seam allowance.

We need to run the end of the serger stitching back through so that it doesn’t unravel.  Simply, thread it through a darning needle.  Then, run it under the stitching, and cut it short.

Turn your dress right side out.  Then, take it and press it really flat.  We’ll start top-stitching next so you want it to be really flat and crisp.

When you have pressed your dress, you can begin to top-stitch.  I’m going to use the same multi-colored thread that I used on the pockets.  You can use what you wish.  Use a similar color to your fabric if you want your thread to blend in.  Use a contrasting thread if you really want it to stand out.  You can also choose what stitch you want to use.  I simple straight stitch is fine and works well.  I’m going to use a zig zag stitch to add a little pizzazz.  Whatever stitch you choose, it will be done in the same way as my stitch.

I’m going to start my top-stitching in one of the underarms really close to the seam.  This will keep my beginning and ending hidden under my daughter’s arm most of the time.  You will use a continuous stitch all the way around the bodice of the dress.  You should top-stitch withing 1/8″ – 3/8″ all the way around.  If you chose, you could run two or more lines of top-stitching.  We’ll just do one, though.

Here are the settings I used for my zig-zag stitch:

My sewing machine is a Kenmore.  These settings may be a little different on your machine to acheive the same results.

Here are all of the shots of the top-stitching that I did:


Now, you are done with Day 4.  I know day 4 was long, but we completed the toughest part of the dress.  There are only a couple of more days to go.  Then, your little one will be sporting a very cute dress.

If you have any questions, leave a comment here.  I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.

If you want to show off what you have completed so far, leave your link in the Mr. Linky below…or, email me at idoru(at)popstar(dot)com.  I’ll happily share your progress.

Remember, our next day will be on Thursday.  We’re going to finish up all the instructions this week.  And, next week we’ll have a big share day on Wednesday!  Happy Sewing!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2008 11:39 pm

    What a great job you’ve done with this! I’m sorry I’m so late in my sewing-along! I HAVE picked fabric and I’ll catch up soon!

  2. wondermommy permalink
    June 26, 2008 9:17 am

    Catch up whenever you can. This sew-a-long was meant to be a move at your own pace type thing. Just use it whenever you feel like it. If you decide to wait a year from now, that is ok too 🙂

    I’m just happy that you like the sew-a-long and will use it in the future! It is here as a tool for whoever needs it.


  1. Adventures » Blog Archive » Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 4
  2. Marieke Sew-A-Long : Day 5 « The Adventures of Wondermommy

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