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Marieke Sew-A-Long: Day 6

July 1, 2008

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Day 6 : Hemming, Adding Pockets, and Adding Clips

Wow!  Can you believe we are at Day 6?!?!  This is such a quick sew.  Today, is our final day of sewing this dress.  Sometime, this month, I will add an addition to this sew-a-long.  It will show how to add an underskirt, ruffle hem, and use the other straps included in the pattern.  I can’t promise when this will appear because I have to sew up  a couple more of these dresses to get that post done.  You’ll have to check in every once and awhile to find it, but I promise that by the end of July, it will appear.


Now, let’s take our look back and see where we have been on this sew-a-long:

Day 5 : Adding Elastic to Underarms

Day 4 : Putting the Dress Together

Day 3 : Pockets & Straps

Day 2: Fusible Interfacing

Day 1: Getting Started

Ok, go get your dress.  You’ll also need your machine, suspender clips, pockets, ric rac (optional), and pins.

The first item on our list is to hem the dress.  I will be using my serger, but remember you do not have to have a serger to accomplish this task.  You can use a simple folded hem.  We have 3/8″ to play with…that is our seam allowance.

If you do not have a serger, take your dress to your ironing board along with a ruler.  Fold your hem 3/8″ and iron in place.  Then, unfold your hem.  Fold the raw edge in toward the crease and press in place.  Then, fold up the original fold and iron in place.  This will give you a narrow folded hem.

If you are using a serger, serge narrowly around the entire bottom edge of the dress.

Once you have done that, move to your ironing board.  You will want to run the serger stitching through your stitching and clip it close.

Then, you are going to flip the bottom edge of your dress up…just far enough to hide the stitching.  Iron this fold in place.  You will do this all the way around your dress.  A ruler can help make sure you turn up the hem the same amount all the way around.

Make sure that your side seams are facing toward the back of the dress.  This is the way that we sewed them at the top of the seam, so you want them to face the same direction all the way down the side of the dress.

When you have ironed the entire bottom edge, you can move back to your machine.

Now, you will stitching your hem in place.  I used a zig zag stitch to match the top-stitching that I had done previously.  You can just use a straight stitch if you wish.  It really is a matter of you deciding what stitch you like better for the dress that you are making.

Now, the hem is complete.  Let’s add the pockets.  You may have one, two, or no pockets based on what you have decided earlier in the process.  I am adding a front and back pocket.  I’m also adding ric rac to accent the pockets are really make them stand out.  When I added these pockets, I did it purely by sight.  I did not measure at all.  You may want to measure from the sides to make sure they are the same distance from the sides.  An easy way to find the middle is to finger crease your pocket up the center.  Then, match that center crease to the crease on the front of your dress.  You can just eyeball the placement vertically on the dress. Just sew it to the spot that feels right.

Once I found the spot that I wanted my pocket.  I pulled out the ric rac.  You will need to pull the ric rac around the bottom of the pocket so that you know how much you need.  Then, you will need to finish the ends of the ric rac.  You can do this by using fray check (that’s what I did) or zig zagging the edge. You don’t want the ric rac unravelling later.

Now, slowly and carefully run the ric rac under your pocket and you pin it in place.  Be careful to only pin the pocket and ric rac to one layer of the dress.  I used pink ric rac on the front pocket and lime green on the back pocket. I only pinned one pocket at a time.   Then, stitched it.  Then, I went back and repeated the process for the other pocket.  This is what your pinned pocket should look like.

Now, it is time to stitch the pocket to the dress.  You can use a straight stitch or a zig zag or anything that you want.  I would just make sure that the top edges have extra stitching so that they are held tight and won’t start to pull off the dress.  You can do this be going back a forth a few extra times.  Again, I chose to zig zag around the pocket.  I’m still adding to that design element.

Now, go for it!  Just go slowly for it 🙂  Maintain the same distance around the pocket and stitch all the way around it.  You’ll have to decide how far or close to the edge that you want the stitching to be.  Here’s a look at my finished pockets.

Be careful as you sew, you don’t want to catch the other side of the dress in your stitching.  If you have a free arm on your machine, use it.  It is ok to catch the lining in the stitching, but you don’t have to.  That is up to you.

Take a deep breath and remember…it will never be perfect.  It is ok that the stitching isn’t perfect.  No one is going to come up with an eyepiece and look that closely at it…if they do they are the one that needs help 🙂  You are probably the only person that will ever notice that it isn’t perfect.  Nothing I sew ever turns out “perfectly”, but it doesn’t make the smile on my daughter’s face any smaller.

Now, that your pockets are on.  You can sew the clips to the straps.  I should have said earlier that you’ll need your little models.  Put the dress on your model and see where the clips need to be sewn on the straps.  You want the dress to fit after all.  If you don’t have a model, I would just sew the clips on the straps just pulling up enough strap to fit over the clip bar.

You are about to see that my sewing is never perfect.  Using this multi-colored thread, you can see my strap sewing is not in a straight line.  You will put your clips on by pulling the strap through and to the back.  I just sewed a straight stitch placing my the edge of my foot next to the clip bar.  I let this guide my sewing.  Make sure that you go back and forth a couple of times to strengthen this area.  It will have a lot of pull to it.


Now, you are done.  Cut all your threads and slip it on your models.  Let them wear it often.  This is a great, fast little dress.  It has so much potential. There are so many ways to customize it.  Like I said at the beginning of the post, keep checking Wondermommy…I’m going to add a customization post to this sew-a-long so that you can see ways to change it up.

After I saw this on my daughter, I had to make capris to go with it.  I just felt that it needed them.  Look for a post of the entire outfit tomorrow.  For now, here is my daughter wearing the dress right after I completed it!  I hope your little one loves it as much as mine did.  She loves the birds so much!

Tomorrow, I will post the Mr. Linky so that you can share your creations.  I’ll also have a lot of pictures of the finished outfit.  Have fun sewing, I’ll see you back tomorrow with our completion post!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2008 6:12 pm

    The dress is adorable! Great sew-along and great job! 😉

  2. October 18, 2010 11:17 pm

    You know this is such a simple pattern but the straps really baffled me, mostly because of the elastic length for clips given in the measurements chart, but no mention of elastic in the straps instruction. I can just do this method you did and be fine. Thanks for the directions!


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