Mar 11, 2015

Elise Dress, Sewing Pattern, Sew-A-Long, Day 3

So far, we’ve taken some time to plan our projects, cut fabric and sew the sashes and straps. Hopefully, you’re starting to get excited as you see your project coming together.
Today, we are working on the bodice front. The pattern gives directions for leaving the bodice more basic with only the center sash, or adding a bust ruffle for some pizazz. But today we are going to show you another variation that can completely change the look of your project.
Collars are all over everything recently. Since this dress does not have a place for a traditional collar, a faux collar can add a fun vintage/retro look. I made an adorable Elise dress inspired by my baby girl’s favorite character. Can you guess who?

To recreate this look for the Elise dress, the faux collar will replace the optional bust ruffle. You’ll want to print an additional front bodice pattern piece but do not cut it out. We will be using this to make a faux collar pattern piece based on the shape you prefer (rounded or squared off).

Please note that sewing the faux collar, we will use a ¼” seam allowance to reduce bulk. Add ¼” to the FOLD LINE of the pattern piece, then cut out the piece as you normally would, including this extra ¼”. Turn face down so that you can draw on the back without the distraction of printed lines and such.

Refer to the pattern to locate the center waist sash height for the size you are sewing. Subtract ¼” for the edge you will fold under before sewing to the bodice. Measuring from the bottom of the pattern piece, draw this line on your pattern piece.

This is actually something I do anyway when fussy cutting a bodice. It would be a shame to cut an amazing bodice only to discover that part of what you framed up so nicely is going to be covered by the sash! You may also find it helpful to mark the seam allowances with a dotted line, so that you know what will be hidden once sewn up.

The next step is to draw your collar. Start by deciding if you want a rounded edge or more squared off corners. For my Minnie dress, I did sharp edge corners.
Mark where you want the collar to rest in comparison to the remainder of the bodice (represented by a green line on my pattern piece). Add ¼” seam allowance and you have your pattern piece!
Please note that for the angled line (or curved if applicable), you will want to start drawing your slanted or curved line ½” from the top (because the top ½” will be sewn into the bodice seam allowance when constructed).

Look at that; you drafted a pattern piece! Now use it to cut 4 collar pieces (2 with pattern piece face up and 2 with piece face down).

Place pieces right sides together in sets of 2. Sew only along the sides marked in green on the pattern piece. The top and bodice side edges stay open.

Snip the corners (or a few places along the curve) and turn right side out. Press flat and topstitch 1/8” from edge.

Turn collar pieces right side out and top stitch 1/8” from the edges.

If you haven’t already done so, sew the center sash piece to the front bodice piece, per the pattern instructions.

Align top and sides with bodice piece and baste to secure, just as you would do for a ruffle.

Now attach halter straps, per the pattern instructions. If you made your straps with flutters, be certain that the flutters are out of the way!

Making sure that flutters our out of the way of your seam allowance, sew the front bodice lining to the front bodice and stop (same as you would do with a ruffled bodice from the pattern).

You can turn the bodice piece right side out to admire your handiwork, but don’t press anything with your iron just yet. We will be completing the bodice tomorrow and ironing things into place will be done then.

I hope you enjoyed today’s sewing. Share pics in our facebook sewing group and tag them #elisesewalong so everyone can find your post.
I’m loving all the fun and creative things you are all doing and I’m super proud of those of you who may have been a bit intimidated at first, but are jumping in and sewing this pattern for the first time. As a designer, it is SO very rewarding to see how each person can use the same pattern to craft a special one-of-a-kind handmade garment. THANK YOU for sewing along with me and sharing your special creations!

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