Mar 13, 2015

Elise Dress, Sewing Pattern, Sew-A-Long, Day 5

Today is the day we sew the skirt portion of the Elise dress or top, and it's still not too late to get started. The sewalong runs through the weekend and you can still get the pattern for 25% off with the code ELISESAL

But first Im going to tell you a little story... I had this awesome fabric I wanted to use for the skirt. See how epic it is?

But the fabric repeat was 12" and the size that I was making required fabric cuts 13" long... oh, and I love fussycutting to match up the side seams, because I am silly like that. But alas, I did not have enough fabric to just chop 13", skip 11" and then chop 13 more. Nope, I only had a yard. So what is a girl to do? Abandoning my fussycutting plans was not an option. There was no time to procure additional fabric.

That left me with two options:
  • I could cut one perfect panel into two pieces and do a 4-panel pieced skirt, with my epic fabric having the dominant "apron" location front and center. But I've already shown you stripwork in the pattern, so that left me at option 2...
  • Add an inch of fabric to the length of my panels. I had bodice fabric left over, so why not. Plus it's a great way to tie bodice fabric into the skirt. There you have it, today's modification is "how to make fabric shortages into I-meant-to-do-that masterpieces!" (or do it on purpose). Even if you arent in this predicament today, one day you will be, and then you'll thank me.
Adding length to the panels is as easy as you might imagine it to be. I need 1" added to my fabric length, but keep in mind that with seam allowances, I will lose 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom. That means the strips will be cut as wide as my skirt panels and 2" long.

Lay strips right sides together with the main skirt fabric. Sew along the bottom to attach. Finish seams, press towards skirt fabric and topstitch. See? now you have fabric that is exactly the length you need! I'm off to work on my ruffles... I'm doing a single-edge ruffle because after the extra effort needed to make this a 13" long skirt piece, I'm not about to hide that green strip at the bottom!

Can you spot that seam right down the middle? That's the side seam of my skirt. Perfect fussycuts make me ridiculously happy.

Enjoy planning and sewing your skirt! Whatever you do, I'm sure it will be beautiful. If you are making a paneled skirt, you’ve got some cutting to do, and you want to figure out the order of your panels. If sewing a single-fabric skirt, your job is super easy, unless you're taking on the challenge of  crazy fussycut seam matching. Don't forget to add your hemband or ruffles. The ruffles can be a little labor intensive, but SO worth it.

A few tips as you get started:
  • When possible, I always try the bodice on the child and then measure to where I want it to hit when worn. While patterns are a great starting point, some children are very short or tall, or you may just have a preference for a longer or shorter style. Remember to account for the seam allowances!
  • The length given for tops is a shorter length. If sewing a top, consider adding 2-3” inches to allow for longer wear.
  • This pattern is written with a ruffle hem or hem band. If you choose to omit this (such as in the case of a border print fabric), you must add inches to the skirt length.
  • Before cutting the skirt, lay out your bodice on the floor with your fabric folded the width that the skirt will be. This is a great way to get a feel for how the garment will look when sewn. Now is your chance to make changes, adding length or width.
  • For a super full skirt, add some fabric width and plan to use a pettiskirt for extra fluff.
  • If your skirt fabric is light in color, consider sewing a light “slip” in, at least the top 2/3 of the skirt.
  • Should you decide to use tulle for the skirt ruffle, keep in mind that it has to be gathered much tighter than regular fabrics. You will need 2-3x the ruffle strip lengths, but you wont have to hem!
  • Some people like to use clear elastic for gathering/ruffling fabrics. If you find that the required stretching leaves your ruffle strips longer than you need, just blast them with a bit of steam and the elastic will shrink right up
Tomorrow, we sew the finished skirt to the bodice, topstitch and share our finished creations! Here's a little inspiration for you as you plan your work on your skirt. The first is a simple hemband, second is with the hemband omitted (extra length added), and third is stripwork with double edge ruffle. All modeled by my tiny miss, Aria Elise <3

Do you have any tips/tricks to add? Maybe you learned something during this project that you’d like to share? Perhaps you have some questions still unanswered. Join us for discussion in our facebook group! I’ll be checking in throughout the day and I’m always happy to help if you get stuck.

1 comment:

Frenie Agbayani said...

Thanks for the tip. Awesome pattern making.