Monday, 11 November 2013

Making a Dress for Dress-a-Girl - Stage 1

This time last year I had a great time at Cordial and Grace making dresses the charity Dress A Girl. This Friday it's all happening again.

Today I started a dress so I can post some instructions.  This is the pattern I have used, which I have adapted from the pattern that can be printed off at LBG Studio.  What I have done is added a bit of flare, and a curve to the hem, so the dress isn't so straight and a little girl can have more room for running.

Here are the dimensions for the top part of the pattern. 

And here is the lower part of the pattern, showing the curve at the bottom edge.

And here are the measurements of the two vertical lines.

The pattern is placed on the fold of the material, and two pieces need to be cut out.  The front and back of the dress are identical.

The first step was the two side seams.  These need to be French seams, totally enclosing the raw edges and giving a hard wearing seam.

The seams need to be sewn from the top, the underarm, to the hem.  If the pieces are not an exact match, then they can be cut and evened off at the hem edge.

The next bit to do is the top edges, which will have elastic inserted.  First fold over and iron down just under a quarter of an inch.

Then fold over again to give a turning of three quarters of an inch.

The turning is then stitched down by machine, and I like to add an extra line of machining about an eighth of an inch from the folded edge.

Next, cut two lengths of elastic, each six inches long, and put a small safety pin at one end.

Insert the elastic, feeding the safety pin through the turning, until the end of the elastic is level with the edge of the turning.  Machine stitch it in place.  I always do three lines of stitching to be sure - elastic can fray and pull itself off the stitches if there is only a single line close to the end.

Now the fun starts at the other end.  This is how to prevent the elastic pinging back and losing itself inside the turning.  Pull the safety pin until the end of the elastic is level with the end of the turning, and hold the elastic in place with a large pin.

Now secure the elastic again with a safety pin.  This means the first safety pin and the straight pin can be taken out, and the elastic stitched in place in the same way as the other end.

This is how the elasticated top edge looks when finished.

That's all for today!  Tomorrow the shoulder straps will go on...

Welcome to Barbara, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

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