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True Bias

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 3

April 26, 2017

Welcome back for Day 3 of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. I am super excited to tackle the neckline today. You can put aside your woven arm facing pieces and just grab your woven neckline facings along with your knit dress.

For all of the steps in todays sewalong you will be using a regular, non stretch stitch on your sewing machine. And just a reminder that all seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise stated.

 

Step 5 – With right sides touching, sew the shoulder seams of the front and back woven neck facings together. Press the seams open. No need to finish these seam allowances as they will not be exposed.

Turn the outside edges of the facing towards the wrong side by about 1/4″ all around and press well. Steam helps a lot. One tip that I sometimes use is to run a line of stitching at 1/4″ around the outside edge of the facing first. Then press along the stitching line. It just makes it a bit easier to get a crisp and even edge.

 

Step 6 – With right sides touching, line up the necklines of the dress and facing and pin generously.

 

Step 7 – Starting at Center Back, stitch around the inside edge of the neckline.

When you get to center front, leave your needle down, puck up your presser foot, and rotate to finish stitching up the other side of the neckline to finish at center back.

It’s a good idea to shorten your stitch length for about an inch in either direction of the center front V. This will give that area extra strength and also help your be more precise in stitching your V. I usually lower the stitch length down to about 1.5.

 

Step 8 – Trim the seam allowance of the woven facing to about 1/4″ to reduce bulk in that area.

Snip close to, but not thru the seam allowances of the V at center front. This will help you achieve a crisp V.

Continue clipping around the remainder of the neckline to help it turn easily and have a smooth finish.

 

Step 9 – Pull the facing through the neckline and towards the wrong side of the dress. Pin and press so that the neckline seam is rolled slightly towards the inside of the dress to make it less visible on the right side of the garment. This is especially crucial if your facing does not match your knit fabric.

 

Step 10 – Starting at center back, edgestitch along the folded edge of the facing about 1/8″ away from the fold.

When you get to center front, leave your needle down, pick up your presser foot, and rotate to finish stitching up the other side of the neckline to finish at center back.

This stitching is where you really want to be careful an take your time. It is visible on the right side of your dress and will be distracting if it’s uneven.

Give it a press and you are done for today! Come back tomorrow and we will finish up the whole dress.

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 2

April 25, 2017

Welcome back to day 2 of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. I am excited to get sewing. Today we are going to be tackling the back seam, back slit for View A and sewing up the shoulder seams. Super easy. Let’s get started.

Step 1 – (This Step is for View A Only. View B starts at Step 3 so go ahead and skip on down to Step 3 if you are sewing the shorter version without a back slit.) 

Remember that all seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise stated in the instructions.

If you want to finish the seams with a serger you will want to do that now. You can serge each back seam independently before sewing them together. Since knits do not fray this is not necessary. I am going to opt out on serging View A (but will serge View B so that you can see both). You will be sewing this step using a stretch stitch. If your machine has a stretch stitch it will look something like a lightning bolt. No. 9 on my machine.

If you don’t have one of those stitches on your machine you can also use a zigzag stitch and just adjust the settings. You can play around with the settings and see what works best on your fabric, but I find that something like what you see in the following photo work for me.

With right sides touching and matching the triple notches on center back, sew up the back seam using a stretch stitch. Sew the dress from the neckline down to the large dot. This will be the top of your slit so backstitch it to secure the endpoint.

 

Step 2 – Press the seam allowances above the large dot open. Press the area below the large dot open 1.5″ on both sides. Pin it in place.

Edgestitch around the 3 sides of the slit at about 1/8″ from the raw edge (crossing over the center back seam at the top). Continue using a stretch stitch to do this.

 

Step 3 – (This Step is for View B Only. If you are sewing up the mid calf version, View A, then skip ahead to step 4.)

With right sides touching and matching the triple notches at center back, pin and stitch the center back seam together from top to bottom using a stretch stitch (for more info on the stretch stitch check out step 1).

If you are using a serger to finish the seam allowances you can serge the seam allowances together now and press to one side. If you are not finishing the seam allowances then press the seam allowances open.

 

Step 4 – (All Views use this step.)

In preparation for tomorrows post, we are going to attach the front and back at the shoulder seam. With right sides touching, pin and sew the coordinating shoulder seams of the front dress to the back dress. Use a stretch stitch as in previous steps.

If you are finishing the seam allowances with a serger you can do this now and press them towards the back of the dress.

If you are not finishing the seam allowances press the seams open.

Turn your dress right side out and it should look something like this.

 

OK, that’s it for today. I hope that was easy and clear. If you have any questions comment, or send me a message. Remember to tag your dress and progress photos on social media with #lododress and @truebias so that I see them. You can purchase the Lodo Dress sewing pattern in my shop here.

SEWING

INDIESEW BLOG TOUR + HIGHLANDS WRAP DRESS

April 25, 2017

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the Indiesew Spring Summer 2017 Collection blog tour. I eagerly jumped at the chance to sew up the Highlands wrap dress by Allie Olson of Indiesew. Wrap dresses are such a flattering cut on all body types and with it’s long waist ties and high side slits, the Highlands dress feels like a modern take on a classic dress.

I knew that I wanted to make this up in black, so I went with my current favorite fabric to sew with – rayon crepe from The Fabric Store online. If you havn’t sewn with rayon crepe before, imagine all of the benefits of a rayon challis – flows nicely, easy to sew, affordable, washable –  but then add in a really nice texture to the fabric that makes it feel a little bit more upscale. It also has a bit more weight to it which is beautiful in maxi length dresses because it adds some extra drama when you walk. I also have this fabric in a maroon that I am planning to make a Ogden dress out of once I can find the time.

The dress bodice fit perfect straight from the pattern. The only change I made was to shorten it. I think I took a total of 7 inches off of the skirt to accomodate the fact that I am a few inches shorter than the intended model and I wanted to wear it with flats instead of heels. After wearing it for the photoshoot I think I will add a small sew in snap to keep the neckline closed as it seems to pull open on me as I wear it.

Man I love this dress. One of those perfect dresses that I could see wearing to a dress event with a statement necklace and heels ( I could even see this as a killer bridesmaid dress) or worn with flats and a cuff bracelet it is an awesome dress to wear for brunch or a date night.

You can follow along with the rest of the lovely ladies on Indiesew Spring/Summer 2017 Collection Blog Tour here :

April 17: Hey June

April 18: Threadbear Garments

April 19: Alina Sewing + Design Co.

April 20: Groovy Baby and Mama

April 21: The Sara Project

April 24: Ada Spragg

April 25: True Bias

April 26: Ginger Peach Studio

April 27: Sew MarieFleur

April 28: Cookin’ and Craftin’

 

SEWING TUTORIALS

LODO DRESS SEWALONG DAY 1

April 24, 2017

Welcome to the first day of the Lodo Dress Sewalong. The Lodo is a very fast and easy dress to sew up so this sewalong will be much simpler than my others. That being said, I hope that the extra pictures and tips will still help those of you who need a little extra hand holding so that everyone can get the best results possible when sewing a version of their own.

Today I will simply be sharing the schedule for the sewalong (below), talking about the best fabrics for this pattern (including some links), and giving a few tips. Expect to spend less than an hour each day this week and you will have a finished Lodo dress of your own by Friday.

 

Schedule:

Here is the schedule for the sewalong. We are really only sewing 3 of the 5 days. As I have mentioned, this is a beginner friendly pattern so I hope the tips and photos that I share this week will make the dress accessible to sewists of all levels.

Day 1 / Monday April 24th – Fabrics and Prep

Day 2 / Tuesday April 25th – Back, Slit, and Shoulders

Day 3 / Wednesday April 26th – Neckline

Day 4 / Thursday April 27th – Armholes and Hem

Day 5 / Friday April 28th – Finished Dress Photos

 

Fabrics :

I really think that the key to success sewing up the Lodo Dress is mostly in the fabrics that you choose. You will need two separate fabrics –  A stable knit for the main part of the dress, and a small amount of woven fabric for the facings.

The main knit fabric should be medium weight and stable. This means avoid slinky knits with tons of stretch. You want the amount of stretch to be approximately 20%. Check the amount of stretch of your fabric on the stretch chart on page 2 of the instructions. You can still use knits with a bit more or a bit less stretch than recommended, but be aware that it may affect the fit of your final garment or make it more difficult to sew. The types of fabrics that seem to work best include ponte, cotton interlock, double knit and lightweight scuba. These fabrics have enough structure in them to hold the slight cocoon shape of the design while still being very comfortable and casual enough for daywear.

 

Here are a few examples of fabrics that I think would work great:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

The woven facings can be made in any non stretch fabric the is easy to work with and presses well. I would avoid anything lightweight or slippery (avoid polyester) and instead pick up a scrap of fabric from your stash such as quilting cotton or linen. Be aware that you may see little glimpses of the facing when wearing it, so make sure that the fabric coordinates with your main dress fabric. I think that this is a great way to not only use up the scraps of leftover fabrics in your stash, but also to introduce a bit of print or pop of color for some added interest.

Here are the fabrics that I am using for the sewalong. I am sewing up two dresses. For View A (midcalf) I am using a black and white striped ponte knit for the main dress and a fun jungle print quilting cotton for the facings.

For View B (short version) I am using a burgundy cotton interlock in a medium weight for the main dress and a fun scribble print cotton for the facings.

 

Tips: 

-I realize that woven facings are uncommon on knit garments, but because the neckline and armholes do not require any stretching for wear or changing, they not only add some stability and crispness to those areas, but they also make it a bit easier to sew and get good results. You will want to test sewing some of your knit and woven fabrics together to see how your particular machine handles it. You may want to play a bit with the tension or use a walking foot if it gives you any issues. As long as your knit fabric is stable and not too stretchy you shouldn’t have an issues.

-It is always a good idea to use a ballpoint or stretch needle on your sewing machine when using knit fabrics. This will prevent you from possibly damaging your fabric and creating holes.

-View A of the Lodo Dress hits around mid calf, while View B hits above the knee. If neither of those lengths work for you, feel free to find something in the middle, or add even more length to the bottom. I do think that a maxi version would be pretty great.

-Sergers are so wonderful for sewing knitwear, but this pattern does require you to use your regular sewing machine for much of the construction. The instructions will have you switching between a regular stitch and a stretch stitch depending on the step. Most sewing machines include a stretch stitch option, although you may also use an elongated zigzag for the same results. Practice on some scraps of your knit fabric to see what you like the best.

-The dress is drafted for a model who is 5’5″ tall. There are lengthen shorten lines on the front and back pattern pieces if you need to adjust for your own height difference.

 

OK, that’s it for now. If you want to purchase the pattern you can do so here. I am not going to walk you through printing your pattern or cutting out your pattern pieces, but if you could use a little help with that you can check out one of my former sewalongs here. Come tomorrow with your dress cut out, marked, and ready to start sewing.

SEWING

INTRODUCING THE LODO DRESS

April 7, 2017

I am super excited to be launching the Lodo dress sewing pattern today. It’s the dress that was missing from my closet. A little more elevated than a casual tshirt dress, but still comfortable enough to wear every day.  It has two views. View A hits at midcalf for a modern silhouette and View B ends a couple of inches about the knee for. Both versions have a flattering V neck and are straight through the waist and hips for a subtle cocoon shape.

I think that View B is really easy to wear every day of the week. It looks great paired with a jean jacket and sandals or even as a beach coverup that is sufficent enough to walk home in. View A is my go to when I want to look put together without much effort. The knit component keeps it casual enough to wear with flipflops or flats, while it is just as easy to throw on a statement necklace and clogs for something a little more put together. I have yet to try it with booties in the winter but I think that could be pretty great too. I hope you find it just as versatile as I do.

The Lodo dress was designed to be sewn using medium weight knits such as ponte, light weight scuba, and cotton interlock with about 20% stretch. I highly recommend using stable knits such as these to keep the modern shape of the design. Avoid fabrics that are more slinky and really stretchy such as bamboo knits. For View A I used a beautiful 14oz cotton interlock from LA Finch. I am obsessed with this fabric and may have bought it in multiple colors. For View B I found this perfect wide striped ponte from Colorado Fabrics. Both worked great for this pattern because they hold their structure well.

The neckline and armholes of the Lodo Dress are finished with a woven facing. I realize that this is unconventional on a knit garment, but the stable knit, combined with the fact that the neckline and armholes do not need to stretch for wear, make the woven facings possible. These also add more stability and structure to these areas and in my opinion make them easier to sew with precision. These facings are a great way to use up fun quilting cottons or scraps, but be warned that you will see glimpses of this facing through the armhole so make sure that it coordinates with your main fabric. On the neckline below I used some shibori dyed linen that I had made this summer. I love the subtle detail of the contrast and the way it feels on my neck.

If you want your own version, you can purchase the Lodo Dress sewing pattern here. And for the next week (thru Friday April 14th EST) you can get 20% off the pattern with the code LODOLAUNCH.