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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 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 TUTORIALS

RUFFLE SLEEVE PEPLUM BLOUSES

April 4, 2017

I love that this year is all about the sleeve. So fun to play around with something new and experiment with more volume in the sleeve – something I’ve never really done much with. I love the romantic trend right now of loose, flowing ruffles and wanted to give this boho blouse a try for myself.

As far as a pattern goes, I was leaning towards the Marthe blouse since it already has a loose structure and peplum, but then I remembered that raglan sleeves arn’t my fav on my frame so I went another direction. In the end I landed on Simplicity 1366 which is a Cynthia Rowley pattern that is very popular in the sewing community. I had already sewn this blouse up multiple times so I knew that I liked the fit and I also knew that the drop sleeve was what I was going for.

Of coarse I made a lot of changes. First of all I lowered the neckline a bit for my liking into more of a scoop. The pattern calls for a bias finished neckline, but instead I faced them for a more upscale finish. For the ivory version I actually just drafted a little facing, but for the pink version I actually fully lined the top portion of both the front and back so that became my facing.

The blouse was trimmed to about my belly button and then I added a ten inch ruffle to the bottom. The width of the ruffle was 1.5 x the measurement of the bottom of the blouse. I did the same thing for the sleeves – shortening them a bit, and then adding a 6 inch ruffle. Everything was finished with a narrow 1/4″ hem.

As for fabric I was lucky enough to try out some pretty items from The Fabric Store in LA. The ivory colored fabric is a rayon crepe and I am obsessed with (I might have it in a couple of other colors as well). It has a really pretty texture to it, is not see through, and has enough weight that it hangs really nicely without getting puffy despite all of the gathering. If anyone is looking for a good fabric for a Southport Dress I can’t recommend it enough. The weight and flow of it make the most dramatic maxi version when you walk. Initially this was kinda my trial version and the pink one was going to be the star, but I actually prefer the way that the ivory one looks on me so I think it will get more wear.

The pink version is made up in the palest perfection of blush and I just adore this color. It feels so romantic and feminine. It’s a silk crepe de chine (my favorite fabric to sew with) and was dreamy to use. Because it’s a bit on the see through side I did line the bodice sections of both the front and back.

I love how these blouses turned out. Yes, they are trendy and probably will only be current for a couple seasons, but they are so fun to wear. I like the idea of how dressy they feel even with jeans. Perfect for a date night when I don’t want to wear a dress.

SEWING FOR KIDS TUTORIALS

MINI ODGEN DRESS HACK

March 21, 2017

The Ogden Cami is a great template for hacks, and I am especially loving the idea of dress hacks right now for summer. I did a babydoll hack last year that you can find here. Today I am going to show you how to create a super simple elastic waist dress using the Mini Ogden cami. You can of coarse use basically the same steps to create a version in the women’s size as well. I ended up making two of these dresses in order to get the steps right. The top one is made from a thrifted table cloth and the bottom one is some really pretty cotton that I ordered from My Fabric Designs (I didn’t design it though). I love the handpainted design so much. Both dresses are lined with some cheap light pink gingham from JoAnns.

For this project you are going to need your main dress fabric, lining fabric, and extra elastic (in addition to the elastic for the back of the cami) for the waistline.

First print off your pattern and assemble pattern pieces 1 (front cami), 2 (back cami), 4 (strap), and the elastic cutting guide. You will not be needing the pattern piece for the front lining as the entire dress will be lined instead.

For for the front and back cami we need to add length for the bottom of the dress. Take your front pattern piece and tape the bottom along a large piece of paper. Your center front fold line should line up with the left edge of the paper as shown below. Determine how long you want your dress to be. After comparing to other dresses, I decided that I wanted it to be about 24″ along the center front line. This allows for a couple of inches of wiggle room in case I need to adjust the hem at the end. To get the desired length I figured out that I would need to add about 10.5 inches to the bottom of the cami.

Simply mark your desired length around the entire hem so that your new hem mimicks the shape of the bottom of the cami. For the side seam of the dress, draw a straight line extending down from the last few inches of the cami. The side seam and hem need to meet up at a 90 degree angle at the CF and side seam. Repeat these steps for the back as well, adding the exact same amount to the bottom of the back cami as you did for the front.

Line up the notches on the side of your front and back pattern pieces. Trim off the extra height on the back piece (since we are assembling the dress a bit differently than the cami we don’t need the extra height).

Your finished pattern pieces should look something like this.

Cut out a front, back, and straps from your main fabric. Cut out a front and back from your lining. The lining pieces should be identical to your main pieces, except trim 1/2″ off of the bottom of both of your lining pieces. Having your lining pieces slightly shorter will assure that it does not peek out once the dress is finished.

Go ahead and assemble according to steps 1-3 of the Mini Ogden instructions.

Sew up the side seams of the main dress and also the dress lining. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner (I serged them) and press them either open or to one side depending on the finish you choose. Pin the lining to the main dress along the entire neckline, with right sides touching. Stitch together, trim and snip the seam allowance.

Flip the lining to the inside of the dress so that the wrong side of the dress is now touching the wrong side of the lining. Press along the neckline with the straps extending upwards in the front.

To create the casing for the elastic in the back, make a line of stitching through both the dress and lining 1/2″ below the top edge from one side seam to another, backstitching on both ends.

Take your elastic, cut to the specified length, attach one end to a safety pin and insert it into the casing you just created between the lining and dress.

With a bit of elastic extending past each side seam, stitch through all layers (including the elastic) to secure.

Attach the back end of the shoulder straps as described in the instructions in steps 13-14.

Figure out where you want the waistband to hit. The easiest way to do this is to try the dress on recipient, and wrap the elastic around the the child’s waist where it seems most comfortable. Using a disappearing marker or chalk, mark the top edge of where you want to have the elastic on all sides.

Make a row of stitching around the entire dress through both the dress and lining where you marked it.

Make another row of stitching 1/2″ below the first row, leaving a 2 inch gap at center back to insert the waistband elastic.

Cut your elastic to the appropriate length plus a bit extra for seam allowance. You will need to figure out the appropriate length by measuring it on the child you are making it for.

Attach one end to a safety pin and insert the elastic in between the lining and dress thru the opening at center back and around the entire waistband casing you created. Sew the elastic ends together and sew up the opening you left at center back.

 

Hem the dress like instructed to in Step 15. Hem the lining in the same way.

Give the dress a final press and you are done!

I love how this turned out so much, that I want to do the same hack on a summer Ogden dress for myself. I am thinking black for something that I will wear all of the time. I hope I can find the time to do it.

Let me know if you have any questions.