SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY SEWALONG DAY 4 – SLEEVES

May 30, 2019

Although technically the longer traditional sleeve is for the dress views and the shorter cap sleeve is for the romper views, you can interchange them with all of the options. Let’s go over both.

Step 25 – The first thing we need to do is gather the ease of the top of the sleeve. Baste the upper edge of the sleeve at 5/8″ seam allowance, and again at 3/8″ seam allowance. To baste you will increase your stitch length to about 5mm.

When basting, start on one side of the sleeve cap at the first notch, and continue around cap, past the shoulder notch, to the final notch on the other side of the curve. Do not backstitch. Leave the long thread tails to aid in easing.

Step 26 – For the cap sleeve, fold the bottom raw edge of the sleeve up by 1/4″, wrong sides touching, and press.

Fold up by another 3/8″.

Press, and then unfold. These fold lines will make it much easier to hem your sleeve later on.

For the traditional short sleeve, fold the bottom raw edge of the sleeveup by 1/4″, wrong sides touching, and press.

Fold up by another 1/2″.

Press and then unfold. These fold lines will make it much easier to hem your sleeve later on.

Step 27 – With right sides touching (and the hem unfolded), pin and stitch the inner arm seam. Trim seam allowance to 3/8″ and finish in your desired manner (I am serging). Press the seam allowances open or towards the sleeve back.

Step 28 – Re – fold the sleeve hem along the previously pressed lines and pin.

Stitch close to the fold to secure.

Step 29 – Make sure that your sleeve is right side out and your dress/romper is inside out. Slip the coordinating sleeve into the garment and lineup the armhole openings.

Match up the underarm seam with the side seam, and place the shoulder (middle) notch at the shoulder seam. Align the outer notches and gently pull on the basting thread tails to ease the fullness of the sleeve cap into the armhole of the garment. Use your fingertips to evenly spread the small gathers, trying to make them as even as possible. Generously pin the sleeve into place

Use a the pins as anchor points for the basting stitches by wrapping the long ends around the pins in a figure 8 pattern.

Slowly stitch the armhole seam, feeding the fabric under the presser foot evenly, so there are no obvious gathers in the finished sleeve cap.

Step 30 – Remove basting stitches from sleeves. Trim seam allowances to 3/8″ and finish in desired manner. Press finished seam allowances towards the sleeve.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow and we will finish our Shelby’s by hemming them and sewing buttonholes / attaching buttons. Can’t wait!

SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY SEWALONG DAY 3 – THE FACING

May 29, 2019

Today in the Shelby Sewalong we are going to be attaching the facing. This is probably the hardest part of the instructions, especially if you are sewing up the romper views, so that is all that we are going to tackle today. I recommend taking it slow and pressing often and you should be fine.

First we will go over the steps for the Romper views, if you are sewing up the dress, skip ahead to step 21.

Step 15 – With right sides touching, pin the assembled neck facing to the neck edge of the romper, aligning inner raw edges, and matching shoulder seams, notches, and circles. Sometimes the facing or romper gets a bit stretched out with handling. In this case you will need to ease that back in so pin a lot.

Starting at one circle, stitch around the entire neckline at a normal 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting at the lower corners, and finishing at the the circle on the opposite side. Backstitch at both ends to secure.

This is a tricky step for sure. You need to be extra careful when sewing up to the dot at the bottom of the facing that you are keeping the opposite side out of the way. Otherwise you will get a pucker right there. It’s hard to see in the picture but each side should be completely free of the other, but sewn right up to one another at the dots.

Step 16 – The help the neckline have a smooth finish once turned and pressed, grade the neck seam allowance, and notch along the curved portion of the seam. Trim around the center front top curve. The amount of trimming and notching you need to do depends on the weight of your fabric. If its pretty lightweight like mine you don’t need to be intense about it, but if your fabric is a bit more structured like a linen, make sure you really grade and trim a lot. This will make a huge difference on how smooth your finished neckline looks once turned.

You also need to trim the angle at each lower corner to reduce bulk once its turned.

Press the unfinished seam allowance below the dot up on each facing so that the raw edge is not exposed once it’s turned to the inside of the romper.

Step 17 – To help the facing stay tucked neatly to the inside of the romper, press the seam allowance towards the facing and away from the main romper. Understitch where possible. It is hard to understitch at curves or angles, so I start 1″above the lower edge of the front facing, and understitch to within 1″ of the neckline curve. Start again as close as possible to the front edge of the neckline, and stitch around the remainder of the neckline. Continue down the other side of the front facing in the same manner.

Step 18 – Turn the entire neck facing to the inside of the romper, rolling the facing slightly to the inside.

Take extra care in turning out the lower corner to get it sharp. Make sure that the bottom edge of the facing is still turned up and tucked away nicely so no raw edges are showing. Press.

Step 19 – With the romper right side out, lap the right front over the left (when wearing), matching up the centers, and pin. Stitch through all layers 1/8″ from the edge to secure.


Step 20 – To help secure the facing to the romper, stitch in the ditch through all layers for a few stitches at the shoulder and center back seams through all layers. You can also do this by hand for less visible stitches.

That is it for the Romper views for today. The rest of the steps are for the Dress views only.

Step 21 – With right sides touching, pin the assembled neck facing to the neck edge of the dress, aligning inner and lower raw edges, and matching should seams and notches.

Starting at the bottom of the dress on one side, stitch along the front opening edge, and around the entire neckline. Finish stitching at the other bottom edge, backstitching at both ends to secure.

Step 22 – The help the neckline have a smooth finish once turned and pressed, grade the neck seam allowance, and notch along the curved portion of the seam. Trim around the center front top curve. The amount of trimming and notching you need to do depends on the weight of your fabric. If its pretty lightweight like mine you don’t need to be intense about it, but if your fabric is a bit more structured like a linen, make sure you really grade and trim a lot. This will make a huge difference on how smooth your finished neckline looks once turned.

Step 23 – To help the facing stay tucked neatly to the inside of the dress, press the seam allowance towards the facing and away from the main dress. Understitch where possible. It is hard to understitch at sharp curves or so I start at the bottom of the front facing, and understitch to within 1″ of the neckline curve. Start again as close as possible to the front edge of the neckline, and stitch around the remainder of the neckline. Continue down the other side of the front facing in the same manner.

Step 24 – To help secure the facing to the dress, stitch in the ditch through all layers for a few stitches at the shoulder seams. You can also do this by hand for less visible stitches.

That is it, we are done for today. Tomorrow we will take care of the sleeves. We are so close to being finished!

SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY SEWALONG DAY 2 – ASSEMBLING FRONT AND BACK

May 28, 2019

Welcome back for day 2 of the Shelby Sewalong.

This first step is for the romper views only. If you are sewing up a dress version skip ahead to step 8.

Step 7 – With right sides touching, pin the center back pieces together along the center back. Stitch.

Trim seam allowances to 3/8″ and clip along curved areas as needed. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner. I like to clip first, then serge (trimming it down to 3/8″ while serging) Press the seam allowances open or towards one side.

Step 8 – With right sides touching, pin one tie to each side of the center back piece, centering the raw end over the dots so that raw edges match up. Baste in place to secure.

Step 9 – With right sides touching, pin the side back pieces to the center back, matching notches. Stitch.

Clip curved areas of seam allowances, finish in desired manner, and press towards side back.

Set aside assembled back for now. I like to secure the ties in a bow now to keep them from getting caught in future sewing.

Step 10 – Now to assemble the front like you did the back. With right sides touching, pin the side front to the center front, matching notches. Stitch. Clip curved areas of seam allowance as needed. Trim seam allowances to 3/8″ and finish i desired manner. Press finished seam allowance towards side front. Assemble both fronts in the same way.

This next step is for the romper views only. If you are sewing up one of the dress you are finished for today. You will skip ahead to step 12 which we will cover tomorrow.

Step 11 – With right sides touching, pin the two assembled front pieces together along the center front crotch. Stitch from the lower edge up to the circle, and backstitch to secure.

Clip diagonally, close to, but not through the circle marking.

Clip along curved areas of seam allowance as needed, trim seam allowances to 3/8″, and finish in desired manner. Press finished seam allowance open or towards one side.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow where we will attach the front to the back and tackle the facing.

SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY SEWALONG DAY 1 – NECK FACING AND TIES

May 27, 2019

Welcome to day 1 of the Shelby dress and romper Sewalong. If you still need the pattern you can purchase it here.

Please note that the following instructions depict View A which is the mini length dress, but unless noted all of the instructions are applicable to all views.

Step 1 – Before starting, make sure that you have transferred all notches and symbols from your pattern pieces to your fabric.

I like to make a small (3/8″ or less) clip into the seam allowance for all triangle notch symbols and then I use a disappearing marker for all dots.

Also be sure to fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of the front neck facings and the back neck facing. Make sure you are not stretching your fabric at all when applying the fusible.

Step 2 – Staystitch the neckline on the front center and back center pieces at 3/8″ seam allowance in the directions of higher to lower. (Note that the back is in two pieces for views C and D not one as shown here.) I know you may be tempted to skip this step but please do not. The front neck especially will want to grow in future steps since it is cut on a bias. If you do not staystich it will not match the facing when it comes time to sew them together.

Step 3 – With right sides touching, and matching notches, pin and sew the shoulder seams of the front and back neck facings. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner and press open or towards the front. I will be finishing my seam allowances by serging them, but you can also choose to zig zag stitch them or use pinking shears.

Step 4 – Finish the outer edge of your assembled neck facing in your desired manner. You do not need to finish the bottom or inside edges as they will be enveloped in other seams later on. That is it for the facing so go ahead and set it aside for now.

Step 5 – with right sides touching, fold each back tie piece in half lengthwise. Pin and stitch the long edge, using a normal 1/2″ seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″.

Step 6 – Using a loop turner or safety pin, turn ties right side out.

Press them flat. Fold one end under by 1/4″ and then again by 3/8″.

Stitch along the folded edge to secure the end. I find that if you put a piece of paper under the tie while on your sewing machine, it makes it much easier to sew that very small bit of fabric.

Once you are done stitching it you can pull it off of the paper pretty easily as the sewing machine creates a bit of a perforation on the paper.

Finish the remaining tie in the same manner.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow to actually start sewing the dress together!

SEWALONG SEWING

SHELBY – FABRIC AND NOTIONS

May 21, 2019

I am so glad that you are all as excited about the Shelby Dress and Romper as I am. I have been wearing mine secretly for the last few months and can’t get enough of it. In fact I wore it three days of a 5 day vacation in the spring because it was just so fun to wear.

With the Sewalong starting next week, I wanted to write a bit about fabric and notions to get us ready. Sometimes this is the funnest part – dreaming up all of the possibilities. I will share a few fabrics that would work great for the Shelby, but of coarse these are just recommendations. I am excited to see what you come up with. First, lets talk about notions.

NOTIONS

Under notions the Shelby calls for coordinating thread, 2 yds of lightweight fusible interfacing, and 3/8″ buttons. I feel like coordinating thread is pretty self explanatory, so lets start with the fusible interfacing.

Make sure that the interfacing is lightweight or you will have a very stiff center front that does not match with the drape of the rest of your dress or romper. Any lightweight fusible interfacing from your big box store should be fine, but if you want to go the extra mile I love using the ProSheer interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The quality and drape is noticibly different than your average fusible.

Next let’s talk about buttons. If you are sewing a romper view you will need 5 buttons and if you are sewing a dress view you will need 7 buttons. Also keep in mind any extra buttons you may need if you add any length to your pattern. The buttons should be about 3/8″ (of course you have artistic discretion on this). I have been really into the shell buttons with this pattern myself. I like that they are pretty much a neutral but also have that kinda 90s vibe that is perfect for the Shelby.

A couple other things that you may want that are not included in the notions description is something to turn your ties with. A small safely pin works great, but if you already have a loop turner that will work too.

A couple of items to consider for your buttonholes. I always use fray check on my buttonholes and let them dry before opening them. I also like to use a buttonhole opener with a small hammer to cut my buttonholes open. These are both completely optional, but if you are committed to sewing they might be things you want to add to your tool box.

Lastly, I would think about your sewing machine needle. Since the fabric you will be using for the Shelby is most likely lightweight, I recommend buying a needle that matches. I have used both the universal lightweight needles and also the microtex needles on my samples with great results.

FABRIC

Now for the fun part, lets talk about fabric. The pattern works best with lightweight woven fabrics with drape such as rayon challis, linen, crepe, silk and voile. It works equally well with prints or solids although keep in mind that with all of the pattern pieces matching an obvious repeat would be hard. That doesn’t mean don’t use a print, I personally would just embrace the randomness if you do as pattern matching that many pieces would not only be a time suck but also take so much fabric. All that being said, here are few great options from some of our favorite indie shops.

RAYONS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

LINENS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

SILK

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I hope this gives you all a great start and makes you excited for the Sewalong. I can’t wait to get started next week and see what you come up with.

I you still need the pattern you can find it here.