August 17, 2011

Sorbetto Dress Sew Along: Drafting and Attaching the Skirt & Pockets

Alright guys, I feel just awful for how long it's taken me to get this up!! Life got insanely crazy last weekend, and I'm still recovering from it all! I tried to post this one yesterday, but the video I made refused to upload and I ended up running out of fabric! Oops! So excuse these photos as they were all taken at about 1:30am. (This is what happens when you stay out swing dancing until 2:30am and your sleep patterns are off. Not that I regret it for a second!)  But let's get cracking!!

Okay here is the unfortunate thing about sewing for some of us numerically impaired folks: Sewing involves math. yeah it stinks. Here is that the equation for your skirt piece: Waist measurement + gathering + seam allowance by length + hem allowance = your skirt. Sound confusing? It's actually quite simple if you think about it like this: You are making a rectangle. So what you need is your fabric, your waist measurement, a measuring tape or ruler, and scissors.

Start by taking your waist measurements. Once you've done that you need to decide how full you want your skirt. The fuller you want it, the more inches you add. I've done everything from adding only a few inches to doubling my waist measurement (I do not recommend this...). For this specific skirt I added 7 inches which gives you a nice small gathered skirt. I didn't want this one as full as my previous versions. the other ones I added 10 inches to.  Add an additional inch to this total number. For example my waist is 44 inches + 7 inches gathers +1 inch seam allowance = 52 inches. Mark this length on your fabric. Now decide how long you want it. I choose knee length which for me is 22 inches. Add 2-3 inches to this - about 2 inches for your hem and the rest is your seam allowance.  Mark this length and cut it out.  If you are planning on adding pockets you need to cut this in half (waist to hem, not hip to hip).




Now we sew! Put your machine to the highest stitch length on your machine. with your ruler mark 1/4 inch from the waist. Then mark a half inch from the side at the waist. This is going to be your stitching line. Stitch along that line from end to end stopping a half inch from the end. Now mark an additional 1/4 inch down from that stitch line. Stitch again as before (including starting a half inch in). Now you have made your gathering stitch. Repeat for the second skirt half. Many beginner seamstresses just do one line of gather stitches, but this is actually more harmful than time saving. Have a double row gives you a really nice even row of gathers and it just looks so much better!  At this point you will want to attach your pockets, as illustrated below, but for now lets attach our skirt to our bodice.




Gather the skirt. To do this you pull the top two strings from your stitch lines. Very easy to do. I generally gather the whole skirt and then even it out to fit the bodice piece. With the right sides together pin the bodice to the skirt, loosening your gathers as you go. You may want to pin either end and ease out the gathers that way.  Once you've done this, stitch just below or right on your bottom stitch line (remember to readjust your machines stitch length! I always forget to do this!). Repeat for each skirt and bodice piece and voila we're almost done!!  I should not that before you do this, if you are adding any embellishments to your bodice front do it before you attach your skirt. you want the ends of any lace/ruffles/ rick-rack/whatnot to be stitched into the seam allowance. (and this will save you some 1:30 am seam ripping that makes you hate life. Not that I know anything about that...)




Alright, now making your pockets is pretty easy. Basically all a pocket needs is a straight edge and a curved edge.  I squared the top of this one, but you do not have to and it can be cut as deep as you need it to be. I cut mine from a 10"x10" square and used that as a pattern for the other three. You need four pocket pieces. With the right sides together place the straight edge of the pocket along the straight edge of the skirt and stitch. Repeat with each pocket piece on each skirt side.  And we're done! Next up we stitch the sides, and for those who are, we'll be putting in a zipper. Thank you all for baring with me!!!




How's everyone progressing?

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