Friday, 25 September 2015

How To: Stripy Midi Dress with Lace-Up V-Neck

 photo ready2.jpg
I was in Old Dubai doing my fabric shopping, and as I was paying for my finds, I noticed an end-of-roll discount pile on the counter. Or specifically, this awesome stripy cotton. As I was inspecting it the Indian shop owner enthusiastically started selling me "Yes Madam, very good for dish-drying cloth!" Luckily I don't ever let someone tell me what a fabric is meant for and what it's not.

Fabric - Mine is 100% cotton, and I used 1,5 m (however I used mine until the very last piece, 2 m is safer)  |  Scissors  |  Fabric marker  |  Pins  |  Thread & sewing machine  |  String for the belt and the neckline, about 1,5 m each and a small 30 cm piece to make the neckline & belt loops  (I've made so much string/strap for some of my past projects - here's the method I use)  |  (+New autofocus for my camera...)

I. Here are my cut pieces with approximate measurements (I'm EU 36/US 4).
 photo 1 Cut pieces.jpg
II. Starting with the neckline.. Cut small approx. 3 cm pieces of your string, I did 4 for each side of the neckline.
 photo 2 For the neckline.jpg
Fold the pieces in half (helps if you press them with your iron) and hand-stitch them at equal intervals on either side of the neckline, on the right side. As you see here the fold should be pointing away from the neckline.
 photo 3 Stitch loops in place.jpg
Add the lining piece, right side facing right side, leaving the loops in between. Pin in place. Sew a straight stitch along the edge, making sure you go at least 3 mm from the ends of the loops to secure them in place. You can reverse at each loop to make extra sure they're properly attached.
 photo 4 Pin neckline.jpg
Notch the bottom of the V to remove tension, don't cut your thread.
 photo 5 Notch neckline.jpg
Flip the lining on the reverse side and press the seam, and it should look something like this.
 photo 6 Neckline done.jpg
III. Finish the neckline of the back piece with a double fold & straight stitch to hold it in place, press (my fabric allowed me to do a double fold easily for the moderate curve here without puckering, if yours gives you trouble see step VII).
 photo 7 Back piece neckline.jpg
IV. For the shoulders I did a flat-felled seam.
 photo 8 Pin shoulders.jpg  photo 9 Shoulder seam done.jpg
V. Add some shape with a couple of darts for the bust area. After adding these I also hand-stitched the neckline lining piece in place to avoid it flipping over to the right side when putting the dress on.
 photo 10 Darts.jpg
VI. About 70% done. Pin the sides, right sides facing, and sew down until the curve of the hem starts. Press the seam.
 photo 11 Pin sides_zps9fj1zcnt.jpg
VII. I finished the arm holes and the hem of the dress with a double-fold. Seeing as these are very curved areas, I first cut little notches (about 3 mm) the entire way. This makes it easy to make the first fold (press with iron as you go along)..
 photo 12 Notch arm holes.jpg
.. And then fold again, pinning as you go. It makes it easier if you use a lot of pins as you fold the fabric, and then press with your iron before sewing. I had a lot of time on my hands when making this, so I slip stitched the arm holes and the hem by hand (I'm not into visible seams). If you wanted it easier, you could just machine-sew these finishes.
 photo 13 Pin arm holes.jpg
 photo 1620Hem.jpg VIII. Add your string:
 photo 14 Lace up.jpg
.. And use a couple of small pieces of your string to create belt loops on each side at the waist, if you'd like.
 photo 15 Belt loop.jpg
Beach time!
 photo ready1.jpg  photo ready3.jpg  photo ready4.jpg xo,



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