Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sew Along Day 3 - Valentine's Dress

Valentine's Day Dress

Day 3

I hope you're enjoying this Sew Along! It's my first one to do and it's wonderful getting emails from you or reading your comments about it! Some of you have said you have never thought of sewing a few minutes a day to finish a project and usually never start something unless you have a whole afternoon or day to complete it. Well I'm right there with you! I usually come up with an idea and want to sew it THEN and there! It's a very bad habit, because usually I don't have enough time to finish. So I do as much as I can and then it has to get set to the side which unfortunately means things come up :) By the time I get back to sewing I lose interest in it because I found something else to sew. Ha!

My sewing to-do list is VERY LONG so after this SEW ALONG I think I am going to have to work on a sewing schedule. Maybe 30 minutes each day for either a new project, an unfinished project,  or researching a new project to do / finding inspiration. How do you all find time to complete your sewing projects?

Okay back to the SEW ALONG! I can't wait to see your Valentine's Day dress that you are sewing! Friday there will be a linky party set up for you all to add your dresses to it. You can also email me your finished dresses and I will feature them on Facebook or the blog :)
If you're just joining us, here's the line-up for the daily posts so you can see what we will work on each day:

Monday - Day 1 - CLICK HERE - print the pattern / cut out your fabric
Tuesday - Day 2 - CLICK HERE - assemble and line the bodice / add the collar
Wednesday - Day 3 - attach the sleeves / finish the bodice
Thursday - Day 4 - Buttons and buttonholes
Friday - Day 5 - Attach the skirt and tie and DONE!

Let's get started! Who's excited to make this dress below!?!

Time to attach the sleeves. Yesterday we sewed the collar and your bodice should look like like the picture below. If so, let's go!
 1. Pin around the armole to hold the lining and main fabric together (only if you used a lining...if not skip to step 3).

2. Baste stitch around the armhole only to hold your two fabrics together. This will help make it easier to sew on your sleeve.
3. ADDING THE SLEEVES:  There are two ways to sew on the sleeve and I am going to show you the preferred method I use which is the flat method. If you want to use the set-in sleeve method skip to step 11. *I'm only showing the flat method, but I give directions for the set-in method. You probably have the method you prefer, so feel free to go ahead and do it the way you like. It's totally up to you which one you chooose.
4. Find the curved middle of one sleeve and pin it to the shoulder seam with right sides together.

5. Pin the lower edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the armhole curve.

6. Go slowly and maneuver your bodice as needed. Start pinning from the top edge of the sleeve down towards the shoulder seam. When you get to the shoulder seam if there is extra material just press your fingers into it to give it a small pleat. Pin.

7. Now that half the sleeve is pinned take the top edge of the sleeve and pin it to the top edge of the armhole curve.
8. Start pinning from the top edge of the sleeve up towards the shoulder seam. When you get to the shoulder seam if there is extra material just press your fingers into it to give it a small pleat. Pin.
9. Sew your pinned sleeve to the bodice using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. **Go slowly and maneuver with your hands, making sure the bodice lays flat as you sew. The sleeve can gather, but you do not want the bodice to gather and bunch up under the sleeve.

Serge or zig-zag stitch the raw edges. Clip into the curves and press seam away from the sleeve.

10. Repeat for the other sleeve.
11. Lay your bodice and sleeves right sides together. Pin from the end of one sleeve up the sleeve and down the bodice. Repeat for the other side. (If you are doing the set-in sleeve method, just pin the sides of your bodice right sides together.)

 *Below you can see it is now right sides together. Then go ahead and pin.
12. Sew along your pinned seams using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. Serge or zig-zag stitch your raw edges.  If you used the FLAT method to attach the sleeves you are DONE for today! If not, go to step 13.

13. If you want to set in your sleeves, lay one sleeve right sides together, pin down the length of the sleeve. Sew using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
14. Center a 3 inch basting stitch across the top of your sleeve's curved edge. Pull the bobbin string of the basting stitch to gather the sleeve.
15. Turn your bodice wrong side out. With the sleeve facing right side out slide it into the armhole of the bodice. Match up the side seam of the bodice to the seam of the sleeve and pin. Pin the sleeve to the armhole, adjusting the gathering stitches as needed.
16. Sew around your armhole using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. Clip curves. Turn right side out. You did it! Repeat for the other sleeve.
Was it your first time adding sleeves to a dress? How did you do?
 I used to only sew items without sleeves, because I was always scared to tackle them. But once you try it, you will see that it actually opens so many more doors for you! I am still getting used to them, but I find that if I just go for it I will get better each time (hopefully, right?!) ha! And...there's always the seam ripper if not! :)
 Happy Sewing! Email me if you have a question or comment below if you're having fun or just wanted to say hello!
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