Friday, 25 September 2015

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

 photo ready2_zpsbnilxqol.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.

TOOLS:
 photo 020Tools_zps6wizrnyo.jpg
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_zpsnpmpvnf8.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_zpssrmat7r3.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_zpshjp0583w.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_zpsutk297jv.jpg
Notch the bottom of the V to remove tension, don't cut your thread.
 photo 5 Notch neckline_zpsbtjjsea9.jpg
Flip the lining on the reverse side and press the seam, and it should look something like this.
 photo 6 Neckline done_zpsexttt6tp.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_zpsdlki4lxu.jpg
IV. For the shoulders I did a flat-felled seam.
 photo 8 Pin shoulders_zpsopm8zn4n.jpg  photo 9 Shoulder seam done_zpstftnfxzv.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_zpsy5atueqy.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_zpswfwv05q1.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_zpswquo7iwz.jpg
 photo 1620Hem_zpsb8hs7cyi.jpg VIII. Add your string:
 photo 14 Lace up_zpsd1icmrpp.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_zpserkcjqhm.jpg
Beach time!
 photo ready1_zpsv6pr6oos.jpg  photo ready3_zpsezjwxgog.jpg  photo ready4_zps6wedy8on.jpg xo,

Julia

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