I hope all our frockalong sewists are enjoying our posts! You can find Cassie's posts about the pleats, ties and pockets here.
Today I will briefly show you how to do French seams, how the neckline is finished and how to finish the sleeve. I will also show you how I added pleats to my shoulder seams.
I used the French seam technique for all my seams. It gives a neat finish and is less fiddly than the bias technique used in the pattern. In the picture I am sewing the bottom and top dress sections together, you use the same steps for the shoulder and side seams.
1. Pin fabric wrong sides together. Sew 1/4" seam.
2. Press seam to set stitches. Trim seam allowance back to 1/8".
3. Fold top layer of fabric over and press seam to one side. Then fold fabric along seam line right sides together. Press seam.
4. Sew 1/4" seam, enclosing the raw edge in the seam allowance. Press to one side and top stitch 1/8" along seam.
Neck edge finish
I followed the pattern instructions for this. So I will just cover it briefly.
1. On the right side of the fabric pin bias tape around the edge of neck with crease being 3/8" from edge. Fold end of tape as shown and overlap the other end over the top.
2. Sew along the open crease. Trim excess fabric back to the edge of the bias tape.
3. Fold to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold it in enough to have an extra 1/8" of fabric folded too. The pattern explains this quite clearly.
4. Stitch around neckline on the edge of the bias. Stitch around a second time 1/4" closer to edge of neckline. Press.
Sleeve or Armhole edge
I followed the pattern for this too. So I will just cover it briefly.
1. On right side of fabric pin bias tape along armhole edge. Line up the open crease with the dot at either end, keep this distance from the edge all the way along. Taper the bias tape out between the dot and notch. My scissors show where the dot and notch are. Make sure this is the same at both ends, it helps when sewing the side seams if they are accurate.
2. Sew along crease. Trim excess fabric back to bias tape edge.
3. Fold bias edge under to wrong side of fabric along the fold line. Sew along the edge of the bias tape. Sew a second time 1/4" closer to the armhole edge.
Adding pleats to the shoulders
I came up with this modification to try and make the shoulder not quite as wide. I was just going to gather it along the seam or use a tab to pull it in but they just created bulk between the shoulder and bust that looked weird. So the pleat idea was born. You may need to alter the length of the pleats depending on your bust and back. Also the pattern I created is for the M size dress so will need to make your pleats closer, bigger or smaller depending on the size you are making.
To start with I pinned the pleats onto a finished dress to see if it would work.
Then I drew up the pleat template and sewed it on my next dress. You do the pleats after you have sewn the armhole edge as per the pattern and before you sew the side seams.
You can download the templates here .
This is what the back template looks like, the front is very similar. Make sure to print at 100%. Each template should fit on an A4 sheet of paper. As you can see I was still playing with the pleat length, you may need to alter the lengths to suit your shape.
Lay the template over you shoulder seam. You can see the finished edges are in from the edge of the template according to the seam allowance.
Transfer the solid lines from the template. I put a dot every inch or so. The dotted line is the fold line.
Fold right sides together along dotted line. Sew along the solid line.
Your pleats should be on the inside of the dress, as shown in the above picture.
Press pleats to one side. Mine are pressed toward the armhole edge.
Edge stitch along the edge of the shoulder seam to hold the pleats down.
Do this on both shoulders. This is my finished shoulders on the Dottie Angel frock made with cotton lawn fabric. The pleats sit really nicely, especially on the front!
What's coming up? On Wednesday I will have an interview with Catherine (@knittingcatherine on Instagram) about her sewing and her modifications.
I will also share some pictures and links to other instagrammers and bloggers who have done different things with their Dottie frocks.
Don't forget that we have some really great prizes up for grabs, even if you haven't finished your dress you will be able to enter! Progress is everything! Remember to use our hashtag #dottieangelfrockalong so we can see your frocks!
One of our sponsors is a local Aussie girl who designs really flattering patterns. Go check out her website, Sew to Grow! We are giving away her Bondi Top pattern!
Feel free to drop us a message or email if you have any questions!
Make it sew, Jess