You’ve made it to day FIVE of the Emory Sew Along! You’re in the home stretch, so today we’ll put this gorgeous bodice together with a few fun details.
We’ve talked about this gorgeous Wonderland Fabric by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake Designs, but today let’s talk a bit about the crochet edge bias tape that has been my staple for making Emory cap sleeves. I buy it from Vintage Door and Hazel and Arlene have the best selection of this dainty trim that packs a fashion punch. It is super simple to sew onto your garments and adds one more special touch that makes people say, “Awwww!” I also love to add it to the hem of my Beverly Belle tunics! Vintage Door is also one of our sponsors for the giveaway with this sew along, so big thanks to them for the sample packs!
So let’s start sewing!
Take your sleeve pieces, trims if you are using them, your 6 bodice pieces, and your back tie pieces (or button loop pieces).
First I’m going to show you how to apply this particular type of bias tape. It’s really hard to see here, but the edge on top is just a teensy bit shorter than the one underneath. We’re talking 1/16″ of an inch. But you want to make sure that this shorter side is the one you work with first for this method. There may be better or more proper methods out there, but this is what works for me for this exact trim. If you are not using using trim, see your pattern for the hemming instructions, or add your trim with your preferred method and skip to step 4.
- Take that short side of your trim, open up your tape, and line it up to one side of your sleeve. Make sure you have the sleeve facing the right direction! Personal experience here, folks. This trim uses a 1/4″ seam allowance, so sew it in place. See Figure 1.
- Refold your bias tape, but sandwich your sleeve edge in between. The larger edge will be on the back side of the sleeve. Topstitch on your bias tape, using a 1/8″ seam allowance. Make sure you’re catching the backside of the tape with your stiches. Other types of bias tape usually allow you to “stitch in the ditch”, but I’ve not been able to get it to work with this. Just match your thread well and you’ll be fine! See Figure 2. Repeat with the remaining three sleeve edges.
- Set your stitch length at its longest length, and run two lines of basting stitches, at 3/8″ and 5/8″. I like to use two lines because it makes the gathering nice and neat, which is helpful on such a small piece. See Figure 3. Repeat with bottom of the sleeve piece, as well as the top and bottom of the second sleeve.
- Mark your sleeve placements with a pin or disappearing marker, and gather your sleeves to fit within the pins. You may have to go over that mark just a bit if you are using trim. Spread out your gathers evenly, pin in place, then baste to your bodice piece. Repeat with the other sleeve. See Figure 4.
- Fold your sleeve pieces on top of each other, then add the correlating back bodice piece to each side, and pin in place. See Figures 5a and 5b. 5b shows the left side covered, but you will do the same with the right side.
- Lay your entire bodice flat and place your bodice lining piece on top of your bodice front, making a sleeve sandwich. Pin in place, then sew, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the curves or use pinking shears, but make sure you don’t cut your stitching line. See Figure 6.
- Repeat step 6 with your back bodice lining pieces, but ignore the fact that I already added my ties. I realized in the middle of this that it was easier to assemble it to this point THEN add the ties for the back. Lesson learned! See Figure 7. Set aside.
- If you are doing button loops, please see your pattern for construction and placement. I will be giving instructions for the back ties that you see above. You will need a piece of fabric that is 1 1/2″ by the width of your fabric, usually 42-44″. Trim the selvedges off the ends, then press your pieces in 1/2″ from the end (figure 8a). Fold and press the fabric in half lengthwise, then open up and press each side of the fabric lengthwise so that it meets in the middle (figure 8b). Fold the piece lengthwise again and press. You should have what looks almost like bias tape, it’s just not on the bias (figure 8c). Cut your one long piece in half so you have two pieces and open and press the edges of the cut sides to match the ends, then cut those in half again to make four pieces. You should have one end pressed in and one end raw on all four (figure 8d).
- Open up the wide edge of your back bodice pieces and pin, then baste your ties. You will do this on both back bodice pieces. If you are doing button loops, you will only do it on one side. Place the top one just below your seam and the bottom one 1″ from the bottom edge of the bodice. See Figure 9a. Cover this with your back bodice lining, pin in place, and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the corner, making sure you don’t catch your stitching, and repeat with the other back bodice piece.
- Turn your bodice pieces right sides out, poking out your corners on the back edges to get nice points (figure 10a). Open your seams flat on the skinny edges (figure 10b) and lay the back bodice on top of the front bodice, right sides together (figure 10c). Pin in place, sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance, and repeat with the remaining side. Press the side seams open.
- Turn your entire bodice right side out and give it a good press. Remove the second row of visible gathering stitches and topstitch the sides and top of the bodice (figure 11). Voila! You have completed the bodice!
Snap a pic and make sure you post it in the comments on today’s post to enter the daily giveaway in our fan group. You have until 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, March 19th to enter. One more day and then you’ll have a completed dress!by