Monday, 26 October 2015

Sun Frock Sew-Along Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the very first Miss Dixie O'Dare Sew-Along!
In today's post we are going to cover pre-treating fabric and finally cutting into your fabric.

Pre-treating your fabric will depend on the fabric you have chosen to use for your Sun Frock. Generally speaking, it is always advisable to wash your fabric before cutting and sewing with it. A lot of the time modern fabric is much more colour fast that vintage fabric, but it isn't always the case. This goes for your trim as well. If you are using a brightly coloured bias tape or trim, a gentle handwash before will hopefully get rid of any excess colour that may bleed out when you wash your dress. Pre-washing will also deal with any shrinkage the fabric may have. Nothing worse than putting in the effort to make a new dress just to have it shrink a size or 2 in the first wash. However, if you are using a slippery or particularly drapey fabric, you may wish to starch your fabric to make it more stable and workable

My Vintage Fabric has already been pre-washed with some other floral fabrics a few months ago, so I don't need to wash it again, But I am washing my bias, as it is quite a dark colour and I would hate for the colour to run. As it such a small, easily tangled piece of fabric, I am hand washing it in a basin, and I have dissolved a spoonful of salt in some hot water and added that to the wash. This is a trick I learned from my Grandma, and it's supposed to help keep fabric colourfast.

If you are unsure about the fit, please make a muslin out of some scrap fabric to test. You should really only need to check the front and back bodice pieces, remembering that there needs to be 2 inches of overlap plus seam allowance at the back.

I have tried my best to write cutting directions on each pattern piece (as in how many to cut out) the pattern pieces do not come with grainlines, however, it is generally advisable to use centre seam lines as a guide, or just your best judgement. The fabric cutting layout guide included with the pattern should also give you a pretty good idea of what way they lay on the grain. I was hoping we could all get away with not having a seam down the front of the skirt, however it looks like only the smallest size or 2 are going to manage that, without cutting the skirt pieces perpendicular to the grain. If you cannot cut perpendicular to the grain, you will need to cut your skirt pieces with a seam down the centre front, and don't forget to add the seam allowance. Depending on your fabric, and whether it has a directional print or not, you may or may not be able to cut some pieces up side down to use your yardage as economically as possible.

As I am making my skirt a bit wider to accommodate by generous derrière, I have decided to cut my pieces perpendicular to the grain. While this will make my Floral print run sideways, I figure if I cut the whole garment that way, it won't be noticeable. I did have to cut the scallop trim in the other direction, but I don't think it will be too noticeable I had 3m of fabric and it was the perfect amount, even with the wider skirt. I also cut my shoulder straps a little longer than the pattern piece, just in case (I can always trim it off later) I also cut 4 pocket squares, instead of 2, so I could self line the pockets. I have also made my usual short waisted alteration to the bodice pieces, shortening them by 1 inch.

When I was cutting out the skirt pieces, I accidentally cut into the center fold of the skirt front. It's down near the hemline, so I will zig zag over it and I will probably be the only one who notices it. Well and you guys too I guess.

Of course if your prefer to make a different style of pockets for your dress, go ahead and cut those out instead of the included pattern pieces. As the basic design of this dress is so simple, it has unlimited variation possibilities. There has been some discussion in the facebook group about Christmas dresses, so I am now thinking how cute this dress would be made in plain red with white trimming on the bodice (leaving off the piping) as a sort of Mrs Claus dress. But I already have some cute Gingerbread house print cotton to use for a Christmas Dress this year.

At this point, if you want to finish the edges on some of your pieces you can. I like to overlock around pretty much anything (leaving out edges that will be encased) but some of you may wish to use more vintage methods such as pinking shears or zigzagging. Also, if you prefer you can leave this step until partway through construction. I like pressing most of my seams open, so I like to overlock them separately. At this point I have overlocked around the facing pieces, the skirt pieces and the side edges of the front and back bodice pieces. I will overlock the bottom edge of the bodice pieces after I have sewn and pressed the darts.

Next post we will finally be up to sewing! Yay!



  1. Replies
    1. Your very Welcome Dee, Hopefully the next one will be on time :)