Well, this is the last post on the Magic Bias Dress. Rhonda will be showing off her wonderful details to make your dress one-of-a-kind. Hope you enjoyed the sew along!
The magic is in the details! I think that most of us have heard this saying before. I know that on many occasions, I have started a project with such excitement, and then the excitement fizzles when it comes to the finishing details. Why? Most likely fear…the project has gone so well, and now, what if it all goes wrong because the details were’t executed well? If those haunting thoughts ever come across your mind, here are two bits of advice that I have adopted:
1. It’s just fabric. If it all goes wrong, this will not end my life or bring about the destruction of the world.
2. We are always learning, at least we should be. If for some reason it doesn’t work out, try to figure out why and add that to your list of, “one more thing I have learned.” Believe me, although I have sewn since I was 5 years old, my list of learning something new is always growing.
Now let’s conquer the finishing details!
Finishing the neckline of a bias garment with a facing can be quite tricky. If the grainlines of the garment and the facing are not exactly right, the neckline can pull, or the facing will never lay flat. Frustrating for sure. With that in mind, the Magic Bias Dress has a lovely finishing detail to the neckline called French Piping. It’s really quite easy to do and looks so pretty when finished. It gives the look of piping without all the fuss of adding a cord.
When we sewed the body of the dress together, we stitched around the neckline to keep the bias from stretching. I stitched around the neckline 1/4″ away from the edge.
To create the French piping, begin by cutting a bias strip. The instructions say to cut the strip 1 1/2″ wide. I found this to be a little narrow, so I cut my strip 2″ wide.
Cut the bias strip and join it together. Once it is joined, fold it in half and press.
Pin the folded bias strip to the neckline.
The instructions state that all bias seams are 1″. I did not sew the neckline with a 1″ seam allowance. As you can see, the bias strip was laid against the edge of the neckline and sewn with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Once the bias strip has been attached to the neckline, trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″.
To create the “piping,” simply roll the bias strip over the seam allowance. Simple, right?!
To finish the neckline, pin the bias strip around the neckline and stitch in the ditch.
*The ditch is the seamline. If you stitch directly in the seam line, the stitches will not be visible.
The result will be a beautifully finished neckline that will lay nicely in place.
Now that the neckline is finished, we can sew in the sleeves.
Begin by finishing the hem edge of the sleeve. Simply turn up the raw edge and stitch. Once you have stitched from one end to the other, fold the edge over once more and stitch.
Match up the notch at the top of the sleeve. Pin and then baste in place.
A note about the overlap of the petal sleeve. In the picture on the pattern envelope, you’ll see that the sleeve has been overlapped from back to front. This is how I sewed the original sleeve.
But I always like to try and see what will happen if I try things in a different way. For the tie-dye dress, I overlapped the petal from front to back. As you can see, when looking at the dress from the front, it really doesn’t make a big difference. Which ever way you decide to sew your sleeves, just be sure that both sleeves are overlapped in the same direction.
Once the sleeves have been set in, our final step will be to hem the dress.
Before the dress is hemmed, it is VERY important that the dress is allowed to hang for at least 24 hours. Some fabrics require 48 hours. It all depends on the weave of the fabric. I always err on the side of 48 hours so that I can be sure that the bias has stretched as much as it will.
Once the dress has hung and the bias has been allowed to stretch as much as it will, try the dress on and decide your length. Just remember that depending on the weight of the fabric, the dress will pop up a bit once it is cut. So cut less initially and then if you would like it a little shorter, cut it again. Remember, you can always cut more, but once it’s cut, it’s cut! Remember too that because of the bias grainline, one side will more than likely be a little longer than the other side, so you will need to mark and straighten the hem.
You can finish the hem with the French piping method. I prefer to just stitch the hem as I did with the sleeve. When stitching the hem, just be sure to not pull the fabric as this will result in a rippling effect.
My finished dress. I think I am going to love wearing this dress all summer long!
The finished color blocked dress and the tunic will be in an upcoming post on my blog, sewbussted.com. So be sure to pop over and check them out.
I hope that the sew along has taken the fear out of sewing a bias garment. If you think you might like to give the Magic Bias Dress a try, but have not purchased a pattern, you can find it HERE at Shop Sew It All.
If you’ve enjoyed working with a bias garment, you might like to check out the book that from Fashion In Harmony, Bias Cut Blueprints. The book is designed as a workbook and it walks you step by step through the process of creating your own patterns for bias garments.
Thanks again for joining and sewing along with me.
Until next time,