Do you remember that song from childhood?
Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater.
Had a wife but couldn't keep her,
put her in a pumpkin shell
and there he kept her very well?
I can still see myself sitting at my grandmother's piano "playing" that song. It isn't a highly skillful song, one that you can do with one index finger. Being a piano teacher, I am sure that one index finger drove my grandmother almost as crazy as the repeat "cheater, cheater" all day long, but somehow she had the patience of a saint when it came to me and so she just ignored it all-together. ;) Speaking of my grandmother, I can almost hear her "tisk-tisking" as I sit down to write a blog about a hack that eliminates a skirt placket and buttonhole on a child's dress.
But, in my defense...times change, and as they do, sewing methods sometimes do as well. While I agree that there is beauty in a skirt placket and a functioning buttonhole, I can also be completely honest and say that us moms have a lot on our plates. And if there is something we can do that can cut a few steps off a a pattern when sewing for our kids, let's go for it. Don't get me wrong, I do like the old-school methods of sewing and honestly prefer them (I mean, there is a method to the madness of them being around for so long), but if you can fit it over your kiddo's head without the need for the extra steps...so be it. Your secret is totally safe with me! But, with that said, I find it is imperative that you know how to do the methods you cheat around because they prove so important and useful in sewing. Since my child has a large head, I do a looooooooot of placketing. Obviously that large head houses a large personality too. :)
I spy a little Reese Whitherspoon in that last one. And I mean that in a good way, I love her.
So, here goes. I will show you how to eliminate the skirt placket and functioning buttonhole from your Luna dress (which you have all bought like crazy, gosh I love you!!!). With this method, the yoke seam is no longer hidden...but again, your secret is safe with me. You may notice I am working on the same fabric as I am in the actual pattern. Louisa loved the chartreuse and navy dress I made her with the angel sleeves, so I made one with 3/4 length sleeves as well for a photoshoot. In the days of athletic shorts and t-shirts, I almost jumped at the chance!
This tutorial will coincide with the actual pattern tutorial. So, I will reference methods from time to time in the pattern. First things first. You must make sure that you can fit the Luna over your kiddo's head without the need for the functioning button and placket FIRST. So I suggest to make a muslin of the yoke. Since you want to test the opening of the neck, cut 2 front pieces on the fold and use one of the front pieces as the back. This will give you an idea of how it does without the opening.
If you get the green light, follow me!
Cut your Luna yoke just as you would in the pattern and sew the shoulder seams on both the outer and lining as you do on page 9 of the pattern. Press your seams. Now place the outer yoke and lining right sides together matching up the shoulder seams and pin in place. Here, you will sew along the black lines as shown below. As you can see, the only difference form the pattern is how you will sew down the back sides as well this time.
Once sewn, clip the corners and edges as shown below with the white lines.
Then take your yoke over to the ironing board and press it out. Take your time here because the yoke really is a stand-out piece!
Once pressed, you can top-stitch along the insides of your yoke as shown below with the black lines.
Now, lay your yoke on a flat surface with the right sides facing up. You are going to overlap the back pieces by 3/4". Since you do not have a placket, it doesn't matter which side overlaps the other. I generally pick which side looks the best. ;)
Once overlapped, pin in place and run a basting stitch along the bottom as shown below in black. This will hold your bodice together.
Side note: if you want a little more room in the Luna, decrease the amount you overlap.
Now set the yoke aside for just a bit and grab your skirt pieces. You will not be cutting down the center of the back piece like you do in the pattern since you don't have a placket. Run a gathering stitch along the top of both the front and back pieces. Good grief, Amy learn to iron first!!
Now, pull the gathers in on one of the skirt panels to match the bottom of the yoke front. UNLIKE the pattern, you will be attaching the skirt piece to both the yoke outer AND lining.
Once you have the gathers distributed, place the skirt panel right sides together with the yoke making sure the raw edge of the skirt aligns with the raw edges of the yoke outer and lining. Pin in place and sew along the bottom as shown below with the white dotted line. Finish this seam however you please and then repeat with the back skirt panel and back yoke.
Once you have the skirt panels attached, head over to the ironing board and press the seam up towards the yoke.
If you are going to top-stitch, now is the time. Just as I said in the pattern, I don't like to top-stitch over my trim so I decided against it here. However, if you are going to top-stitch, run your stitch along the seam as shown below in black.
Now, flip your yoke over so that the back is facing up and place your button on the overlap as shown below. Sew the button in place, and guess what ladies...you are now ready to tackle the rest of the pattern! For View A, start at the bottom of page 18 and for View B, page 26. Make sure to ignore any talk in the rest of the pattern about keeping the lining out of the way and then enclosing the skirt seam.
How's that for a quick hack? The best part about this method is that you can use it with so many patterns, AS LONG as your child can get it on and off without the need of buttons or a placket.
Again, ladies you have rocked the Luna debut and since I am uber-disorganized right now, I forgot to change the price of the Luna last night in the etsy shop - so take advantage of my disorganization and shop with a discounted promo price for one more day!
Thank you again for your continued support and overall awesomeness. I will be disappearing for the next few days since I have yet to swap over mine or my kid's closets for the season change. Thankfully we live in the bi-polar South so we've been managing for the last few weeks...but I am pretty sure it isn't acceptable for me to wear the same shirt 4 days in a row. Whoops.
Xoxo - Amy