Wednesday, January 15, 2014

pepper dress to coat sew along - day 1, bodice and sleeve construction

welcome ladies - if you are just now joining us, check out the details of this sew along here. in a nut shell, we will be transforming the pepper dress pattern into a fully reversible coat that depending on fabric choice will shine in any weather! let's get started!

ps - hanging my head in shame...i still don't have pictures of my little one in it. please don't throw stones!

today we will focus on getting everything cut out (which seems like a TON considering this will basically be 2 dresses you will cut out) and starting the construction of the bodice and sleeves.

what to cut:
choose the size you want to go with (the pepper dress isn't a super fitted dress to start with, so you really don't need to size up for a jacket fit unless you want to use a more restricting, heavier fabric) and make sure you cut the bodice for the LONG SLEEVE dress, please don't use the sleeveless bodice. 

for the sew along, since this will be fully reversible, i will refer to the fabrics as inner and outer fabric. hope that doesn't confuse anyone!
this is what all you will cut:
  • bodice front right - one of inner fabric, one of outer fabric. MUST BE MIRROR IMAGE of each other, trust me. i wasn't paying attention when cutting and had to rip seams and re-cut halfway into the dress. it wasn't a good time to be had.
Just a little aside for those that aren't familiar with "mirror image." This is how I cut mirror image pieces. Place your fabrics either right sides together and place the pattern piece on top and then cut out. Doing this in fact gives you two pieces of fabric that are mirror images of each other. So, for the bodice pieces, place your inner fabric right side up and then your outer fabric right side down (so the right sides are touching each other) and then cut out your piece. Mirror image is important when you have pattern pieces that directional or pattern piece shape is important. Hope this helps!!
  • bodice front left - one of inner fabric, one of outer fabric MUST BE MIRROR IMAGE (if i could make this flash and beep at you i would) of each other.
  • bodice back - one of inner fabric, one of outer fabric on fold
  • sleeves - 2 of inner fabric, 2 of outer fabric
  • sleeve cuff - see instructions below as i have changed it from how the pattern has it laid out due to it being reversible.
  • pockets - 4 (with 2 sets of mirror image) for outer, and 4 (with 2 sets of mirror image) for inner. you don't have to do pockets for both fabrics, but i will show you how to make them for both in case you are interested.
  • skirt - following pattern dimensions, 2 of each fabric. this gives it the fullness it needs. as i stated in the previous entry, i took about 2" off of the length of the skirts to make it a little shorter for a coat since my lou is such a peanut.
  • button tab - 2 for each side, just as per pattern. so, if you want a button tab on both sides of the jacket, you will need to cut 4.
okie dokie. let's get started. since i did the sleeve cuff a bit different, let's start there. in the pattern, the sleeve cuff gets folded over and sewn to the bottom of the sleeve to give the bottom of the sleeve some weight and a nice finished edge. but, since we will sew both of our outer and inner sleeves together for the coat, there is no need for all of that extra weight. so, here is how we will make a change. i am making the size 4, so the pattern tells me to cut 4 3/8 by 20. let's keep the length of 20, but here is how we will change.

sizes 6-12 mo to 2: cut 2 of each fabric 2 3/8" wide by 20" long
sizes 3-12: cut 2 of each fabric 3" wide by 20" long

clear as mud? just in case i lost you, you will have 4 sleeve bands cut.

as you can see, clearly the band is is longer than the bottom of the sleeve, disregard that as we will cut it down later. also disregard that seam in the middle, some cheapy mccheaperson tried to make do with as little fabric as she could and ended up piecing things together.

now, you want to place your cuff right sides together along the raw edge of the sleeve and pin in place. sew along the bottom edge as shown below. seam allowance will be 3/8" just as in the pattern. repeat with other 3 sleeves and bands. there is no need to finish these seems as they will all be enclosed. fancy pants.

once sewn, take all of your sleeves to the ironing board and press the seam up towards the sleeve.

now, we will address the extra fabric of the sleeve band. you want to trim the extra band fabric following along the angle of the sleeve bell as shown below by the white line to the left. what i have found is the easiest is to place a ruler along the edge of the sleeve and use my rotary blade to nip the rest of the band. repeat with all 4 sleeves.

when finished, you should have a sleeve that looks something like this:

now, because i hate pretty much doing anything in the round, i am going to show you my nifty trick for the sleeves to save a temper tantrum later when you go to sew the coat inner and outer together. go ahead and take all 4 sleeves to the ironing board and press up a 1/2" hem along the bottom of the cuffs. i hope you thank me later.

okay, set the sleeves in a safe place away from all rotary blades and let us turn our attention to the bodice. place one of your back pieces on a flat surface and with right sides together, match up the shoulders of the 2 front pieces. pin in place and sew with a 3/8" allowance both of the shoulder seams as shown by the black lines below. repeat with other bodice pieces.

take both of the bodices over to the ironing board and press out those shoulder seams.

now, just as instructed in the pattern on page 18, fold your sleeve to find the center and match it up one of the shoulder seams of your bodice. with right sides together, pin in place and then grab another 100 pins to ease that sleeve into place. since this is a sew along, i will not go into as much detail as i did in the pattern, so if you get stuck - please reference the pattern. you can do this! :) once eased and pinned, take over to the sewing machine and sew the sleeve to the bodice with a 3/8" seam allowance. repeat with the other 3 sleeves.

now, give yourself a big ole pat on the back. one of the hardest parts is done. yipee! once again, there is no need to finish these seams as they will be enclosed. take the 2 bodices over to the ironing board and press the sleeve seam up towards the bodice as shown below. repeat with all sleeves.

and now my dearys, day 1 comes to an end. you should have 1 outer bodice with sleeves and 1 inner bodice with sleeves. rock on girls. 

tomorrow we will pick back up with the pocket, skirt and trim construction. don't forget to join in the fun on the brownie goose lovers page on facebook. this group is an awesome place not only for sew along questions but also for general BG questions and just a good time with lots of creativity!

xoxo - amy

No comments: