Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sew Along #14 - Frannie Dress - Lesson #1

The Frannie Dress by Children's Corner

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Please read the directions in your Frannie Dress pattern all the way through before you begin.  It's probably a good idea to read through this lesson once before you begin also.

Day 1 - Tracing the Pattern, Cutting Out the Fabric, Creating Piping, and Sewing the Collar

1. Unfold your pattern sheets, locate the pattern pieces for your size and fussy cut around them.  There will be three pieces; the dress front, the dress back, and the collar.  

2. With most tissue patterns I like to iron the pieces before I trace them.  This ensures that they are nice and flat and makes tracing easier.

3. I also like to place a piece of white paper behind the pattern piece when my surface is dark to make the pattern lines easier to see.

4. Place a piece of freezer paper, shinny side down, on top of your pattern piece.  Use some pattern weights or tape to hold it in place.

5. Using a Sharpie, carefully trace around your pattern piece.  Make sure to transfer all markings and information onto your freezer paper. 

6. Next, fussy cut around your freezer pattern piece.

7.  Repeat for all three of your pattern pieces. 

 8. Grab your stack of prewashed fabric and trim.

9. Give your fabrics a good pressing with your iron to remove any fold lines.
Like my husbands fix for my Rowenta?

10. Now, the beauty of freezer paper patterns.  I love this stuff!!  Using the layout diagram in the pattern instructions, lay out your freezer paper pattern pieces, shiny side down onto your dress fabric.  Take your iron and iron over the pattern piece. 

DO NOT touch the iron to the glossy side of your freezer paper! It will melt and make a mess of your iron.

11. The freezer paper will temporarily stick to your fabric making it super easy to cut your pieces out.

12. Once you have ironed on your pattern pieces onto your dress fabric go ahead and carefully cut them out.  Don't forget to transfer all of the pattern markings onto you fabric (shown here on the lining fabric).

13. After cutting out and transferring the markings to the dress fabric carefully peel off the freezer pattern pieces and apply them the same way to your lining fabric.  The beautify of the freezer patterns is that you can use them over and over.  Next time you are ready to make another Frannie Dress just pull out your pattern pieces, iron them on your fabric, cut, and go!  How awesome is that?  Don't you just love it?
Note: I chose to make my collar out of just the lining fabric because I  wanted the look of the solid collar.  You may use your dress fabric, lining fabric, or a coordinate.  It's totally up to you.  If using your coordinate fabric for the collar, please make sure to place them in a way to ensure you have fabric left over for creating the piping and the ties if you so wish.
When cutting out your collar, make sure that you line up the grainline on the pattern piece along the lengthwise grainline of whatever fabric you choose to use.  This is very important. 
14. Cut four ties, 1½" x 11" each. - Okay, I actually cut my longer. For the size 7 dresses I just made my daughter I cut them 1½" x 15".

15. You should now have the following;
  • 1 Dress Front
  • 1 Dress Front Lining
  • 1 Dress Back
  • 1 Dress Back Lining
  • 2 Left Collars Pieces (one reversed)
  • 2 Right Collars Pieces (one reversed)
  • 4 Ties
If you would like to add a ruffle to the bottom of the dress you should cut that out now.  The Frannie Dress pattern comes with an insert that guides you in how to cut and add a ruffle to your dress.  I will not be adding a ruffle to my dress.

16. Grab your dress back and mark your seam line ¼" from the edge at the center of the collar.

17. Mark two lines ⅛" from center on either side.

18. Using a straightedge, draw two line down from your previous lines to the slit dot.  Repeat for the back lining.

19. With right sides together line up the shoulder seams of your dress front and dress back.  Using a ¼" seam allowance stitch together. Repeat with your front and back lining.

20. Press all shoulder seams open.

21. We are going to go ahead and make piping now. If you will not be using piping go ahead and skip to step #29.

Lay out your fabric and fold it so that the cut edge and selvage edge line up. We will be cutting on the bias, the folded edge.  See the diagram above.

22. The petite cording takes about ¼" of fabric to wrap around it. We need a ¼" seam allowance on our piping. So we need a strip of fabric ¾" wide of fabric to make our piping. ¼" + ¼" + ¼" = ¾"  Since the first cut is on a fold, cut it 3/8" wide. Then cut the rest of your strips ¾" wide.

23. Now, lay out your ¾" strips like this.

24. Sew across the them from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. You can draw a line with chalk if it helps.

25. Trim off the seam allowance and press open.

26. Once you have joined all your bias strips it's time to iron them in half lengthwise.

27. Open up your bias strip and place your cording in the center.

28. Using a piping foot or a zipper foot, sew down the bias strip right along the cording. I always lengthen my stitches when I sew piping. I change my normal 2.5 to a 3.5. It also might help to increase the pressure on your presser foot. Make sure your cording is hanging an inch or so out the end. (See it there in my picture?) Go slowly and make sure you don't "jump" over your cording.

29. We are now going to sew the collars.  Mark the outer edges with ¼" seam allowances on both top collar pieces. This isn't really necessary if you are adding piping but is VERY helpful if you are adding ric-rac. If you are adding piping instead, skip down to step #35.

30Grab your Wonder Tape or glue pen and apply it to your prewashed ric-rac.

31. Carefully apply the ric-rac to your seam line.  Make sure to start at the front of the collar. You want the valley of the ric-rack located on the inside of the collar to just barely cover the seam line.  You can stretch the ric-rac slightly around the curves to make it fit.
32. With right sides together, place your bottom collar piece on top of your ric-rac making a ric-rac sandwich.  Stitch the outer curved edge using a ¼" seam allowance.  Turn your collar right side out.

33. You might end up with Wonder Tape or glue showing on the outside.  
34.  Place a pin or Wonder Clip into the ric-rac tail at the front of your collar so you can remember which end if the front.  Then, carefully wash away the Wonder Tape or glue with warm water.  Pat to dry and then hang from the back ric-rac tail to dry all the way.  Make sure to keep the pin in place so that you know which end is the front when you are ready to sew the collars onto the dress.  
If you are not applying piping to your collar you are now done with today's lesson. Skip down to the bottom for directions on how to add your picture to the Facebook album and a chance to win a prize.

35. If applying piping add the piping to the right side of one of the collar pieces. Make sure to line up the raw edges of the collar with the raw edges of the piping. Keep track of which is the front of the collar. This does make a difference. Mark it with something if need be.

36. Clip around curves to make your application smooth.

37. Using a basting stitch and your piping/zipper foot baste your piping onto your collar.

38. Place the other collar piece, right sides together, on top of your collar and piping, creating a piping sandwich

39. Using your piping/zipper foot again, stitch as close to the cording as you can. Since the piping has a ¼" seam allowance this will create the ¼" seam allowance needed for your collar. Don't forget to shorten your stitches from basting in the previous step. Go slow and be careful.

40.Trim down your seam and clip your curves. Repeat with the other collar.

41. Turn your collars right side out and press well. Make sure to keep track of what is the front and what is the back of each collar. I used Wonder Clips here for that purpose.

We are done with our first lesson.  Woo hoo!  Great job!  Check back here tomorrow for lesson two. 

* If you would like to enter the prize drawing, please make sure you submit a picture of your completed lesson one to the Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CT, Monday, May 9th. Also, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

Thanks for sewing with me,
Danielle Storm

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