Lila likes to “sew” with me, assembling her tools and requesting fabric scraps. She’s quite orderly for a four-year-old. The other day, she listed off her tools in a chirpy voice before diving into her “work”: “Pins, yes, fabric, yes, clapper, yes, OH!” She jumped down and ran into her room. She ran back, perched on her chair and set her last piece of equipment on the table-
Then she used her pink kid’s camera to take photos of everything she did with the pins, fabric and clapper. (She pretends the clapper is an actual iron.) I wonder if she thinks everyone sews with a camera…
That’s what I did today! I’m enjoying The Tux Dress construction and thought I’d share some of the detail work- little things that are easily overlooked and not often shared.
I changed the front neckline to a deep, steep V-neck. I measured down from the CF neck to the same depth I used in the muslin. I marked it with a dot, and drew the new neckline and seam allowance.
This is the original front facing piece, layered on top of the “side front” piece. The facing doesn’t have a seam in the same place the outer garment has a seam, it would be too bulky for no reason. I marked the “side front” seamlines on the facing piece.
I traced the new front facing piece and smoothed off the interior corner where the two pieces join for a nice smooth line.
Once I cut and assembled the facings, I overlocked/serged the outer edges to prevent fraying. That’s the minimum I do to a facing, sometimes I use bias-binding on the outer edges, and sometimes I trim the edges. The overlocking looked too ugly for a dress like this, even though it’s on the inside. With a nod to the French Maid outfit I’m trying to avoid making, I trimmed the edges with lace.
I took a few shots to show how to miter a trim or lace around the corner. This works best with lightweight trims. When you are very close to the corner, place a pin. See the pin above the flower pin? Then carefully fold the trim diagonally so the trim is precisely opposite of the edge you want to trim. The photo says more than words can.
This dickey is a completely superfluous piece of flim-flammery that serves no structural purpose for this dress except to please our whims for a Tux Dress. I’m treating it as an embellishment, which is semi-detachable. I’ll hand-sew it on so I can remove it at will.
I traced the upper section of the CF dress piece. I’d like to say I was scientific and used golden ratios to figure out the length, but I just traced the front section to the “lengthen/shorten” line. I’m making the longer dickey from yesterday’s muslin post.
To create the wing collar, I traced a line on the CF piece to show where I wanted the wing collar- more or less.
I added a CF seamline and drew a few lines where I want tucks. It doesn’t matter where I draw them, as long as they’re straight and I think evenly spaced works well for this dickey. I would also draw lines like this on any pattern piece if I wanted to add lace insertion, tucks, or any other “heirloom” type stitching.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted 1/2″ (1.2mm) tucks or smaller- so I made a few 1/2″ tucks on a piece of drafting medium. Sometimes I simply tuck the fabric before cutting, that works too. I was feeling chicken, so I tested it before cutting my fabric.
I used it to cut the dickey piece. Again, you can also just pre-pleat the fabric and skip making a funny pattern piece, or make a funny pattern piece. But it works for just about anywhere you’d like to add pleats.
I faced the dickey with some interfaced white cotton cut from the “no pleats” dickey pattern piece.
Just a little preview! I added a little band of white at the neck for the suggestion of a collar, and I’ll take a little time trimming and turning the edges again, some places need help.
My camera is very irritating at the moment. I don’t want to talk about it, but I do want to apologize because I can see the photos aren’t gorgeously crisp and it drives me insane. Soon, soon, soon I will be asking you all for camera referrals.
Do you consider your camera a vital sewing tool?
If you haven’t already, do check out the Frock Out Giveaway- you could win a 50’s dress and pretty fabric rose pin, just tell me about your favorite dress. And Brisbane crafters- aren’t you excited? Frock Out is so soon- this Saturday! If you haven’t yet registered but you’re planning to attend, do let me know so I bring enough silk!