It’s official. I can’t follow a pattern without tweaking it, not even my own pattern. This version has several extra flourishes, small details only a sewist might notice which are not printed in the pattern but do add a nice air of “quality” to the finished dress. I also tested an alternate grain of fabric for the skirt. There’s very little I can say about this dress at this point, but I did want to show you a few small techniques that can be applied to a plain-sewn garment to make it just a little sweeter.
Ok- taping the inseam pocket seams with fusible stay tape is written into the pattern. It keeps the pocket opening from drooping over time, which is especially important in a jersey fabric. This time, I went a little crazy using some decorative stitches on my machine to understitch this seam. I might suggest choosing one and sticking to it for a less “batty” appearance- though my pockets aren’t really all that visible from the outside. I like to do this sometimes for the fun of it, but also because more stitches = greater durability and shape retention on the high-stress seam.
Tagging with Lace and Ribbon
I started tagging Lila’s little clothes around the time she started dressing herself. It helps her tell the front from the back of the shirt. Surprise, surprise, a little snip of ribbon at the back neck of a shirt makes a huge difference to the overall look of the finished garment (to me, if to no one else). I started doing it in my own clothes, too. Sunni wrote about this a little while ago, be sure to check it out if you missed it before.
When I was stitching this Tiramisu, I couldn’t find any white or light ribbon in my sewing room. My eyes fell on this bit of guipure lace trim. Without thinking about it too long, I trimmed out one motif and stitched it into the back neck binding seam.
It’s a handy (and invisible) way to secure all sorts of little flappy bits in the sewing- neck facings, inner waistbands, lace tag motifs. The trick is to press carefully, pin on a flat surface with the right side of the garment facing you, and then to stitch exactly in the “ditch” or seamline.
Until fairly recently, I “hated” twin needling. I had plenty of excuses for not using them. While I liked the finish (and the flexibility) that a twin-needle topstitch provides, I always dragged my feet about actually doing it. Then I started twin-needling everything I could get my hands on, to see what would happen. Then I realized that once I felt comfortable setting up the twin needle, switching from a single only took a minute, tops.
I saved all the twin-needling at the binding seams to do all at one time- neck, sleeves, and shoulder seam. I might have gone a little overboard, but I find top-stitching these seams in construction (single needle or double) makes for a neater wash-n-wear experience. When I pull this dress out of the washing machine, the seams are where I left them, not all over the place. It’s a small thing, but I find it makes a difference over time.
Cut of the Skirt
The half-circle skirt on the Tiramisu Dress Pattern has both a CF and CB seam, to allow for fun chevron effects with striped fabric, and because it allows for a scroogy cutting layout. For this Tira, I didn’t cut the skirt that way.
I laid the CF/CB of the skirt pattern on the crosswise fold of fabric. There’s no reason I laid it out on the crosswise fold except the simple fact that’s all the blue polka dot jersey I had left. I made sure to “eliminate” the seam allowance by allowing it to overhang the folded fabric.
I think the drape came out just fine, if perhaps a little less “rippled” than the original cut. If you’re a draping or pattern nerd, check out this great post on skirt grain including a handy little diagram which shows the way grain affects drape on skirts.
With the pattern shipping to you all this week, and the rollout of many other things I’ve been working on, I feel like I can start to plan a bit for future blog fun. I’d like to run a sewalong for this dress, maybe come January. The other day, Tilly wrote a post about how to fit sewing into a busy lifestyle. Her suggestion is to buy a kitchen timer, set it for 15 minutes and use it to cultivate a habit of sewing daily. I like this, and I think it would work well for a Tiramisu Dress Sewalong. Are you interested? How does the second week in January sound? Should we do 15 minutes or 20, or 30? Let me know what you think and I’ll work out the details!
What’s your favorite way to spice up a TNT you’ve made half a dozen times?
The Tiramisu Dress Pattern is available for sale on Etsy, shipping this week and continually.