OK, are you ready to sew yet? Let’s start by reading the helpful directions:
1. Finish all edges of the cut out pieces with zig zag or four-thread overcast stitch.
What? That is completely unnecessary. Skip that.
2. With right sides together, place the upper front and back pieces onto the middle dress pieces and stitch. Press the seam allowance upwards and topstitch.
Easy enough. This is where you will be glad you marked your pattern pieces. Find (1) and (3) and right sides together, pin the bottom of (1) to the top of (3):
Stitch the two together, zig zag or serge and then press upward. A little hint about pressing. Start on the wrong side and press the seam upward and then flip it over and press it again. It makes it lay nicely. Then topstitch if you want. Because we are adding a Euro ruffle over the seam it’s not necessary but if you are a stickler for rules by all means do it.
Repeat for the back pieces.
Let’s talk about Euro ruffles. I am not a big fan of the rolled hem look. I think it is cute as a lettuce hem on knits but don’t really care for the look on regular cotton. It just looks messy to me, I think because my mom taught me to sew and you just didn’t do that. Fortunately, Heather taught me a way to do Euro ruffles that is slightly more tolerable.
Take your strips, fold them on the long side, right sides together and stitch. Turn them right side out and press so that the seam is fairly middle down the back. You do not need to do anything to the ends. Run two stitches of gathering stitches on either side, but leave the middle free. For gathering, I use an upholstery thread (thanks Tom!) in a weird color so I can see it easily to take it out later. A gathering stitch (also called a basting stitch) is just the longest stitch on your machine. This is what your strips should look like:
Line up the ends with the end of the jumper so that the ruffle will lay across the seam. Gently pull at the gathering stitches with a seam ripper and pin to the bodice. Stitch right down the middle of the ruffle. I hold the ruffle down with two fingers, trying not to stitch the upholstery thread (or my fingers!):
Take out the gathering stitches and you’ve got a Euro ruffle! I guess it’s not too bad, but it’s still not my favorite.
Repeat for the back.
3. Stitch the lower front and back pieces onto the middle dress pieces in the same way. Press the seam allowance upwards and topstitch.
This time I am going to add the ruffle before I stitch. Take your strip and fold it lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch along the ends and turn right side out and press.
Run two sets of gathering stitches on the raw edge side of the strip. I usually start this 5/8 inch from the edge, so I don’t run over my gathering stitches when I sew the ruffle on. Pin the ruffle to the top of the lower piece (4), gently pulling at the gathering stitches. Sew the ruffle on the lower piece (4), making sure to sew closer than your seam allowance so the stitches don’t show. Because my seam allowance was 1/4 inch, I sewed the ruffle on at 1/8 inch. Take out the gathering stitches.
Pin the top of the lower piece (4) to the bottom of the middle piece (3), right sides together, sandwiching the ruffle in between. This is what the two pieces look like without the ruffle.
Just flip it over and pin. Here is what they look like pinned with the ruffle in between.
So sew the pieces together, zig zag or serge the edges, press upward and topstitch. Repeat for the back pieces.
Now we are at the end of Part Two and we only completed steps 3 out of 14, but don’t be disappointed. Look at what we have done so far!
Look how cute it is already! And now that we are done with ruffles, it will go a lot quicker, I promise.