Welcome to post #3 of the Doodle Dress Sew Along for Butterick Pattern 3350! There is no video this week, mainly because I found it nearly impossible to video today’s important stuff WHILE doing it (it’s just me here at this lil’ ol’ blog – no videographer YET). I also thought explanation and pictures would work well for today’s topics.
If you’re just joining us, go ahead and get started with POST 1 and POST 2.
Gathering and attaching the skirt.
Let me assure you, gathering should not be that challenging. Read on so you don’t have to go through what I did.
Assembling the skirt: If you’re sewing view G with me, open up your instructions to step 4. The reason this part was challenging for me was twofold: First, my machine doesn’t give me very long stitches. I just can’t seem to get them long enough to gather easily. Second, there were a couple of gathering tricks and tips I didn’t have when I started. I have them now and I will be passing them on to you in the hopes that you don’t have as frustrating an experience as I did!
Okay, the first step in #4 is to sew the two skirt back sections together, leaving an opening at the top (which is where the zipper will go). If you haven’t removed your pattern piece from the cut fabric yet (I hope you haven’t) mark where the large dot is on the fabric before you remove it.
You really can make the zipper go as far down into the skirt as you want, I’m told, but I used their marking. Then remove the pattern pieces and with right sides of the two back sections together, sew up to the dot. I back-stitched for all sewing in this project except the gathering and basting stitches.
Now, per the instructions sew your front and back skirt pieces together: place them right sides together then stitch down each side. Here is mine. You are looking at the back section on top with the front section underneath, right sides together and the two sides sewn together.
NOW, to the gathering. I had to use my seam ripper quite a bit because I didn’t know that you probably shouldn’t gather over the seams of the skirt (thank you sewing super star sister-in-law) so first of all, make the gathering easy on yourself and start and stop OVER the side seams, Secondly, I will show you pictures of my gathering but rather than explain it myself, I want to share with you the easiest way I found to do it from a pro. It wasn’t until I used her method that I was able to stop seam ripping bad gathers and move on! Head on over to The Seasoned Homemaker and use her gathering instructions. Follow her VERY easy to understand steps, don’t gather over the seams, and I think you will do JUST FINE! Here is my skirt all gathered and ready to be attached to the bodice!
Attaching the skirt to the bodice: The picture in the Butterick Pattern instructions makes no sense for this step unless you have already done this so let me try to explain it. Pull the bodice lining up out of the way, take the gathered skirt and slip it up under the bodice, right sides facing and so that the waist of the skirt and the bodice meet, and the bottom of the skirt is pointed toward the top of the bodice (so the skirt is fully under the bodice). Make sure the lining is out of the way – you are NOT sewing the lining at all. And make sure that you have lined up the side seams of the skirt with the side seams of the bodice. This is what mine looked like.
NOW you can follow the instructions. Stitch the waist of the skirt to the bodice waist with your normal 5/8 seam allowance and then stitch again 1/4 inch away in the seam allowance. Trim close to your stitches and then press the seam toward the bodice.
When you open out the dress and turn it right-side-out it will look like this!
Next week we will sew the zipper in, attach the lining, hem the bottom and that little girl will have her dress!!! This is where it gets really exciting because it looks like a dress now! I’ll see you next week to finish this up. I’ll try to be on time next week!