Guest post by Patricia from WonderMirakel
When Melissa announced the 10k Sewebration in our Sofilantjes Sew & Show Facebook group, I was excited even though I was not entering the contest. I had the perfect fabrics for the first weeks challenge! Their both navy blue with gold woven fabrics by Michael Miller.
My girls are all about twirling dresses, so when I announced I’d be making holiday dresses they wanted dresses to twirl in. It didn’t take me long to convince them to go for the Amare Dress even though it doesn’t twirl. The Amare Tunic and Dress is one of the forgotten beauties that Anne has designed so far.
Instead of making it with a long panel in the front I made a separate bodice and skirt, so the skirt would be in one piece. My oldest requested a Maxi Dress, so I delivered…
Today I will explain to you how I did this and also give you an alternative way for the handsewing of the lining.
Let’s start by explaining which patternpieces you need for this.
For the bodice you cut out de side panels as explained in the instructions. For the front panel you cut your main fabric like the lining fabric: there’s a cutting line on the pattern pieces for the lining; you cut your main fabric AND your lining on this marking.
For the skirt you only need one rectangular piece of fabric. To determine the measurements you first sew up the front panel and side panels. You then measure the length (from the edge of one side panel all the way to the other edge of the side panel). You double this length to determine the width of the skirt. For the length you either keep the length as stated in the instructions or if you want to make a Maxi Dress you need to measure your child. The best way to do this is to make a muslin with the lining (this is recommended anyway) fit it and then measure from the edge of the muslin to your child’s feet, add seam allowance (3/8 at the bodice and 1″ for the hem).
Other pattern pieces as listed in the instructions.
Sewing the bodice
You will construct the bodice as one part, no skirt pieces needed yet.
You will need to mix up the order of the instructions quite a bit, but you actually just need to follow instructions. I will try to give you the order in which you need to sew. Together with your instructions of the pattern you will see it’s not that difficult.
Main fabric bodice: add the bow or sash ties & sew side panels to front panel.
Lining fabric: you already have sewn this as a muslin and to determine the measurements of the skirt.
Now go to the instructions step: “sewing main and lining together”.
Sew all steps, but stop where it says to “place side seams of side bodice lining and main right sides together and sew”.
Your bodice should look like the picture above.
Sewing the skirt
With the bodice all sewn up, we are ready to attach the skirt. This is how I did it.
Sew gathering rows & gather the top of the skirt to match the bodice. Mark the middle of the bodice (main fabric only!) and skirt before gathering.
With right sides together pin the main fabric of the bodice and skirt together. Bottom of the bodice and top of the skirt with raw edges aligned. Start with pinning from the middle towards the side seams. Make sure your lining is out of the way. Sew main fabric of bodice and skirt together.
Close side seams of the bodice
First fold up the lining 3/8″ and press (see instructions). Now you are ready to close the side seams of bodice: place side seams of side bodice lining and main right sides together and sew (keep the lining folded up).
Clean finish of the lining
Call me lazy, but I really dislike handsewing. So instead of attaching the lining by hand, I used my sewing machine and I was left by just two little holes to close by hand. This is how I did this.
What you need to do is encase the dress between the bodice lining and bodice main fabric.
Some photo’s to help you visualise on how to do this.
Roll up the skirt part.
Make the roll as thin as possible; this will make the sewing later on that much easier.
It doesn’t really matter if you roll it upwards with the right side facing down or up.
(you can do this step first as well, I’m just following my photo tutorial)
Pull the lining away from the main fabric.
This picture shows you the dress with the wrong sides of main and lining fabric facing down. This is what you need for the next step.
Take the bottom raw edge of the bodice lining and fold it all the way towards the roll you made with the skirt.
When you keep folding over this raw edge you’re actually making the roll a bit firmer. Your raw edge of the lining should meet the raw edge of the main fabric; the part where the bodice and skirt are attached.
If you did this correct, your dress should now be completely encased between the lining and the main fabric.
Now start pinning the raw edges together.
To make sure the lining and the main fabric are aligned, start pinning at the seams of the front & side panels. Make sure the seams of the lining and main fabric are matched up. Then continue pinning the rest and leave open a small gap on one side and a larger gap on the other side. The larger gap will be your turning hole. The small gap has to stay open to create a perfect finish after turning the dress right side out.
Now you sew all the way for your turning hole to the small gap. Have the main fabric on top, so you can see the sewing line where the bodice and skirt are attached. Sew just next to that sewing line. I used my presser foot as a reference.
Photo 3. shows you the turning hole & photo 4. the small gap.
Now pull the dress through the turning hole.
You will now close the turning hole and the small gap by handstitching it with an invisible stitch.
You could also choose to use the “stitch in the ditch” technique. But why would you have bothered all these steps, if you are now going to risk losing the perfect clean finish of the lining you have so far…
Only thing left to do is close the skirt and add buttons or snaps. Use the instructions of the pattern.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. I’m very curious to see who else likes the Amare Tunic and Dress!
For those interested: there are still a few days left to enter the 3rd week of the 10k sewebration.
Check out our Facebook group for more details!