We're nearing the end of another wonderful sewalong folks, and they only seem to keep on getting better! We've been dragging this one out a bit with only one post per week; we really wanted to make sure everyone had ample time to get involved and up to speed - that, and we just might have been working round the clock getting ready to send off a new pattern to the printers...
Anyway... Today, kids, we will be:
- Assembling the skirt panels
- Flawlessly hand stitching the thigh high split
- Joining the skirt to the bodice at the waistline
Assembling the skirt - variations 2 & 3 - no thigh high split!
This part is wonderfully straightforward and even pretty mindless and meditative, as long as you know which panel is going where. Before you even begin, make 100 billion % sure that you have snipped all notches from the skirt pattern pieces. To help you even more, you could mark the wrong sides of your skirt panels with their relevant pattern letters or descriptions (eg. mark the skirt centre front as CF, skirt side front as SF etc).
Begin by laying out your skirt centre front piece, wrong side facing you, on a large flat surface - your cutting table or a clean floor is ideal. Now take your two skirt side front pieces and lay them out, also with the wrong side facing you, on either side of the centre front, matching the notches at the side seams.
Pinch the side seams together, so the right sides of the fabric are together, and pin all the way down each seam. Stitch into place from the waistline down, press open and finish the excess seam allowance. If you are French seaming your Anna Dress, remember to apply the same French seam technique outlined in the last post to the skirt panels.
Lay out your skirt again, wrong side facing you, and now pin the skirt side back pieces into place, on either side of the skirt side front, in the same way. Stitch, press and finish.
Lastly, repeat this same process with the skirt centre back pieces. Do not close the centre back seam yet - that's where the zipper's got to go!
Assembling the skirt - with the thigh high split!
When we designed this pattern, we genuinely didn't think that many of you would go for the thigh high split... Oh, but how wrong we were! We clearly underestimated how racy you lot really are and we salute all of you and your sexy leg flashes thus far!
Having said that, it's no quick n easy feat to give that thigh high spilt the flawless finish it so deserves... But we think you'll all agree, it is most definitely worth it.
First of all, you'll need to decide where you want your split - up the left leg or the right? Or both maybe...? Or how about up the side seams for a truly 90s rave vibe?! As a guide, we have placed a notch to mark where we like our split between the centre front and side front skirt panels. But it's totally up to you.
With right sides together, pin and stitch skirt panels, with the usual 5/8" or 15mm seam allowance, from the waistline down, stopping at the point your split will start. Press this seam open, and continue to press in each raw edge along each side of the split.
Now carefully fold in and finger press that raw edged excess seam allowance, pinning into place as you go.
Take your handsewing needle and some thread matching the colour of your fabric as closely as possible. Blindstitch each length (gonna need some serious patience for this...).
Now join all remaining skirt panels as outlined above, and give it a good press.
Joining the skirt to the bodice
Lay out your skirt, right side facing you. Now place your bodice, right side facing down, over the skirt so the raw waistline edges meet. Pin into place, matching the open centre back, side seams, back bodice darts matching the skirt side back seams and the skirt side front seams matching the innermost bodice pleats, easing in the fullness as you go.
Carefully stitch into place, press the seam open and finish.
Don't forget, if you're French seaming, this technique can also be applied to the waistline.
You should, by now, have something very much resembling a dress! All that's left for next week is inserting the zipper, hemming and a couple of finishing touches. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!