December 1, 2015

Girl's Smocked Dress Sew-Along #9: Hem sleeves and skirt

You're back! That's good, because it would be a shame to give up now. We're in the home stretch of our BurdaStyle Girl's Smocked Dress Sew-Along.

Ready to apply the finishing touches to the last raw edges of this thing?
In this installment, you will hem the skirt, finish the sleeves, and optionally secure the sleeve rolls with permanent stitches.

Hem the skirt

Ever hemmed a skirt before? Great, do it. This is an easy job, because the hem is straight as opposed to curved (such as the hem on an A-line or circle skirt).

Wanna try something new? Check out all these different ways one can hem a skirt. Be adventurous: choose one you've never done before!

As for me, I finished the raw edge with the same rayon seam binding that appears in the rest of the garment. Then I applied a machine blind stitch. This is appropriate here, because it's a good sturdy stitch for a garment that will see a lot of movement and repeated washings.

Rayon seam binding and machine blind hem stitch.

Hem (and maybe roll) the sleeves

Again, the raw edge of the sleeves is a straight line, so your easy options for finishing the edges abound. I know you've finished a sleeve before. Apply one of the hemming methods above, or use any of the go-to techniques already in your arsenal. 

It will come as no surprise that I finished the raw edge in rayon seam binding. But I didn't proceed to hem it, no no.

Instead, I rolled the sleeves twice, so that the rayon-bound raw edge doesn't show at all. Notice that the stylist on the original BurdaStyle Girl's Smocked Dress 08/2015 #137 photo did the same.

Then, to keep the roll in place, I hand-sewed tiny fell stitches on the outside. A fell stitch is sort of like a slipstitch, but the visible side goes straight up and down (as opposed to the diagonal look of a slipstitch). The Tailoress shows you how to sew a fell stitch.

Sleeve rolled twice, then secured with eensy weensy fell stitches that are nearly invisible from the outside.

The "wrong side" of the fell stitches are visible on the inside. However, this side will never see the light of day, unless the kid is wearing the dress inside out -- which she totally could, because we meticulously finished every single seam, so the wrong side is gorgeous, too. 

Oh horrors, you can see the fell stitches aren't 100% straight. Revoke my couture atelier artisan's card immediately!

Did that just happen?

Here's the deal: we're done. This garment is ready to wear! 

It would be entirely appropriate if you were to indulge the sudden urge to run outside, shout victoriously up and down the street with the dress clutched in your hands, and draw your neighbors into an impromptu champion's parade.

Hooray for you! Seriously. 

In the next and final installment, I'll post pictures of my finished dress. And I encourage you to do the same! We'll have a smocked dress show-and-tell with ample back-pats and congratulations all around.

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