It’s our last sewing post! By the end of this you’ll have a finished Myrtle. Hooray!
Today we’ll be installing the elastic waist, hemming and finishing.
Create Elastic Flap
We will start by stitching a flap on the waistline to cover the elastic. It requires sewing in much further from the edge than we usually do, so we’ll use some masking tape, painters tape or washi tape to mark our seam allowance.
Your skirt should still be tucked inside your bodice with the waist edges lined up, the way it was positioned when you attached your skirt.
1) First, mark 1 3/8” away from the waist seam line.
2) Put the dress in your machine as if to sew and align the mark with the needle. Hand crank the needle down towards your fabric so you can really see where the needle will hit. Put a piece of tape on your machine even and parallel with the outside edge of your fabric. Now you can use the tape as your sewing reference, and just keep the edge of the fabric along it as you sew.
4) Pin the waist. Pin all the way around the waist edge, making sure all the layers are smooth and flat.
5) Create flap. Stitch all the way around, using your tape for reference. Make sure all three layers are smooth and flat as you sew. It will help to stretch everything ever so slightly as you sew, because the skirt is slightly bigger than the bodice pieces, and it’s easy to accidentally get little puckers on the underside.
1) Cut elastic. Size a length of 1″ elastic around your waist, pulling it to a comfortable snugness and overlapping the ends by 3/8”. Cut.
2) Sew elastic together. Overlap the ends 3/8” and zigzag them together. Backstitch several times to make it strong and secure.
3) Pin elastic. Slip the elastic circle around the skirt. Place it so that it is just under the little waist flap you made. Align the join in the elastic with a side seam. The elastic is smaller than the skirt, so you will need to stretch it to make it fit. Stretch the elastic and pin it to the skirt.
4) Pin flap. Fold the flap down over the elastic, transferring the pins as you go.
5) Sew flap down. Slip the whole dress over your machine. (It helps to slide off your accessories box if you can.) Edge stitch along the flap to seal in the elastic, stretching the elastic as you sew so that the fabric layers are flat. Do not catch the elastic in the seam. You should be able to feel the edge of it with your finger.
If you find that stretching and sewing at the same time is too difficult, you can just sew small sections at a time, and then keep scooting the gathers of the waistband fabric to other sections. In other words, keep the section going under the needle flat by adjusting the elastic and fabric to reposition the extra fabric elsewhere. You will need to occasionally pull more elastic out from underneath the front of the machine. (This will make sense once you are sewing.)
6) Secure elastic. Turn your dress right side out. Adjust the gathers as needed so that they are evenly distributed around the waist. Stitch in the ditch over the waistband in each side seam to secure the elastic. (Stitching in the ditch is stitching directly in a previous seam.)
For more help with the elastic waistband, check out this video on the Coletterie.
1) Prep the hem. Fold the bottom edge 1” to the wrong side, pin, and press.
2) Sew the hem. Use a twin needle, coverstitch or hemming option of your choice to hem.
1) Give everything a good press from the inside. Avoid pressing a crease in the top fold of the cowl, as it will affect the way it hangs.
2) For V2, hand stitch a button to each end of the shoulder tab, close to where it attaches to the dress.
Pass the tab under the shoulder, around the bodice and back under the shoulder, then button. The button will end up on the inside of the dress.
1) When you insert the elastic, you will place it above the flap at the waist and fold the flap up to cover the elastic. For extra help with the elastic waistband, check out this video on the Coletterie.
2) You do not need to hem with a twin needle. Simple press the bottom edge 1/2″ towards the wrong side, then 1/2″ again, and stitch down.
That’s it! You made a Myrtle!
Put on your dress, do a happy dance, and add a picture to the Colette Patterns Flickr Pool! Next Tuesday (after Labor Day here in the U.S.) we’ll do a parade post of some of your beautiful work.