Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feliz sew-along part deux: The prep

Various parts of this sew-along can be found here:

Feliz part 1: Yardage
Feliz part 2: Prep
Feliz part 3:Overdress
Feliz part 4: Underdress
Feliz part 5: Straps and final assembly

The pattern tracing. This is a european pattern, so you have to trace it out and you have to add seam allowance. I am making size 86/92 this time around. It seems to teeny to me, but then i'm not used to having a 2-yr old anymore.

Tracing tips - there are an endless number of ways to do this. I use a huge roll of butcher paper that I picked up at Costco many years ago. I have heard of everything from clear plastic, to tissue paper, pattern-ease, and soil separator being used. It doesn't really matter, use whatever works for you.

I trace the pieces, then add my seam allowance using a clear quilting ruler. This method words for me because I like to be able to see the lines through my ruler. I like to add 1/2" seam allowance to all my pieces. You can do 5/8", 1/4" or whatever you are used to, doesn't matter - what matters is that you sew your seams to whatever seam allowance you have added.

Some people prefer to use tracing pencils - you can pick them up at many stores that sell sewing notions. These can be purchased in 1/4" and 5/8" versions in the US.

Another option I can think of is a tracing guide for a rotary cutter. I haven't seen one of these d0ohickies in awhile, but it's a guide that attaches to a rotary cutter and used in quilting applications. The guide follows the edge of the pattern pieces, the blade meanwhile is set to cut 1/2" away (or whatever you set it to). You have to be pretty careful when you are cutting out using this method.

Finally (yes there is one more option), you can use a tracing wheel. In this case you are running the wheel over the pattern lines and poking little holes or perforations into your tracing which you can then trace over with a pencil later.

Now to the cutting. I'm going to report the pattern pieces here, in English just in case you don't read german. No? Ok ~ I think a repost is in order.

Here is the pattern piece list:

1 - Front Strap ~ cut 4
2 - Back Strap ~ cut 4
3 - Front Center Overdress ~ cut 1 on fold
3a - Front/Back center underdress ~ cut 2 on fold
4 - Side section overdress ~ cut 2 on fold
4a - Side section underdress ~ cut 2 on fold
5 - Back center facing underdress ~ cut 1 on fold
6 - Ties ~ cut 2 on fold
7 - Back side facing overdress ~ cut 2 (remember to cut one on right side and one on the wrong side of fabric, so you end up with one in each orientation)

That's the list. You may want to add ruffles to the back or bottom of the dress as shown on these flickr examples. I am adding 4" ruffles to the back and bottom of my dress. So I have cut out 4" wide strips x 45" length (basically across my yardage). I usually plan ruffles to be 2x the width I am covering so they are nice and full. But you can do more or less fullness, that's up to you. You will need at least a few 4" wide strips in this case.

Ok I'm off to cut out my pattern pieces. I should add that I always use a rotary cutter and pattern weights to hold down my pieces. I haven't cut out using pins and scissors in over a decade. I discovered rotary cutters on a strip quilting project ages ago and never looked back. You don't have to do this, but it sure makes the job alot easier and no pinning is involved. You do need a self sealing cutting mat though - be forewarned ~ lest you ruin your grandma's beloved antique dining table. Yikes.

Stay tuned for part three!
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