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Rhapsody Sewalong Day 3: french seams and dress hack
Today we’re going to cover two things: french seams and the dress hack.
When you first learned to sew the phrase ‘right sides together!’ was probably drilled into your head. Well, today we’re going to throw that out the window. We’ll be constructing the Rhapsody with french seams. This process will enclose the seams using just a sewing machine and just one extra step (not counting ironing). This is such a classy finish.
You should note that the side seams of the Rhapsody include a half inch seam allowance instead of the standard 3/8″ allowance that other Love Notions patterns use. We need this extra width for the french seams.
Align your side seams WRONG sides together and stitch 1/4″ seam allowance on both side seams. Now, trim that 1/4″ to 1/8″.
Carefully press the seam allowance to on side. If you’re working with a fabric that frays, such as chiffon, you’ll want to be very careful handling so the remaining 1/8″ seam allowance doesn’t fray past the stitching.
Turn the bodice wrong sides out so the right sides are facing and press the side seams.
Stitch a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seams to one side.
That’s it! You have now done french seams. Not too bad, right? You can use this finish through the rest of the construction except for the sleeves.
Rhapsody Dress Hack
Now that we’ve got the bodice side seams sewn we’re ready for the dress construction. If you haven’t done so yet, sew up your skirt side seams. You may either do french seams or use a 1/2″ seam allowance with a serger.
As I mentioned on Day 1, the dress hack uses a elastic waist casing just like the Pemberley Tunic. Turn your skirt wrong side out and your bodice right side out. Slip the bodice inside the skirt so right sides are facing. Be sure the skirt front and bodice front are aligned correctly.
Align and pin side seams and then pin around the rest of the waist. The skirt and bodice should line up pretty well without any stretching.
Straight stitch around the waist 1/2″ from the raw edge. The raw edge of the waistline should be finished to prevent fraying. Either use the overcast stitch on your sewing machine or serger (be sure not to trim away the fabric if serging).
Pull bodice out from inside skirt and press the new casing up.
Straight stitch the top of the casing 1/8″ from the edge. Start and end at the back, leaving a 1-2″ opening to insert the elastic.
Wrap the 3/8″ wide knit elastic around your waist and cut it 2-3″ smaller. Attach the elastic to a bodkin or safety pin. Insert the elastic into the casing the thread it through.
Once the elastic is threaded through overlap the ends and zig-zag stitch the ends together. Before closing the opening try the dress on and decide if the elastic feels good.
Close up the opening with a straight stitch, being careful not to catch the elastic in the stitching. Adjust the casing so the elastic is evenly stretched throughout.