Pages

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Grecian Skater


(Woohoo! This is my 400th post!)

When I stitched up my prototype Lady Skater Dress, this sleeveless cowl-neck version was already jumping around in my mind. So, I made it.


 The fit is different due to the fabric - a plain old jersey instead of a beefy lycra jersey with lots of recovery. This jersey wanted to hang, so I ended up raising the waist seam an inch, and could have gone with more.

I drafted the cowl a while ago to use with some tops and just stole it for this dress. In retrospect, I really wish I had made a more dramatic cowl.



The armholes were a little gapy, so I did something I've never done before: I finished them with FOE, using the technique you would use to face with bias tape, except I stretched the FOE ever so slightly to just barely snug in the armhole.


I left the inside edge of the cowl raw, but how to finish the back neckline? In previous tops, I actually made the back neckline cowled, too. But here, I wanted a simple back neckline. Usually I would coverstich a simple hem like this, but I always feel a narrow neckline "hem" is more likely to flip out than a pant or skirt hem, revealing the less-than-appealing coverstitching.

So, I decided to finish this with FOE, as with the armholes. FOE works perfectly here because it's stretchy (if you want to gather it) and it stabilizes the fabric so you can use your regular needle. Awesome.

In this case, I cut the FOE to the exact length of the back neckline. In the photos below, I'll show you the FOE finish, plus how I enclosed the shoulder seams in the cowl.


1. Pin and stitch the FOE to the right side of the neckline. Stitch about 1/8" from the edge. (Pinning is optional - I actually took the pins out after I took this photo.) 


2. Press the FOE out. Then press it over to the inside, creating a clean, smooth edge. 


3. Stitch the free edge of the FOE down (from either the right side or the wrong side). 


4. Lay out your front bodice with cowl, right side up.


 5. Find the lower leg of the v-shape. This is the shoulder. Pin the back bodice shoulder to the front bodice shoulder right sides together.





6. Fold the upper leg of the v down over the shoulder edge, carefully aligning the edges. Re-pin.


7. Stitch. I serged here, but I machine-stitched my other shoulder, to get closer to the edge, which is better for when you do the next step:


8. Turn the shoulder pieces right side out.


9. Repeat for the other shoulder.




If you want to try your hand at drafting and changing patterns, I highly recommend Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele Margolis. I probably learned more from this book than any other sewing book. It's inexpensive and gives you the tools to do drafting all the way from scratch, or to just change up patterns when the fancy strikes.

23 comments:

  1. The dress works well on you. Cowls are a neckline I tend to play with a lot and find it depends on how I've cut the fabric, because I'm not that accurate.
    Your cowl is delicate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - cowls are fun to play around with; you never know what you're going to get!

      Delete
  2. great dress and you are so clever.Lovely summer colour too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow that is a great tip with the FOE and one I am likely to use as I have a little stash of the stuff. Thanks for the book recommendation, too. When I am abit more confident with my sewing I would like to try some drafting. Your dress is a beautiful colour, btw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have just a few yards of FOE, but haven't been using it for its "regular" use, so am glad I found another use.

      Delete
  4. That's a lovely summer Dress!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It'a such a fantastic colour and a great tip with the FOE... I just got some the other day.. first time I've seen it here so I'll be using that tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and good luck trying the FOE.

      Delete
  6. The FOE for finishing the armholes and back neckline is genius! I'll have to give it a go. The dress is lovely...that shade of blue looks great on you.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. And, yeah - the FOE worked so much better than woven tape or coverstitching in this case.

      Delete
  7. You look lovely in this dress! The shape and colour really flatter you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome dress. I really need to pick up this pattern. Your color choice is perfect too. Thanks for the tips on the FOE. I need to try that method sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! This pattern definitely has a lot of potential.

      Delete
  9. Lovely! Great colour and interesting to see how you've used FOE. I've also used clear elastic on the back neckline and armholes too, that was the Maria Denmark way in the Day to Night Drape top which is also a sleeveless cowl. The clear elastic is sewn to the wrong side edge (zig zag) and then folded under as a narrow hem. it works well too but it's helpful seeing different ideas, I like trying different methods!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've used clear elastic a couple of times - the FOE has the advantage of being softer/more flexible/nicer against the skin, and looking nice as a finish.

      Delete
  10. Love your dress. I think it is very versatile and you can get a lot of wear out if it. Great color!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous color on you! I like the subtle cowl. Thank you for the tips on the FOE finish--I've not seen anything like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The FOE finish was one of those lightbulb moments - I rarely use FOE, so didn't know if using it as a facing was something everyone else was already doing!

      Delete
  12. Light blue is great on you blonde hair and fair skin. Thanks for the foe tips. I bought some but haven't used it yet. I will bookmark that book too!

    ReplyDelete

Sorry to add word verification. Too much spam lately....

 

©2009 21 Wale | by TNB