About A Frock by Friday™
SLEEVE OPTION: If you want to add a sleeve follow the instructions but do not sew the armhole bodice and facings together. I've been searching for an online graded sleeve pattern for days and this is all I could find: Here is a sleeve pattern. It is for a plus size so if you are smaller, like me, take the pattern in by 3/8” at the underarm seam for every 2 sizes and follow lines accordingly. Tape pattern together, cut out. Pin to doubled fabric and cut out of fabric. Sew hem of sleeve 1/2". Sew underarm hems together, right sides facing.
1. Line up your facing with your top right sides together. My facings were a little off. Perhaps that’s because I had to cut the seam allowance myself. But I would suggest pinning your facing to your top rather than just sewing it. If it is a little to small try to center it in your bodice like I did in the photo to the left.
2. Sew the facing to the bodice with right sides together but leave each of the four shoulder seams open on top. See photo to left.
3. Clip the edges of the pattern that curve (basically everywhere you just stitched) See photo to left. This will help the fabric to lie flat when turned inside out. Remove Pins.
4. Now here comes the tricky part. Turn one of the front straps right side out. Tuck into back arm strap keeping the back arm strap wrong side out. Be sure not to twist the strap when you insert it. Just fold over and into.
5. Pin the straps together at the top with the front strap tucked into the back strap. Be sure that the pieces are all flat and not folded. Stitch across top.
6. Pull front strap out, also turning the back strap right side out as you pull.
7. Turn everything right side out.
8. Zigzag stitch or serge the opening in the back where the zipper will eventually go. Press all edges flat.
9. (optional) The facing around my ruffle was sticking up. Using interfacing on your facing helps to keep it down but personally I had skipped that step to make things go faster. So since the ruffle hides part of the front of the bodice I stitched the facing to the front of the bodice underneath the ruffle. If the bottom of your arm hole facings are also popping out (like mine) use a thread that matches your fabric and sew a little 1” line in the armpit to keep the facing and the bodice stuck together.
10. If you want to attach a sleeve do so now. Refer to this tutorial to attach to armholes.
11. Here’s the top so far. I just tried mine on and it is WAYYYY too small. It must be my ginormous lactating bosom that‘s throwing the measurements off. Or perhaps the pattern is off? In any case, if you try your’s on and have the same problem. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the worldJ It’s totally fixable.
(Optional if bodice is too small) Just measure the amount of extra inches you need between the openings in the back of the dress. Take that number and divide it by 2. Cut two pieces of fabric that width and the length of the bodice PLUS THE LENTH OF THE FACING (about an extra 1 ½ for the facing) adding ¼” seam allowance to all sides. Cut two pieces of fabric.
(Optional if bodice is too small) Sew those pieces to the two sides of the back opening of the bodice, right sides together. Zigzag or serge the edges of the new piece so that it doesn’t fray. Fold over at top. Iron flat. Done. It’s not as pretty as a seamless back but if you iron well, it can be virtually seamless.
Tip. When I wear a lifting bra, the top fits much better, so if you are going to be wearing a better bra with the dress be sure to be wearing it when you measure the amount of extra material you need to sew on.
12. Stitch skirt front to skirt back right sides together. For the skirt back, the straightest (shorter) side is the one that you stitch to the sides of the front skirt.
*Tip. Always start at the waist of the skirt and stitch down. I, very often, find that my pieces do not match up exactly. When this happens it is easier to fix at the hem than at the waist. Just trim the extra fabric and blend it into the curve of the skirt hem.
Tomorrow: Stitching bodice to skirt!
Pattern courtesy of The Selfish Seamstress.