Today, we'll put the gathering in the front of the dress, under the bust. This is pretty simple-you'll create a little casing for the elastic that you'll sew to the inside of the dress, and then you'll thread the elastic inside and secure it in place. We're starting at step #5 of the pattern instructions. If you're not up to that step, check out day #1 and day #2 of this sew along.
5. Press under 5/8" on long edges of CASING (3). Trim pressed-under edge to 3/8". Press under 5/8" on ends of casing. Trim pressed-under edge to 3/8".
*If you're doing the reversible variation, ignore this! You actually don't need this piece at all.
This is a really complicated way of saying you need to fold over all the edges of the fabric you cut out so there are no raw edges showing. I added an additional (optional) step here: I sewed the fabric in place so the raw edges couldn't accidentally pop out as I tried to manipulate this tiny piece. It's up to you whether you want to do this or not. It didn't add that much time and ensured a more polished looking final product.
|Fold the edges and press them.|
|I sewed the edges in place to keep them|
from moving in subsequent steps.
|The casing, with all its edges sewn in place. You don't|
have to sew them down, but at least press them well.
6. Pin casing to front, wrong sides together, matching centers and having long edges along placement line. Edgestitch long edges of casing. Cut a piece of elastic 4.5" long.
Again, this sounds more complicated than it is. Remember how you traced the "stitching line" onto your fabric before you started sewing? Well it basically makes a box. Put your casing (piece #3 with the edges folded (and optionally stitched) in place) into this box. Pin it there so it fits perfectly. Sew close to the edge of the box on the long sides, using your stretch stitch.
*If you're doing the reversible variation, place the inner and outer dress fronts together, with the WRONG sides of the fabric together (so you're sewing on the side of the fabric you want to show). Find your stitching line markings on both and line them up perfectly. Stitch two lines (the long sides of the box you drew).
*If you're doing the maternity variation with extra gathering, your casing piece will be longer than the box you drew. That's good. Just center it. Cut your piece of elastic to 5" instead of 4.5".
|Sew the casing to the dress front along the|
|This is what the front of the dress will look like after|
sewing the casing in place, before adding the elastic.
|This is what the inside of the dress will look like after|
sewing the casing to the dress front.
7. Insert elastic through casing, having ends extending 1/2". Pin. Stitch across ends of casing, catching in elastic.
*If you're doing the reversible variation, you'll be putting the elastic in between the inner and outer dress.
A safety pin can make this step 100x easier. Ignore the stitching in the middle of my elastic (I only had thinner elastic, so I connected it to avoid buying more supplies).
|Attach a safety pin to one end of your|
elastic. Use the safety pin like a blunt
needle-feed it into the casing.
|Safety pin is in the casing. You can push|
the safety pin through to the other side
much easier than you could with plain
|Stop when there is only 1/2" elastic|
showing, and pin it in place.
|Pull the safety pin end out 1/2", and pin that end in place,|
too. Before sewing, you'll want to put pins perpendicular
to the ones in this picture. I found it easier to get
everything in place this way first.
|Turn the pins the other way (well, actually put in new pins,|
and then remove the old ones). You could just pin
this way to begin with.
|Sew the elastic into place. I find it easier to|
make the stitching on top look nice than
on the bottom (bobbin) side, so I sewed
it from the front side of the dress.
7. To reduce bulk, pull out ends of elastic and cut close to stitching.
This step should be self explanatory!
That's all for now. Tomorrow, we'll hem the armholes and bottom of the dress. Whenever you're ready for that, click here for day #4!