Note: this post comes a day early so some people who move at a faster pace can finish the dress. I posted day #3 earlier this morning.
If you're not caught up through step #8, visit day #1, day #2, and day #3 of this sew along first. We'll start at step #9.
9. For views A, B, D: Finish armhole edges of dress with a 5/8" narrow hem.
*If you're making the reversible variation of this dress, you should have already completed your armholes when you finished the "all in one facing," described here.
You already know how to do a narrow hem, but the armholes add a new level of complication. It is a fairly tight circle, which makes it difficult to stretch/not stretch the fabric as you go. It is more difficult to avoid bunching and to maintain the right amount of stretch under the arm. I'm not 100% pleased with my armhole, so I'll include some tips I thought of after the fact to make yours fit better.
- Try on the dress to see where the armholes fall. Fold the 5/8" hem in place. If you armhole is too high (i.e. right at the base of your armpit with very little additional room), lower the base of the armhole by ~1/2". Just cut it right off before starting. I don't think your armhole will be too big if you change it by such a small amount.
- Use a fabric marker to indicate where the 5/8" fold should go. I have a habit of making the hem narrower than it should be, especially at the bottom of the armhole, causing the hem to dig in a little too high.
- Stretch your fabric a little more than you have been as you complete the base of your armhole. Mine wasn't quite stretchy enough upon completion.
Steps 10-13 don't apply to you unless you're adding sleeves to your dress. If you are adding sleeves, I'm happy to answer questions, but I won't include the details here since I didn't add sleeves.
14. Turn up a 1-1 1/4" hem on lower edge of dress. Baste close to fold. Machine-baste 1/4" from raw edge. Pull up bobbin thread and adjust fullness; shrink out with steam. Baste upper edge in place 1/4" from raw edge. Topstitch along upper basting. Stitch again 1/4" below first stitching.
Say whaaaat? I don't know why the instructions want you to use such a complicated hem, especially when they recommend a regular narrow hem for view B (the one with a contrast fabric at the bottom). Just do a narrow hem! You already know how! If you like a different style hem or want to try the one the pattern describes, go ahead, it's totally up to you.
You also don't have to stick to their recommended 1" to 1 1/4" hem. Try on the dress and decide where you want it to fall. Trim the dress to 5/8" longer than you want it, and then make the hem.
*If you're doing the maternity variation here, you should have a lot of extra fabric at the front of the dress. Don't hem all of it. Try on the dress and decide how much extra you actually need/want, and trim off the rest.
|Making a narrow hem|
|Finished narrow hem|
|The finished product, front and back|