Welcome back! It’s Day 3 of our 5 day Fiddlehead Sew-Along so we are moving right along…halfway to having a pretty little dress finished!
Today we are going to add those beautiful flutters and you have some decisions to make. There are several possibilities when it comes to the look of them on your finished dress. Let’s see…you can do the double layer flutters, which gives the most dramatic effect, or you can be more subtle and just use a single layer. You can use the BOTTOM FLUTTER RUFFLE piece as a single layer or, my personal favorite, the TOP FLUTTER RUFFLE piece as a single layer. You also have the choice of finishing them. You can leave the edges of the flutters raw (since they are stretch knit and won’t fray), do a simple rolled hem on them (serger users) or you can do the fun lettuce edging finish. I chose double layer with a simple rolled hem finish. Whatever you decide, it’s time to go ahead and finish the edges before we gather and attach to our dress.
After you have the edges finished, follow the tutorial for gathering the pieces and attaching them to the armhole. You can see here that I still haven’t trimmed the tails of my clear elastic. I think it’s best to leave them there until the flutters are attached completely to the armhole.
If you are making sleeves, go ahead and get them on, too.
Sew the side seams and press.
Carefully press the seam allowance of the armhole towards the inside of the dress. Remember not to iron right on the clear elastic.
I have found that topstitching around this armhole helps to keep the flutters from flipping when the top or dress is worn.
Bodice…check! Tomorrow we’ll do that knit waistband that I can’t wait to show you…see you then!
Hi everyone! It’s Beth and I’m ready to hit the sewing machine with you today! If you are just joining our Fiddlehead Flutter Top-to-Dress Sew Along then a great big welcome to you! You will want to take a look at Day 1 to get everything cut out and catch up.
Today we are going to work on Stabilizing our Seams and Neckline.
Since I first created the Fiddlehead Flutter Top pattern, I have discovered that I get better results if I take the time to stabilize the knit around the armholes, especially when making the sleeveless version. The weight of those beautiful flutters tends to pull the armhole a bit out of shape and can make the armhole appear to be too large. While I am all about the shortest, fastest way to the end result I do know that some of those seemingly minor details, like seam stabilizing, can really make a huge difference in the end result. I am updating the tutorial with this bit of info but, in the meantime, I will pass it on to you right now. I’m sure some of you will be thinking…duh…of course, you need to stabilize those seams and have already been doing it. I hope so and yes, it’s okay to laugh at me for taking so long to embrace it. You may be like I was and think…aw…stabilize the seams? Yeah, I know, I know but it looks fine without it. Well, to you I say…try it…you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it before. It’s a subtle but major difference and I don’t have to freak out every time I see my 4 year old putting the neckline in her mouth. It will bounce back to shape…well, mostly. Whew.
I love knit fusible stay tape and always use it to stabilize my knit bodices when adding skirts to them. It can certainly be used as the stabilizer for the armholes and neckline for the Fiddlehead, too. If you don’t have any then you can create it by cutting 1/2″ strips of fusible knit interfacing. I’ve mostly turned my nose up at the thought of clear elastic and mostly because it required an extra step. You can’t just iron it in! But with the sleeveless Fiddlehead I did not want the stay tape to show. You get a little glimpse of the inside on the sleeveless and I wanted it to look as neat as possible so I pulled out that unused roll of 3/8″ clear elastic and gave it a shot and I loved the result.
So let’s get to sewing! Go ahead and get those shoulder seams together per the tutorial so we can finish the neckline. I don’t know about you but it would make me INSANE if I used a different stabilizer on the neckline than the armholes. You do whatever you can live with but for me, if I am going to use it on the armholes it HAS to be on the neckline, too, so clear elastic it is. I just cut a piece a couple of inches longer than the neckline and lined it up along the edge on the wrong side of the fabric. I left a bit of a tail on either end just to be safe and stitched it on with, what should have been, a wide zig zag stitch right along the edge (I forgot to switch from my narrow setting!). Do not stretch the elastic as you sew it on and do not stretch the neckline. As I sew, I focus on keeping the neckline from stretching while keeping the elastic straight and taut but not stretching it. Also, clear elastic comes in different widths. I can line mine up with the edge because it is the same width as the seam allowance. If you are using a narrower width you may need to move it in a bit from the edge so that it will be caught in the stitch line when we begin putting all the pieces together.
If you are using a serger, then go ahead and serge all the way around the edge of the elastic right on top of the zig zag stitch. You may even decide that you find it easier to skip the zig zag stitch first and go straight to serger to sew it on. That’s fine, too. You may even have a nice fancy foot for applying it…if so, even better! I played it safe and got that elastic in place on the sewing machine first, though, and then ran my serger around on top.
What I really love about using this on a simple turned neckline is that it makes it so much easier to turn the edge over evenly. Just fold it over using the edge of the elastic as your guide and stitch into place! Easy Peasy!
The one thing you have to know about clear elastic, though, is that it can MELT! Do not iron directly on it. I kept my iron on the opposite side of the fabric when pressing.
Now it’s time to add it to the armholes as well.
Open up the armhole and place the clear elastic (or stay tape/interfacing) all along the edge on the wrong side of the fabric. Fuse the stay tape or sew on the clear elastic with a wide zig zag stitch just like we did with the neckline. Remember, don’t stretch the armhole or the elastic as you sew it on and be sure and leave a bit of a tail on the ends before you start sewing. No need to serge until we add the flutter ruffles tomorrow. For now, just having the stabilizer in place is enough.
The last place to stabilize is all around the very bottom of the bodice where the waistband and skirt will be attached later in the week. When that is complete you’re done for today!
Tomorrow we add those fabulous flutters!
Good afternoon girls!! Who is ready to sew up the Fiddlehead Flutter Top with us this week? Elizabeth and I are so excited to show you how to turn that sweet little top into a dress just in time for some spring sewing. Woohoo! I don’t know about you but just the thought of spring makes me a little giddy right now.
First lets talk about our hastags for the sew-along. If you are using fabric from our sponsor, use #pinkdoorfabrics when you share your pictures so we can see what you bought. (If you want to go buy some from them now, use code LILYGIGGLE for 10% off!) They have an awesome collection of designer knits, including the beautiful Art Gallery Priory Square knit that you’ll see on the sample in the coming days. When you share any sew-along photos, use #FFTSAL so at the end of the day we can easily search for all the posts. At the end of the sew-along there will be an album for you to enter your finished photos in to win PRIZES!!!! Prizes will be 2 yards of fabric from Pink Door Fabrics and 3 patterns of your choice from LilyGiggle.
If you haven’t purchased your pattern yet, it’s discounted on the website with coupon code FFTSEWALONG25 until Friday, February 20. Print your pattern and don’t forget our cool feature where you can select only the size you need to make for printing. Just be sure to double check the measurements in the size chart to make sure that you select the proper size. The most important measurement for this pattern is the chest measurement.
Now let’s get busy……The top of our dress is knit and I’m sure most, if not all of you, know that you need to prewash knit. It can do a good bit of shrinking sometimes, and we don’t want a size 6m dress on our 3 year old so be sure to pre-wash!
Ready to cut?? Cut your top according to the pattern pieces. You can customize your Fiddlehead by changing up the flutter ruffles a bit if you want. For the pink stripe sample up top, only the smaller TOP RUFFLE was used instead of a double ruffle. In order to turn this top into a dress, you will need to make your bodice shorter. Follow this chart to see how much to take off of the bottom of your pattern pieces.
When cutting off the bottom of the bodice, especially on the larger sizes, you may wind up with a little curve at the bottom. It needs to be straightened up. Just draw a straight line down from the smallest part of the side seam where the waistline is. Cut off the extra.
You will also need to cut your waist band. Here is the chart for the waist band measurements. Your waistband should be in a coordinating knit.
That will be it for today! We’ll get to sewing up the bodice tomorrow…see you then!