Jeanne from Night Knitter shows us how to add finishing touches to the Jump Rope Dress. Today completes our daily sew-along posts! You can still comment on any sew-along post through tomorrow for your chance to win a new Oliver + S pattern or 12 City Weekend fat quarters. Contribute photos to the Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along photo pool too, to increase your chances of winning!
Jeanne’s daughter in a lovely finished View A version of the Jump Rope Dress.
- Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along Posts:
- Sew-Along Calendar, with Jump Rope Dress Pattern Notes
- Tracing Your Pattern & Cutting Your Fabric
- Placket Markings & Creation
- Making, Attaching & Finishing the Collar
- Sleeves & Sleeve Cuffs
- Q & A with Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S
- Pockets & Skirt Prep
Today we will cover:
We are almost done! It has been great seeing all the beautiful Jump Rope Dresses and watching all the progress you have made in sewing such wonderful garments. Today, I will walk you through hemming your dress, selecting buttons, creating button holes and sewing buttons.
Hemming (both views)
Up until a year or two ago I used to use a metal gauge and an iron to laboriously fold, measure, adjust, press, and pin over and over until I had the hem of a garment pinned and ready to be sewn. I still use this technique occasionally, but try to avoid it if possible given the time it takes.
My preferred way to prepare a hem is to use a basting stitch as a folding guide as is written in the pattern. If you are sewing View A, sewing your hem in this manner will free up so much time!
Instead of folding and pressing at the basting line the entire hem before tucking in the raw edges, I tend to do both at the same time. Working in sections that fit on my ironing board, I fold and press along the basting line, then tuck in the raw edges, press, and pin.
When I edgestich the fold to finish the hem, I do so with the wrong side facing up, so I can make sure the fold will be securely sewn to the bottom of the dress.
And here are both of my finished seams using contrasting thread:
For more tips and techniques for hems, check out this post by Carla Hegeman Crim.
I love buttons. Some of my earliest childhood memories are sorting through and playing with tins full of buttons. I think selecting buttons is just about as much fun as it is sewing the actual garment. When I choose buttons, I always try to select ones that will not only coordinate with the garment’s fabric but also provide an interesting visual element, without being too distracting.
If I am using a fabric with a bold print with multiple colors, I tend to choose simple buttons to prevent the button from distracting from the fabric. For View A of the dress I made for the sew-along, I used a print from Tayna Whelen’s Dolce line and choose to simple square shell buttons.
If I use a most subtle fabric as I did with the thin-whaled, blue corduroy for View B, I try to select a more decorative button to add help throw in a bit more visual detail. I used coordinating, contrasting thread to match the color of these Japanese polka dotted buttons.
In another View B of the Jump Rope Dress I made last year, I knew I wanted to use contrasting stitching and happened to find these robin egg blue vintage buttons in my husband’s grandmother’s button stash. The buttons added a nice bit of color to this school uniform.
Jeanne’s daughter in a Jump Rope Dress View B, made for a school uniform.
I always try to have buttons selected before I sew my button holes.
Now that you have the perfect buttons for your dress, here are a few tips to consider as you start to make your button holes:
I usually get a scrap piece of fabric to first test my sewing machine’s settings and size of the button hole before I actually create one of the garment.
I then open the button hole and make sure the button will actually fit.
When you sew the buttonholes onto the placket, leave long thread tails. Put the thread tails that are on the right side of the placket through an embroidery needle and sew them, so they are now on the wrong side of the dress.
Then secure these with a knot and clip the thread tails.
To open up the button hole, place a pin at the top of the button hole and use a seam ripper to create an initial hole.
Place the edge of a pair of embroidery scissors into the hole and carefully cut open the button hole.
I prefer this to using a seam ripper to open the button hole since using a seam ripper to open up button holes can something lead to creating small snags around the button hole.
Sewing the Buttons on the Placket
For the placket buttons, I suggest starting to sew the one furthest from the neckline. This will make sure your buttons are placed so there isn’t a opening between the third button and the bottom of the placket.
Even though the pattern has markings for where the buttons should be placed on the placket, I like to double check all of my button placements on the placket.
To do this, open up the button hole. Using a fabric maker, place a small dot in the center of the button hole onto the right placket (on the wearer’s left)
My sewing machine is extremely basic, so I don’t have a button sewer like some of the fancy machines do (although that feature sounds pretty neat). I sew on buttons the old fashion way, by hand.
When I first started sewing buttons, I used to sew them on as tightly as I possibly could. Seemed only logically, right? I quickly found it was rather difficult to then push the button through a button hole. The key is to make sure your button has a bit of distance from the fabric. Creating a bit of slack between the button and the fabric will allow the fabric around the button hole to easily reside underneath the button. To do this, sew your button on the dot you drew on your placket. Secure the button on the placket but make sure you don’t pull too tightly.
Leave a small bit of space between the front of the placket and the back of the button. Once you have secured your button to your placket, put the needle so that it is between the back of the button and placket. Then, tightly wrap the thread around the loosened threads in the back of the button 5-6 times.
This will create a small little shaft which will ensure that the fabric around the button hole has enough room when the placket is button.
Work your way up the placket following the same steps. One you are finished, your placket should lay flat and smooth when buttoned up.
Sewing on the Buttons for the Sleeve Tab & Pocket Flap (view A)
Since the buttons on the sleeve tabs and pocket flaps on View A are purely decorative, you can totally disregard the steps above on how to create a button shaft. Secure the buttons on the sleeve tab and pocket flaps nice and tight!
You are DONE!!!!
Jeanne’s finished Jump Rope Dress, View A.
Jeanne’s finished Jump Rope Dress, View B.
Give yourselves a huge pat on the back. Better yet, get out a jump rope and try a little skipping rope. Maybe grab another jump rope and some pals and create your own celebratory double dutch routine!
* Win a new Oliver + S sewing pattern of your choice, courtesy of Oliver + S. (4 winners, See the selection at Sew,Mama,Sew! & Badskirt.)
* Win a pack of 12 fat quarters from the new City Weekend fabric collection by Liesl Gibson for Moda, courtesy of Sew,Mama,Sew! (3 winners)
To enter the drawing:
- Comment on any sew-along post on Sew,Mama,Sew! now through September 17.
- Contribute photos to the Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along photo pool now through September 17.
- Comment on Badskirt on September 13.