Amy from Badskirt starts us skipping along on our Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along today! Check here for a full sew-along schedule and information about the pattern, notions and supplies.

Today we are going to:

  • Look at Oliver+S pattern symbols and sizes
  • Locate the pattern pieces and placket markings
  • Trace the pattern pieces
  • Cut out our fabric and interfacing

Locating & Tracing Pattern Pieces
If you are new to working with patterns or need a refresher, begin by reading Tips for Working with Patterns and Patterns Demystified to get started.

Because Oliver+S patterns cater to multiple sizes, we want to copy or trace the patterns so they can be reused multiple times. There are several methods available for tracing patterns and several helpful guides.

The Sew,Mama,Sew! forum has a thread with tips on preserving your original patterns and methods of tracing them. The Oliver+S forum also has a similar topic. I will confess that I am lazy with my pattern tracing. We own a multifunction printer/copier, so I photocopy the entire pattern section by section. Then I tape it back together then cut out the size that I need.

About Oliver+S Patterns
Each Jump Rope Dress has 5 sizes of patterns on them. They are coded using dotted and dashed lines. The PATTERN SIZE KEY is located in the upper left corner of your pattern. Find the line style which matches the size you are making.

Pattern Size Key

Next to the PATTERN SIZE KEY is the PATTERN SYMBOL KEY. For the Jump Rope dress, the important symbols are the grain line, notches, buttons, buttonholes and matching dots. The interfacing is not marked on the pattern sheet. This will be covered in the directions.

Pattern Symbol Key

Seam allowances are included in the pattern.

If you are sewing with a directional fabric, pattern pieces are marked with an arrow on the grain line. Make sure you have your fabric oriented correctly. The arrow should point towards the bottom of the fabric design.

Grain Line Arrow

Locate the Pattern Pieces for your View
Using your preferred method, trace each of the following pattern pieces. Be sure to copy all pattern markings including grain lines, notches and matching points.

Placket Markings
Fabric pieces 1 (View A) and 12 (View B) need placket markings transferred to them before they are ready to use. When you are tracing the pattern pieces, be sure to trace the placket markings. They are located in a rectangle in the center left of the pattern page and resemble a connect-the-dots drawing.

Placket Markings

Layout the Pattern Pieces on your Fabric
Using the pattern layout on the pattern page as a guide, layout and pin your pattern pieces. Transfer your pattern markings to the fabric. I use an air erasable fabric marker, so I mark my pieces just before I am ready to use them. During tomorrow’s placket creation section, I will demonstrate my method for transferring markings to fabric with both a fabric marker and tacking thread. For now, cut out all of your pieces making notches as indicated by the pattern piece. Below are a few special considerations:

Pattern Piece 3, Right Placket
This pattern piece is the inner placket which will hold the buttons. If you want contrasting fabric on the inside of the placket, this is the piece to change. Note: The right placket refers to your right as you look at the dress. This is on the wearer’s left.

Pattern Piece 4, Left Placket
This pattern piece is the outer placket which has buttonholes. If you want contrasting fabric on the outside of the placket including the triangle point, this is the piece to change.

Pattern Piece 7, Skirt Front and Back (View A)
Note that there are two sets of matching marks on this pattern piece. After cutting 2 on the fold, choose 1 piece of fabric to be the front and one to be the back. Tip: put a few safety pins in the front with a small note so you remember which piece is which later on. When you are ready to transfer the matching marks, copy the round dots to the front skirt fabric and the square dots to the back skirt fabric.

Pattern Piece 8, Belt Loops (View A)
When cutting out fabric for the belt loops on piece 8, I recommend adding 1” in length. This will allow us extra length so we can use the Magic Loop Turning Technique from Sew,Mama,Sew!

Pattern Piece 9, Sleeve
The sleeves on the Jump Rope dress are interchangeable. Pattern piece 9 provides both the long and short sleeve version.

Pattern Piece 10, Pocket (View A)
If you have a directional print, you need to take special steps with pocket to ensure the pocket flap is oriented correctly. For pattern piece 10:

  • Cut 2 oriented as shown (henceforth known as pocket outer fabric)
  • Cut 2 rotated 180degrees (henceforth known as pocket flap fabric)

Pattern Piece 14, Pocket Bias (View B)
Note that this piece is cut on the bias at a 45 degree angle.

With these notes in mind, it’s time to forge ahead and cut our fabric pieces!

Interfacing adds stability to fabric. In addition to adding a bit of rigidity, it prevents the fabric from ripping from stress around the buttons and buttonholes. There are a number of types of interfacing available on the market ranging from very lightweight to extremely durable. It is important to choose an interfacing appropriate for your fabric and project. Bags usually require a durable heavy interfacing for thickness. Garment interfacing needs vary by project and fabric. If you are using quilting weight cotton similar, a lightweight fusible interfacing is best to use for the Jump Rope Dress. For more information on interfacing, you can read Amy Butler’s Guide to Interfacing on Sew,Mama,Sew!

In addition to cutting out the fabric, we will also need to cut interfacing for the collar and the plackets. For the collar, we will need to cut one piece of interfacing using Pattern Piece 6. Eventually, we will trim a 1/2” seam allowance away from this piece.

We also need a long 1” strip of interfacing to use on the placket. The exact length varies by pattern size. For now cut a piece that will roughly cover the length of both pattern piece 3 and 4.

Total Fabric Pieces
When you have finished cutting out fabrics, do a quick count to make sure you’ve got everything. You should have:

Now that we have all of our fabric pieces, we’re ready to start sewing. Check back tomorrow when we begin with the placket.

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