Oliver + S

Dress border

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    Profile photo of littlerexlittlerex @littlerex

    Hi all! I’ve been fumbling at sewing for a while until I came cross Oliver+S. Just love the patterns and clear detailed instructions. I’ve perfected my Sunny Day shorts and now onto popover dress. After I already finished the side seams I decided that it would look better with a border at the bottom using the same trim fabric. I’ve look at other Oliver dress patterns and most of them don’t have a border. I wonder whether the border piece would be a straight long piece like the waist band or a curved piece aligned with the dress pattern? Thanks in advance!

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    The Popover sundress doesn’t have a waist band, so I’m not sure what you had in mind, but I can think of a few ways you could add a border at the bottom:

    1. Bind the bottom hem with bias-cut fabric, narrow or wider piece, as you prefer.

    2. Color-block the bottom of the dress — just make a cut straight across near the bottom of the pattern, perpendicular to the grainline, and add seam allowances along both edges of the cut.

    3. Add ribbon or lace, machine or hand-stitching to hem.

    4. Make an additional pattern piece by simply extending the lines of the dress slightly and following the curve of the hem.

    Each would give a bit of a different effect, it’s up to you and your creative vision!

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    Profile photo of NanaMarNanaMar @NanaMar

    My favourite way of adding a band at the bottom is to use a hem facing and put it on the right side instead of the usual wrong side. Many of the Oliver and S patterns use hem facings. All it is really is a band of contrast fabric cut to match the hem curve (about 2 and a half inches deep), side seams sewn up and then the bottom seam sewn – with the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the skirt. Turn the hem facing so it is on the right side of the skirt and press. Then press under the upper hem of the facing (using a basting line at 1/2 inch to make the pressing accurate), then topstitch the hem in place. Use an edge stitching or blind hemming foot if you have one to make the topstitching easier and more accurate. Hope this helps.

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Oh, I hadn’t thought of using the blind hem foot for that! You move the needle over, right?

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    Profile photo of NanaMarNanaMar @NanaMar

    That’s right, Sarvi – moving it once gives a very-close-to-the-edge finish, twice is just a bit wider. I use once most of the time and twice if the seam is more bulky i.e. multi layers at a neckline for example

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Cool tip, thank you! Presser feet are so expensive (I lost my zipper foot, $22 to replace, ouch!) so I love hearing about different ways to use the ones I already have.

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    Profile photo of littlerexlittlerex @littlerex

    Thanks to you both. All are very good suggestions. The patterns that I bought do not have hem facing but you do have a very good tutorial on the blog. When I talked about waist band I was thinking about the Sunny day shorts: the concept is similar. So I assume the hem facing piece is a long straight rectangular one? Thanks again!

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    Profile photo of NanaMarNanaMar @NanaMar

    Littlerex, I checked the Popover pattern and, as I thought, there is a slight curve along the hemline. I usually use the bottom of the pattern piece to cut two hem facings (essentially rectangles slightly curved), following the curve of the bottom edge and up the side seam for about 2 and a half inches then I move the pattern piece up so that it is the required 2 and a half inches across the width of the facing and cut the upper edge of the facing. I hope this makes sense to you. Good luck! Marlene

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Ok, I guess I’m not sure how to answer since I don’t know which pattern you’re talking about. A few examples:

    The bubble dress is hemmed (to create the bubble effect) in such a way that a border wouldn’t really work with the hem as written.

    The Music Box pinafore come with two views — one with lots of pleats. That one has a straight bottom edge, so if you chose to add a facing turned to the outside to serve as a ‘border’, it would also be straight.

    The other view comes with a curved hem and single center pleat, so the border would either be a piece that’s cut curved to match the shape of the hem itself (since the point of a hem facing is to spare you the trouble of easing in a curved a hem that’s folded under) or else is made of a bias strip (which has enough give, being cut on the bias, that it can gently nudged into a curve that matches the hem’s curve — where a piece cut to the same dimensions on the straight grain would not curve so nicely).

    Hope this helps and if you get to a specific project and know more details of what you want (wide or narrow border, made from what material, etc.) post again and somebody is sure to have some suggestions!

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    Profile photo of littlerexlittlerex @littlerex

    Thanks Marlene! I get what you are saying. I really appreciate that you both take time to help people along their projects! Again love your patterns and tutorials!

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Another quick and fun method is to use a wide strip of bias, then you can ease it to fit.

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