Ella Sew Along – Day 1
Welcome to day one of the Ella sew-along. I’m so excited to finally get a chance to sew up one of the newest SLPco anniversary releases. Ella is available in baby and girls sizes. I know there have been several questions in the fan group about how to add tulle for the underskirt. I will show you how to achieve this look during the sew-along! For day one we will decide on pattern options, fabric, and cut out our fabric pieces.
Ella is a gorgeous knit pattern that includes a v-neckline and stunning open back. There are four optional sleeve lengths: sleeveless, short, 3/4, or long sleeves. The back of the bodice can be customized with long or short ties.
The most eye-catching feature of the Ella pattern is the asymmetrical circle skirt. You can choose to add just the asymmetrical circle skirt for a fun peplum look. Or, add a tulle layer underneath for a fancier version. If you are running short on time a gathered skirt or simple circle skirt can still provide astonishing results.
Finally, decide on skirt length. You have three options: tunic, vintage, or dress length. I chose to sew the vintage length for this sew-along.
Once you’ve chosen your pattern options you can then print your pattern pieces. There are layers within the pattern pieces so that you can print only the size(s) you need. For help printing with layers, check out this blog post. Ella also comes with a projector file if you have a projector set up and prefer to use that method. If you are new to projector files and need help getting setup, check out this helpful projector blog post.
Ella is a knit pattern. When selecting your knit fabrics try find a quality fabric that has between 50-75% stretch. Try to avoid slinky, thin, or warped fabrics, as this can cause final fit issues.
Knit fabrics used in this sew-along are from Art Gallery Fabrics. I really like using AGF knits because they are super soft with a 95% cotton and 5% spandex base. They also have a great weight of about 7oz. The knit I’m using is part of the Hello Sunshine collection designed by our very own Katie Skoog!
If you are using tulle fabrics, I recommend purchasing from a specialty shop like Fancy Pants Fabrics or Tulletastic. There is a very noticeable difference in quality as opposed to the tulle available at department stores. The tulle I’m using in this sew-along is the light mint swiss dot from Fancy Pants Fabrics.
If you choose to add a tulle layer to your Ella, I recommend lining the inside of the skirt with a light batiste fabric to keep the skirt from being see-through.
Cutting Your Fabric
When cutting knit fabrics I like to use a large cutting mat and 28mm rotary cutter. To keep your fabric from shifting while cutting, you can use pattern weights. As you can see, my pattern weights are very fancy rocks that my daughter has collected.
Make sure you pay attention to direction of stretch when cutting knit fabrics. Also, pay attention to when/where to cut along the fold.
If you are adding tulle I suggest using the gathered skirt fabric cutting chart. Also, note that the cutting chart has hem allowance included in the measurements. If you are using tulle, you will not be hemming the bottom of your tulle. You will need to subtract 1/2″ from the chart measurement. For example, the chart states that for a size 9/12m dress length I need to cut 10.25″ x 25″ pieces. Since I’m using tulle I will cut a length of 9.75″. I will also cut WOF (width of fabric) instead of the 25″ width from the chart. The more tulle you add, the fuller your skirt will be.
For a size 9/12m I used approximately 2 yards of tulle and cut my strips 9.75″ x WOF. I ended up with 7 strips of tulle. I will show you how to connect all of the tulle strips later in the sew-along.
The easiest way to cut your tulle strips is to fold your tulle into layers. I started by laying my 2 yards of tulle out flat, with it folded in half width wise. You can then fold in half width wise again. This makes it much more manageable to cut your strips. Check that your tulle is laying flat and there are no folds or creases within the layers. I then cut off any uneven layers at the end before I begin cutting my strips.
Day 1 Progress
To finish day one, we will cut out our fabric pieces. Make sure you upload a photo of your cut fabric pieces to the Ella Sew-Along album in the fan group. At the end of the sew-along I will choose a daily winner from those that uploaded a daily progress photo. Winners will receive free shop credit! I’m so excited to see what options and fabric everyone chooses! I’ll see you back here tomorrow and we will get started on bodice construction.