Patricia Sew-A-Long Day 4

Day 4 of our Patricia sew-a-long is here. It is skirt construction day and I have a few tips to share with you that might help speed up the process.  I hope you are ready to get started.  If you are just joining, scope out Day 1, Day 2, and  Day 3 and join in.

The skirt ruffle on Patricia is three pieces that are sewn together in a loop and then hemmed.  I do a little cheat here because tiny quarter inch pressing sometimes makes me curse.  I have fingers and I like to keep them unblistered, but quarter inch pressing basically does me in.  To keep my fingers in good shape, I sometimes do a little cheat by sewing the three ruffle strips together without closing the loop.  Then I pop my rolled hem foot onto my machine and run it down the length of my ruffle strip.  Rolled hem feet come in different sizes and they are a great tool to have in your toolbox.

This handy dandy little foot will wrap your raw edge under your fabric and stitch it down at the same time.  I like to adjust my stitch length here to 3.0 rather than the typical 2.5 length.  I think it gives it a nice finished look. After I have the hem sewn, I close up the loop by sewing the remaining short ends together and finish the edge.  Check out my pretty hem below.  Do you have a rolled hem foot? It may be worth trying out if you haven’t used it before.

After you hem your ruffle, it’s time to start gathering it.  Simple Life Pattern Company patterns always include that cool strategy about adjusting your tension to the highest setting and lengthening your stitch.  I use this method at times, but I typically do two rows of gathering stitches where I loosen the tension and lengthen the stitch and then pull the threads to gather.  I’ve also used the strategy where you zigzag over a thicker thread and then pull the fabric to gather.  All of these are great methods at different times and you should give them a try at least once so that you can say you have it in your toolbox of skills.  Once you attach your ruffle, don’t forget to take the time to press before you top-stitch.  I’m telling you… pressing is the game changer.

Lastly, you are going to gather your skirt and attach it to your bodice.  If you are doing the dramatic high-low, be sure to mark your bodice and your skirt so that you align the front of the bodice to the front of the skirt.  You don’t want to accidentally mess that up and have to rip it out!  Wrap up your Patricia with another press and some top-stitching…and maybe another pressing.

Don’t forget to show off what you have done and share it in the Facebook group! I’m so excited to see these projects wrapping up!!  If you share on Instagram be sure to tag Simple Life Patterns and so we can can give you some love there too.





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