Scarlett Sewalong Day 4 | The Simple Life Pattern Company

Scarlett Sewalong Day 4

Can you believe we’re already on day 4 of our Scarlett’s Sun Suit sewalong?! If you missed any of the previous days, check them out here. Today we’re going to be adding elastic to our bodice and leg openings!


If you have never shirred before, it can be quite intimidating. However, if you think about it as you are only using a different kind of thread in the bobbin, it will sound like a breeze! And it is indeed! As mentioned in the tutorial, you will need elastic thread, which can be found at any store selling sewing notions.  Each machine is different , so what works for one may need a little tweeking for another. Katie explained what works for her sewing machine in the Scarlett pattern, and I will explain what works for me here. First of all, I must admit I can’t figure out how to shirr on my Brother machine. I’ve read tutorials on shirring with a Brother and there are just a few little things I need to change and try again. However, on my Husqvarna, I wind the bobbin by hand making sure there is no tension while winding. You don’t want your elastic thread loose, but make sure you are not pulling it either. I keep my tension at 4 and raise my stitch length to 3.5.  Always back stitch when you begin and end your shirring.  Always try shirring a scrap piece of fabric before moving onto your Scarlett’s Sun Suit.

If you find the back of your shirring making squiggles, check to see that you placed your bobbin thread in the thread guide notch in the bobbin case.  Your material should start to gather as you sew more and more rows and should not be flat like this photo.

Once you have shirred your bodice and leg openings with the number of rows mentioned in the pattern, you are done with day 4!

Elastic Casings

For the elastic casings method, you will need 1/4″ elastic and single fold bias tape or ribbon. You should only have one side seam sewn together if you are using this method. You can choose to sew the bias tape on the right side of the garment or the wrong side. I liked the look of the stripes, so I sewed it on the right side. (There is a black elastic casing in the middle of the two white ones that you can’t see from the picture)

Measure 1/2″ down from the top finished edge edge of you bodice and use a marking pen or chalk to draw this line. Daw another line 1/2″ down from that line.

Use the chart below to see how many inches from the top your bottom line should be. Draw this line and then measure 1/2″ up from it to draw a second line.

Size Inches from Top
NB, 0-3m, 3-6m 2.5
6-9m, 9-12m 3
12-18m 3.5
18-24m, 2t 4
3t 4.5

You will sew one piece of single fold bias tape in between your two half inch lines along the top and bottom of your bodice. Your bodice should look like this.

Now we need one more row of single fold bias tape in the middle of the two already sewn. You can measure to find the center or just eyeball it…your choice!

Use the “Size Chart” on page 2 of the pattern to locate the chest measurement for the size you are making. Subtract one inch from that number. For instance, the chest measurement for a 12-18 month is 19 inches. Once I subtract one inch, I have 18 inches. Cut three pieces of 1/4″ elastic at that length. (So, I cut three pieces of 1/4″ elastic at 18″.)

Thread your elastic through the elastic casings, or single fold bias tape.  You’ll sew each end closed, making sure you catch the elastic as you do this.

Next, sew the side seam closed and finish the edge.

If you are using trim on the leg openings, finish the edge of the leg openings by using a zig zag stitch or serger. Fold down the edge by 1/4″ and top stitch. You can now add a trim to the finished edge.

If you are using rolled hems on the leg openings, go ahead and do that now.

Sew the single fold bias tape 1/8″ from the finished edge around the leg openings. Cut two pieces of 1/4″ elastic to the length in this chart:

Size Inches
NB, 0-3m, 3-6m 7
6-9m, 9-12m 7.75
12-18m 8.25
18-24m, 2t 9
3t 9.5

Thread your elastic through the elastic casings, or single fold bias tape. You’ll sew each end closed, making sure you catch the elastic as you do this.

You are now done with day 4!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in our SLPco Fan Group!

Happy sewing!



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