Sunday, October 21, 2012

Feliz Sew-along - Overdress (Part 1)

I'm doing a sew-along for the Feliz Party Dress from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love with a group of friends from a forum I'm on. I figured while I was at it, I'd document it in photos. The instructions in the book leave a bit to be desired details-wise. For my first Feliz, I found the Trillium photo sew-along helpful, but there were a few points that were hazy even there that I'm hoping I can make clearer.  SO here goes!

Yesterday I tackled the overdress. The book starts with the sash and button loops, then moves on to the overdress, so I will too. (I'm making the smallest size, 86/92 (18mo-2T))


Cutting.  Here are all the pieces cut out. Notes:

  • Pattern does NOT include seam allowances! (not used to that...)  I cut mine at 1/4" because I can do a pretty precise 1/4" seam allowance, and then I serge to finish.

  • For the ruffles on the back of the dress (never mentioned in the book, but everywhere online!), I decided to do three tiers, and then the bottom ruffle around the whole underdress hem. I cut my ruffles at 2.5" width. The length of each I determined by measuring across the overdress back piece at the levels I will sew the ruffles. I did not include hem allowances for ruffles because I will be doing a serged finish on the bottoms of each, and covering the top of each ruffle with ribbon.

  • The first Feliz I made, the back panel of the underdress was pretty heavy, so it hung lower than the front. This one, I shortened the back panel about 1" at the centre, tapering to the edges, so it hangs more evenly with the weight at the back.

  • I cut the front and back shoulder strap pieces together, so there's no seam at the top of the shoulder strap.

  • As per note in book about dressing ease, you can cut the sash pieces 3-4" shorter, then insert elastic in the ends.


1. Piping (optional). I chose to add piping to the front seams of the overdress. I'm using vintage piping that's a really odd size, so I basted it on before sewing those seams.


2. Sash (repeat for second sash piece)

  • Step 1. Fold the sash lengthwise, right sides together, and sew down the long side and one short end. You can either sew the angle as marked on the pattern piece, or just sew it straight (as I did)

  • Step 2. Clip the corners.

  • Step 3. Turn the sash right side out and tuck in the point if you sewed it straight across. Press.

  • Step 4. Turn in raw edges of sash, insert 2-3" of 1" wide elastic into the opening and secure. Topstitch sash.

  • Step 5. Sew the ends of the sash elastic in the seam allowance of the overdress, wrong side. The sashes should be stitched into the seam facing toward the centre of the overdress. (see right)

  • Step 6. Topstitch dress on outside, catching the elastic back on itself in the seam allowance.


3. Ok - I got ahead of myself there. Sew the overdress.

  • Sew overdress side pieces to overdress front piece, right sides together. (I found with getting the piping in straight it was easier to sew these seams, then put the sashes in.)

  • Finish seams.

  • Press seams away from the overdress front toward the sides, then topstitch on the outside.


4. Interfacing for sash casing.

  • I don't have very good photos of this - the interfacing for the casing should actually be applied before sewing the overdress seams. (oops!)

  • Step 1. Cut fusible interfacing using markings on pattern. I cut with 1/4" extra on each edge.

  • Step 2. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of each overdress side piece, where marked on pattern. (Continue to assembling overdress.)

5. Hem and Back Edges

  • Step 1. I'm not using the back facings for this one, but if you are, apply them now. I just serged the edge, pressed it over, and topstitched it down.

  • Step 2. Serge hem of overdress. I used a needle to draw the serger tails back under the stitching.

  • Step 3. Apply hem binding or rickrack (optional). I used a large rickrack. Fold the end under and sew the rickrack onto the right side of the hem so that the serging is just not visible above the dips in the rickrack. I sewed a straight line from one dip to the next, curving the rickrack to follow the hem. At the end of the hem, trim and tuck the end under.

  • Step 4. Finish hem. For rickrack, fold the rickrack to the back of the dress, pressing so the points of the rickrack show evenly. Topstitch.


8. Finished Overdress!


(Part 2 here)


  1. [...] « Feliz Sew-along – Overdress (Part 1) Feliz Sew-along – Assembling! (part 3) » [...]

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