let's sew, shall we?
on to the skirt portion of the dress... first, attach the pockets, if desired. i made mine to pouch out slightly at the top so when cutting them i flared the edges slightly but stitched them on with the corners at right angles. make sure to reinforce the top corners with extra zig-zag stitches. if the material is thin, add a little patch (cut on the bias to reduce fray) to the underside of the skirt at the corners before zig-zagging.
here's a step by step on the pockets:
|cut the pockets wider on the top than the bottom if you want them to pouch out slightly|
|fold the top edge over and pin in place|
|fold a little hem up, pin and press|
|see that little excess from the flare? just snip it off.|
|stitch all the way around the sides and bottom edge (not the top) at about 1/4"-1/2"|
|turn the upper edge of the pocket and using your stitching as a guide, pin the edges of the pocket in and press. also, stitch across the little hemmed edge on the upper part of the pocket.|
|pin the pocket in place keeping the bottom corners at right angles so the|
top pouches out and stitch close to the edge
|zig-zag in the upper corners, adding a patch to the underside for stability|
stitch together the side seams of the skirt and finish the seam allowances. (if the skirt is a little see-through, you may need a lining. just cut it the same as the main fabric only 1 1/2" shorter.) make two rows of gathering stitches at the top of the skirt piece and pin it to the bodice. draw up the bobbin threads to distribute the gathers evenly and stitch in place. zig-zag the gathered edge and trim.
now to make the casing for the elastic, take a piece of bias tape (a few inches longer than the bottom edge of the bodice) and press out the center fold so that you are left with the top and bottom folded in to the center. pin the bias tape to the top edge of the skirt and stitch all the way around, leaving 1" open. your stitching should be right over your previous stitching where you joined the skirt and bodice. sew and trim the bias tape as before to join the edges. finish stitching the bias to close the opening.
fold the bias tape up and over the skirt/bodice seam allowance and pin it in place.
using the utility straight stitch (the stretch stitch version of a regular straight stitch) sew the top of the bias tape to the bodice.
|finished casing from the inside|
cut pieces of bias tape for straps and simply sew down both edges as near as you can to the edges. stitch them to the back edge of the bodice. decide if you want them straight or crossed in the back. try on the dress to position and pin the front straps in place. you will want them sewn right about where the top of the bodice curves down around the arms. stitch them in place and you're done!
how easy is that? wear it now while it's still warm, then as the weather cools throw on a cardigan, leggins, a belt and you're ready for fall! and now if you'd excuse me, i have a hurricane to prepare for.