Our 2016 Build a Wardrobe silhouettes are now available to order through Custom DIY and select kits on our website. Since these projects are new and not included in any of our books, we’ll share the instructions for each project on our Journal over the next few weeks. This week, we’re sharing instructions for the Maggie Dress and variations with you. You may also download a printable PDF with instructions through the link at the bottom of this post.
MAGGIE TOP/TUNIC/DRESS INSTRUCTIONS
1. Baste Neckline and Armholes
To ensure that the neckline and armholes don’t stretch while you’re constructing your garment, use a single strand of all-purpose thread to baste around the neckline and curved edges—from the shoulder to the side edge—of each piece.
2. Add Embroidery
Add embellishment, as desired. Use one of our Alabama Studio Series books for inspiration. If you’re adding beading, avoid beading in 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Prepare for Construction
After completing embellishment, choose Inside or Outside Floating or Felled Seams (see our Alabama Studio Book Series) for your garment. You will pin with fabric’s wrong sides together for seams visible on the outside of the garment or with fabric’s right sides together for seams that are finished on the inside of the garment.
When pinning knit seams for construction, it is important to follow a method we call “pinning the middle”. With right sides together for inside seams and wrong sides together for outside seams, start by pinning the top of your seam, and follow by pinning the bottom of your seam. After pinning both top and bottom, place one pin in the middle, between the two initial pins. Continue by pinning in the middle of each set of pins, until your seam is securely pinned and ready to sew. Repeat the process for the garment’s two back panels, pinning them together at center back (right sides together for seams inside the garment, wrong sides together for seams that are on the outside of the garment).
4. Sew Center Front and Center Back Seams
Thread your needle, love your thread, and knot off. Using a straight stitch, sew the pinned pieces together, starting at the top edge of the center front and stitching 1/4” from the fabric’s cut edges down to the bottom edge. Be sure to begin and end the seam by wrap-stitching its edges to secure them. Fell each seam (if desired) by folding over the seam allowances to one side and topstitching them 1/8” from the cut edges, down the center of the seam allowances, using a straight stitch and wrap-stitching the seam. Repeat this process to sew the center back seam.
5. Sew Shoulder Seams
Next, pin the shoulder seams, with the raw edges aligned, and sew the seams, starting at the top edge of the armhole and stitching 1/4” from the fabric’s cut edges across to the neckline. Begin and end each seam by wrap-stitching its edges to secure them. Fell your seams, if desired, towards the back of your garment down the middle of your seam allowance.
6. Bind Neckline, Armholes, and Perimeter of Dress/Tunic/Top
Your kit should include approximately 540″ of binding for a Maggie Dress, 432” of binding for a Maggie Tunic, or 324″ for a Maggie Top.
Use an iron to press each cut binding strip in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, being careful not to stretch the fabric as you press it. Start at garment’s center-back neckline and encase the neckline’s raw edge inside your folded binding, basting the binding in place with all-purpose thread as you work. At the center-back point, overlap your binding’s raw edges by 1/2” to finish, trimming away any excess binding.
Use the stretchable stitch of your choice to sew through all layers and down the middle of binding.
To bind the armholes and perimeter of the garment, encase the garment’s raw edge inside your folded binding, basting the binding in place with all-purpose thread as you work. Overlap your binding’s raw edges by 1/2” when adding another piece or finishing the binding, trimming away any excess binding at the end.
Use the stretchable stitch of your choice to sew through all layers and down the middle of the binding around the perimeter of the garment. Remove or break neckline and armhole basting stitches by pulling gently on one end of thread. It’s fine to leave any basting stitches that may be embedded in the binding.
7. Make Tab
Your kit should include one 2 1/2” X 3” strip of fabric with the long side on-grain to use for the tab closure.
With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the top short side down 1”, with wrong sides together, and the bottom short side up 1”, with wrong side to right side, to cover it. You should now have a tri-fold tab measuring 2 1/2” wide X 1” tall. Use an iron to press the tab.
8. Attach Tab and Snaps
With the wrong side of the front panel of the garment facing up, align one short, raw edge of the tab with the finished edge of the binding on the top left corner of the front panel. Attach the tab with a straight stitch, wrap-stitching each side of the tab. Fold tab towards the front of the garment and fell the seam.
Straight stitch the loose end of the tab to secure before attaching the snap. Attach the female half of the snap to the back side of the tab, using a doubled strand of Button Craft thread.
Turn the top right corner of the front panel over with the right side facing up. Attach the male half of the snap to the front side of the corner, directly on top of the binding, using a doubled Button Craft thread.
9. Add Ties
Your kit should include approximately 60” of 1 1/2”-wide strips of fabric cut on the grain to use as ties.
Attach two 30” flat ties, right sides together, to the side corners of the right side of the garment back with a straight stitch, wrap-stitching each side of the tie. Fold each tie towards the front of the garment and fell the seam. Once the ties are attached, pull on the end of each causing the edges to roll. The ties will stretch approximately 6” when pulled.
Download a printable PDF of the Maggie Dress instructions here.
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