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Subject: Side Skirt Seam

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Date Posted: 08:59:38 11/08/04 Mon
In reply to: K 's message, "Contruction Problems-Technique & Tips" on 15:45:15 03/10/01 Sat

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[> [> Subject: Side Seam Scalloped Edge Instructions by Jess

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Date Posted: 09:06:12 11/08/04 Mon

First off - it ain't easy. Just liked shaped pleats I wouldn't try it unless you have a bit of experience in doing these dresses - please don't feel I am casting aspersions on your abilities - this is just my little disclaimer thing for anyone reading who wants to try them - IT'S NOT MY FAULT IF IT ALL GOES WRONG!!! lol

To do shaped sides and keep the dress so it sits well you need to put a side pleat into the skirt. How deep you make it depends on how deep the shaping is - if there is not enough space between the deepest cutaway and the seam allowance it makes it a nightmare to try and sew the thing together - trust me ;-) Been there, done it.

When I am doing a normal sided dress I add an inch + seam allowance at the waist then taper it down to around 3 inches + seam allowance at the hem - but as I said you may need to make it deeper (at the top most likely) if the shaping is quite deep. Add this to the side of BOTH the back skirt and the side skirt - the previous seam line now becomes the fold line where the pleat is folded in (just a note, before cutting the piece out, fold along the fold line and mark the waist cutting line onto the pleat section so that it lies level with the cutting line of the side skirt once folded - if that makes sense).

To do the shaping on the side skirt, take your pattern and now CUT OFF the extra you've just made for the pleat, along the fold line! So the side skirt is now made from two separate pieces (these get joined back together later).

The widest points of the shaping should sit along the very outside edge. Use the pattern to cut the pieces - you should end up with 2 side skirts (l & r) and 2 pleat pieces (l & r) in both the lining and the dress fabric.

Embroider the side skirt piece then stiffen and line each of the side skirts and lining pieces as you prefer, and finish the hem as you normally would.

I normally cut away the shaping on the side skirt now. Then pin the pleat to the side skirt, lining to lining. Straight stitch the two together along the shaping on the side skirt, and then cut away the excess from the pleat so it too follows the shaping.

Satin stitch along the edge - may take two or three goes to get even coverage.

So you will now have a side skirt with a shaped edge, and a little flap that sits under the side edge.

The back skirt (all stiffened and lined) is then sewn to the edge of that flap. The seam is NOT ironed open, but left flat. You then bind it with a strip of the lining fabric to enclose all edges - I normally machine sew on one side then wrap round, fold under and hand sew the other side down to cover all the seam stitching.

That should then leave you with the shaped edge with side pleat. I know that all this probably doesn't make any sense but hopefully you can decipher it a bit!! lol

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