Fancy Nancy Dress Tutorial – Part 2

For those of you who are making your own Fancy Nancy Dress
it is time to begin sewing!

 (If you are just joining us, Part 1 of the tutorial is here.)

1. Now that all your pieces are cut out, pin your two pleated dress pieces together, right sides facing each other.  Match up the shoulder seams and pin.  Match up the side seams and pin.  Sew shoulder and side seams, being consistent with your seam allowance.

2. Using the same process, with right sides facing each other, sew the shoulder and side seams of the lining pieces.

3. Press all of your seams open.  Put some pressure on your iron.

4. True up your pieces.  Again, since you didn’t use a preprinted pattern, you might need to clean things up a bit.  My neckline pieces didn’t line up exactly, so I adjusted the neckline shape until the seams matched.  You might need to do this to a neckline or armhole seam.

 Here is the picture after I trimmed the neckline. 

5. Finish off your side seam edges on your pleated dress pieces.  I surged my edges, but you can use a zig-zag or overlock stitch on your sewing machine to accomplish the same thing.

6. Take your cap sleeve pieces, and fold them in half width-wise.  Press.  Then fold in half length-wise to get the center.  Pin or mark the center of the sleeve.  (Where your fold is)  This will match up to the shoulder seam of the dress.

7. Make little clips, about 3/8″ to 1/2″ deep, along the curved edges of your cap sleeve pieces. Do not go over your seam allowance.

8. Pin your raw (curved and clipped) edges of your cap sleeve to the armhole of the dress.  The folded edge of your cap sleeve will be facing the middle of the dress.  Overlap the pointed ends of your cap sleeve at the side seam of the dress.

9. Clip the raw edges again, about every inch or so, about the same depth as before.  Just be careful to not go over your seam allowance.  Clipping helps you ease curved pieces into straight seams.

10.  Baste (Sew, using the largest stitch length on your machine) your sleeve onto the dress.  Remember to not catch any of the dress into the seam.  Constantly smooth your dress as you sew.  Basting first also helps to ease the curves so your fabric doesn’t pucker. You can see the long stitches here:

11.  After you baste the sleeve on, make sure that your fabric isn’t folded or puckered in the seam. If it looks good, then sew (with regular stitch length) right over the basting stitches.  Be sure to take your time so your stitches are exactly on top of the others.

12. Trim your seam allowances to about 1/4″ or 3/16″

 Here is what it looks like all trimmed.

13. Clip into your seam allowance again.  Do not hit the seam.  Do this every inch or so.

13. Open up your sleeve and press the seam allowance toward the inside of the dress.

 Now your sleeve is finished.  
Next up, in Part 3, we will created the back opening, attach the bodice lining to the dress, and put the final touches on!