The best time of year is here, summertime. One of the nicest things about summertime is the easy and comfy clothing and nothing compares to the sweet cotton knit fabric of Girl Charlee. Carla from Creatin’ in the Sticks is on the blog today for Fashion Friday and a simple dress to show how HeatnBond® Soft Stretch™ LITE makes a neck facing a summertime breeze.
Fashion Friday – Girl Charlee Summer Dress with HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE
Summer Dress Supplies:
HeatnBond® Soft Stretch™ LITE 5/8” x ’10’ roll
HeatnBond® Soft Stretch™ LITE
1 1/2 yards of Girl Charlee cotton knit fabric
Aurifil thread: 50 wt. #2024
A dress pattern or a favorite cotton knit dress, freezer paper, pins, and a permanent marker
Iron (I love my Oliso Pro)
Sewing machine with a stretch stitch, sharp scissors, other general sewing supplies
Summer Dress Instructions:
Prepare the fabric
After the fabric is gently washed and dried, the knit fabric is easier to work with if it is pressed with starch. Girl Charlee has high quality knit fabric which is much easier to sew with than a lot of knits and it is so soft.
Make or buy a pattern
Taking a favorite dress from the closet and making a pattern is super easy, just pin a favorite piece of clothing down to freezer paper in the seams, remove the pins, draw lines where the pins were, and then add 1/2″ all the way around the pattern for the seams.
When the pattern is ready the next step is to decide on a neckline finish. Most purchased patterns will include a facing pattern, but one will have to be made if the freezer paper pattern method is used.
Use the bodice pattern to make the facing pattern. Measure 1 1/2″ from the neckline and draw a line. Trace the section you just made onto another piece of freezer paper and this will be the facing pattern. Mark a line on the facing pattern 1/2″ away from the neckline as shown.
Cut out fabric pieces
Follow a purchased pattern directions for cutting out all the patterns. The freezer paper method is super for stretchy fabric because it can be ironed directly on the fabric and cut out.
Cut HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE for neckline facing
Because this facing pattern was cut on the fold, the HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE was folded in half and the pattern was traced on the paper side and cut. If a purchased pattern is used, simply trace the pattern leaving the seam allowance out. This will be clear in a later step. The HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE gives such a great foundation for top stitching around the neckline.
Hem sleeves and skirt
HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE 5/8” x ’10’ roll makes hemming knit fabrics so easy. Just press it to the edge of the knit fabric, peel off the paper, fold it up, press it following the package instructions, and stitch with a stretch stitch.
Sew shoulder seams and prepare neckline facing
Stitch 1/2″ seams at shoulders with right sides together and then prepare the neck facing by stitching the two pieces in the same way to form a circle. Press the HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE neck facing pieces to the fabric facing on the wrong side.
Sewing the neck facing to the dress bodice
The picture shows the neck facing pinned to the dress bodice, right sides together, and the HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE ironed to the bottom of the facing. Stitch the neck facing to the dress making sure to follow the backing paper of the HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE but not stitching into the paper.
Finish the neckline
Peel the backing paper from the HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE and fold over the neck facing to the wrong side of the bodice. Following the package instructions, bond the facing to the inside of the dress.
Next, using a stretch stitch (aka lightning bolt stitch) top stitch around the neckline of the dress. Neck facing with knits has never been easier and HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE still allows the neckline to stretch!
Finish the dress
Once the neckline is finished, attach the sleeves to the bodice, stitch the side seams, and add the skirt. HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE just made it easy to create a pretty summer dress.
I hope you will try some summer time sewing with HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE. I’ve never been big on apparel stitching, but this new product has changed the way I feel about sewing with cotton knit fabric. All the hems are straight. The neckline (always a problem for me) is perfect because HeatnBond Soft Stretch™ LITE gives a sturdy foundation to top stitch yet it remains stretchy. Even my sweet pooch, Mollie, admires my new summer dress.