Sahara Sew Along Days 7 and 8

Hello again! Welcome back! Are you ready to finish this crazy amazing Sahara of yours? Today's the day! But first, if you're just joining us, there IS time to catch up (I promise)! Just follow the links to Day 1, Day 2, Days 3 and 4, and Days 5 and 6. All caught up? Great! Let's get started!

Sahara Sew Along Days 7 and 8

Today we add the skirt and finish the dress! But if you're adding pockets, we need to do that first.

Ladies Dress sizes 24-30

If you are sewing a dress in sizes 24-30 and don't have a super wide selvage, you can use the included skirt pieces on pages 20-36 of the ladies Pocket Add-On.  This color blocks the circle skirt so you can use a narrower fabric.  To create a full circle skirt, just sew the skirt pieces at the side seams until you get two half circles, and then you can continue with the instructions below to add pockets if you want them.

Adding Pockets

You should have 2 half circle skirt pieces and 4 pocket pieces. Take each pocket piece and pin it to the skirt sides. There should have been marks on the pattern, but if you missed them, you can pin them about 2 inches down from the top like so:

Then baste all 4 in place individually, just inside of the seam allowance. Pin the skirt pieces together with the seams pressed toward the pockets (alternatively, you can understitch the pockets). Once pinned, you should have something that resembles this:

Now, just sew all the way down both sides, taking special care around the outside of the pockets. Go slow if you need to. Don't sew in a straight line all the way down or you'll sew the pockets shut (I'm only saying this because I did that the first time I ever tried to sew a pocket lol). Once the side seams are sewn, finish the edges and you're ready to move on!

Attaching the Skirt

Now, quarter the bodice and skirt waist openings and match them up to attack the skirt. If you've added pockets, make sure the side seams are pressed to the front so that the pockets will lay to the front of the skirt. Sew the waist seam with clear elastic to help stabilize it if you have it (I didn't have any, but I highly recommend it's use).

Now that you have the skirt attached, we're in the home stretch! You now have a mostly finished Sahara!


All that's left is to decide on a hem! Now, there are MANY options for hemming a knit skirt. One is to not. Some prefer to simply leave the edges raw since knit does not fray. If this is your chosen method, you're finished! Congrats! Some fold up the bottom and use a coverstitch machine or a sewing machine with a double needle to sew parallel straight stitches into the hem as you see in many ready to wear garments. Some use a single row of straight or stretch or zigzag sitches to hold their hem in place. Me? I'm a little more unconventional in that area. My love is the lettuce hem and I'll give you a quick rundown of how I do that on my sewing machine. First, the settings.

I set my machine to a zigzag stitch with a 5mm width and a 0.3mm length, giving me a satin stitch. I place my fabric under my needle with the edge centered under the foot. When you start, go SLOW! Trust me. And unlike most conventional knit sewing, you will WANT to stretch your fabric as much as possible as it's feeding through the machine. The combination of the tight satin stitches and the stretch fabric will leave you with a very pretty ruffled edge.

Now, I'd recommend a matching thread if you're newer to this method, but if you practice and get good at it, contrasting lettuce hems can be stunning on the right pieces. I will warn you, a lettuce hem does take a LOT more time than a traditional hem, and sewing one can get pretty intense at times. You'll also want to make sure you're starting one with a full bobbin, because they do use up a LOT of thread. But, to me, it's worth it for the look.

And that's it! You're done with your very own Sahara! Go you! If you aren't quite there, we do have some catch up days planned, so no worries there. Make sure you visit our Facebook group and add your picture from today's steps into the comments of today's picture in the album! I can't WAIT to see all of the finished pretties! I LOVE seeing what you all make! In case you need a refresher, here's the schedule again. And a reminder that the ladies and girls Sahara patterns will remain on sale through Sunday, so go grab yours while it's on if you haven't already!

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