red faux leather bodycon dress and denim jacket

Ditch the Stitch: Ways You Can Reduce Your Sewing Time

Happy Wednesday Introverts! If you caught my post yesterday then you know that I planned a two for one deal. Two posts this week! I know that’s unheard of from me. Well, I didn’t have time last week to get one of my posts up so I wanted to make sure that I caught up. Today, I will share some tips I have in making my own faux leather dress. If you follow trends then you know that leather/faux leather/pleather are on trend this winter so I tried my luck at making my own dress. My idea was to create a dress that didn’t have any neckline or hemstitching so that it looked more like a true leather dress.

My inspiration for this idea came from an image I saw of Lana Parrilla from the TV show “Once Upon a Time” on Pinterest. Watching that show is my guilty pleasure and I love her character as the evil queen. She’s sassy, loving and conflicted. My type of drama. Her style is a part of my mood board. For those of you not familiar with this term it’s basically my inspiration board full of all my wardrobe wishes. Here’s the photo of Lana in her red leather dress.

Actress Lana Parrilla attends “Once Upon A Time” Press Line Comic-Con International 2016 at Hilton Bayfront on July 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.
(July 22, 2016 – Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

If you look closely you can see that there isn’t any stitching around the sleeve and bottom hem. I wanted that look all the way around so I found a simple dress pattern in my stash and started brainstorming how I would create my own version. McCalls 6886 is the one that I chose. It’s a really popular pattern because it is easy to create. Two sleeves, a front, and a back pattern piece… I was sold. Of course, being the complicated person that I am I had to add two more pieces. A front and back facing to the collar.

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To create the facing I literally just traced the neckline of the dress and measured out how far I wanted it to go, added a seam allowance to it, and then cut out those two pieces and voila. I created a facing. Who knew it was that simple. After I cut out all the pieces I began figuring out which ones to stitch and how. The best way I knew how to do this was to do the following:

  1. Stitch the front and back together at the shoulder seams
  2. Attach the sleeves using the flat lay method. (You stitch the curvy side of the sleeve to the curve/armhole side of the dress matching notches)
  3. Pin/clip the sides of the sleeves together and then continue to pin the front to the back with right sides facing. Do this for both sides and then stitch from the top of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress. (You end up with matching seams this way, but it only works for stretchy fabric)
  4. Next, take the facing and pin it to the neckline matching seams. Right sides should be facing. At this point, the facing curve is in the same direction as the neckline. And then I stitch those two pieces together. Trim the seam allowance and then press the seam using a leather press toward the facing and stitch the seam allowance to the facing (understitch)
  5. Now here is the fun part get some soft stretch fusible web adhesive and cut it out into pieces about 1-2 inches at a time. Follow the manufactures instructions and adhere the adhesive to the facing bit by bit and press (using an iron) it to the neckline evenly so that it doesn’t show on the outside. Make sure to use a pressing cloth so that you don’t melt the fabric.
  6. Let that cool completely to make sure the adhesive worked and then move on to the sleeves. Cut out the adhesive again and iron it to the sleeve, remove the backing after it cools and then turn up the hem and iron the seam in place. Always always always use a pressing cloth.
  7. Repeat step 6 to the hem and then you are done!

A few other things that I did to alter the pattern included taking the waist out some because I made this dress pre-surgery so I still had my fibroid belly. So it became a little bit more of a shift dress instead of a bodycon one, which I’m cool with. It truly is one of my new favorite pieces this winter and I can’t wait to wear it again next fall.

Before I go here’s some more information about the dress.

  • Heat and bond I found at Joann fabric, but if you don’t have that store in your area you can find it here on Amazon.
  • Fabric: Jersey Knit with faux leather finishing. You could probably find something like this in the Athletic knit section of your fabric store. I got mine from Fabric Mart Fabric, but it’s not available anymore.
  • I used stretch thread and double stitched the sides instead of using my serge machine (which I need to fix by the way, lol)
  • You can use a 90/14 needle which is the standard for most of the fabric I use.
  • And the pressing cloth can be a cloth napkin, which I’ve used for years before I even knew what a pressing cloth was.
  • And that’s it!

Until next time…

Ashley E signature with xoxo at the end

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