Tag Archives | Lenox Shirtdress

June 10, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 10: Finishing Touches!

We made it to the final day of the sewalong! Hooray!! Today is all about finishing touches. We’ll hem our Lenox Shirtdresses, then put in button holes and sew on buttons.

To hem the dress, start by pressing the bottom edge up by 1/4″. Fold it up by another 3/4″ and press. Pin in place from the right side and topstitch at a scant 3/4″ all the way around. Make sure the edges around your button bland are well-pressed and any raw bits are tucked away. After sewing, give it another good press.

Using the buttonhole guide, mark the positions of the button holes on your dress. As drafted, there is no button on the waistband so if you want to wear a belt, it doesn’t have to go over a button. If you don’t plan on wearing a belt with your Lenox, we’d recommend shifting the buttons so there is one on the waistband. You’ll also want to make sure the second button is in line with your bust apex to help prevent gaping. Adjust the spacing of your buttonholes if necessary to get them in the right spots for you.

Use the buttonhole foot on your machine to make your buttonholes, then carefully open with either a seam ripper with a pin in the end of the hole, an exacto knife (very carefully!), or a buttonhole awl.

Align the two button bands, pinning in place at the waistband, hem, and V-neck corner. Mark the locations of the buttons through the button holes and attach the buttons either by machine or by hand.

And that’s it! You’re dress is done!! Thanks so much for sewing along with us and make sure you share you’re garments using #LenoxShirtdress so we can see what you create!

June 9, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 9: Sleeve Bands

Today is the second to last day of our Lenox Shirtdress sewalong! We can’t wait to see all your finished dresses! Today, we’ll be assembling and attaching our sleeve bands.

Start by sewing each sleeve band into a loop along the short edge, right sides together. Press the seam allowance open and press up one edge of the loop by 1/2″ to the wrong side of the band.

Pin the raw edge of the sleeve band to the sleeve opening on the dress with the right side of the sleeve band against the wrong side of the sleeve. Line up the seam on the sleeve band with the seam on the underarm of the sleeve. Sew the band to the sleeve.

Press the band and the seam allowance down away from the sleeve.

Fold the band back on itself, wrong sides together, until the folded edge of the band just covers the seam where the band attaches to the sleeve. Press and then pin in place or use wonder tape.

Topstitch along the edge of the sleeve band and repeat with the second sleeve.

That’s it for today! Tomorrow, we’ll finish up our dresses with a hem, button holes, and buttons. Great work everyone!

June 8, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 8: Assembling and Attaching the collar

Today, we’ll be assembling our collars and collar stands. Most of the assembly steps are the same whether you’re making the band collar or the traditional collar, but I’ll be sure to flag when something will be different for the band collar.

Let’s start by assembling the collar if you’re making the traditional collar.

Getting nice sharp collar points is always a bit of a challenge and it’s one of those things that really elevates your final product. Here’s an excerpt from our Shirtmaking for Curves class to show you a great trick for your collar:

Here’s what the steps look like on the Lenox sample.

Start with your uninterfaced under collar and your interfaced collar. Take two pieces of thick thread (I used topstitching thread) and tie a knot to make two loops with long tails. Pin your collar to your under collar, right sides together, along the long outer edge.

Sew this seam then open up the collar and lay one of your thread loops along the ditch created by that seam, with the loop sticking out the side.

Fold the collar back with right sides together and pin along the short edge next to the thread loop. Sew this short edge using a short stitch length where you sew across the thread loop.

Trim the corner, being careful not to clip your thread loop.

Repeat these steps with the second side of your collar. Turn the collar gently right side out. Grasp the thread ends from one corner and pull slowly and steadily, holding the collar in place, until the corner turns fully. I like to press the corner while holding tension on the thread.

Give your whole collar a good press and topstitch around the outer edges.

All views resume…

Welcome back, band collar friends! Let’s attach our collar stand (which is also our outer band collar) to the dress body.

Pin the interfaced collar stand/band collar to the right side of the dress. Match the notches all the way around. The stand will extend 1/2″ beyond the button band at either end.

Sew at 1/2″ seam allowance and then press both the collar stand and seam allowance up away from the dress body.

Traditional collar only…

Pin the collar to the collar stand, under collar against the right side of the collar stand, matching notches. Baste in place with 1/4″ seam allowance.

All views resume…

Take your un-interfaced collar stand/band collar and press up the seam allowance along the long straight edge to the wrong side.

Pin the un-interfaced stand/band to the interfaced collar stand, right sides together. If you’re making the traditional collar, the collar will be sandwiched between the two. If you’re making the band collar, there won’t be anything in between the two. Sew along the curved edge, starting and ending right at the very edge of the button band.

Trim the seam allowance very close to the curve and turn the stand/band collar right side out.

Press the inner collar stand/band collar down toward the dress so the folded edge just overlaps the outer collar stand/band collar seam. Secure in place using pins or wonder tape. Topstitch from the outside at a scant 1/8″.

That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll sew our sleeve bands. Our Lenox Shirtdresses are almost done!



June 7, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 7: Button Bands

We’re making great progress on our Lenox Shirtdresses, everyone! Now we’re going to be getting into the more shirt-like aspects of the dress, starting today with the button bands. Remember, if you want more in-depth tutorials, check out our Shirtmaking for Curves online course which covers many of these steps in much more detail.

Start by pining one of the interfaced button bands to one of the dress fronts at the center. As you pin, you’ll note that the button band buckles going around the corner of the V-neck; don’t worry, it’s supposed to do this and will lay flat once it’s sewn and pressed in place.

Sew the length of this seam at 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting at the corner of the V-neck.

To allow the band to lay flat, carefully snip through the seam allowance up to but not through the stitching line at the corner of the V-neck.

Now, press the button band and seam allowance towards the center front of the dress.

At this point, it should lie flat and there shouldn’t be any tucks or buckles at the V-neck corner. If there are, pick out that section of the seam and re-sew so it is smooth and flat.

Next, pin the un-interfaced button band on top of the interfaced button band, pinning and sewing as before, pivoting at the edge of the V-neck.

Press the other long edge of the un-interfaced button band to the wrong side by 1/2″, clipping into the corner of the V-neck as shown to help it lay flat. You can do this before or after pinning and sewing, just make sure you do the correct edge! Sew the un-interfaced button band to the interfaced one at 1/2″ seam allowance. Grade the seam allowance if you have a bulky fabric, and press the un-interfaced button band to the wrong side of the dress.

Secure in place with wonder tape or with pins on the right side of the dress. Topstitch down both long edges of the button band from the right side of the dress. Repeat with the second center front and two button bands.

Great work! That’s it for today. Next time, we’ll sew the collar and collar stand.

June 6, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 6: Assembling and Attaching the Skirt

Now that we have the bodice assembled and the waistband attached, it’s time to assemble the skirts of our Lenox Shirtdresses and attach it to the bodice. For this sample, I’m making view A with the pleated skirt, but I’ll have a little demo for the view B makers as well.

Pleated skirt:

Let’s begin by pleating the skirt. If you’re making the gathered skirt, we’ll tackle that next.

The pleats are formed first on the two front skirts. With the pieces right side up, the fold of the pleat will point towards the side seam.

In this picture, the side seam is on the left and the center front edge is on the right. Baste across the top of these pleats within the seam allowance to hold them in place.

Next, sew the two back skirts together along the center back seam.

Finish the seam and press to one side.

With the right side of the back skirt facing up, form the pleats again aiming the fold of the pleat away from the center back seam and towards the side seam. Baste across the tops of the pleats within the seam allowance.

Gathered skirt:

For the gathered skirt, start by sewing two lines of basting stitches along the top of the skirt fronts within the seam allowance. Carefully pull one end of the basting stitches to gather the skirt fronts until they are the same width as the bodice fronts. Tie knots in the ends of your basting threads to secure. Slide the gathers around until they’re evenly distributed. Sew the back skirts together at the center back seam. Finish this seam and press to one side.

Repeat the gathering steps on the back skirt by sewing two rows of basting stitches across the top of the whole back skirt and carefully pulling until the back skirt is the same width as the back bodice. Tie knots in the ends of your basting threads to secure.

NB: From now on, all the steps are the same for both skirts so only the pleated skirt will be shown.

All skirts:

Now it’s time to add our pockets (yay, pockets!!). Pin the pocket to the skirt front, matching the top notch with the top edge of the pocket. Sew at 1/4″ seam allowance.

Finish this section of the side seam then press the pocket out to the side. Understitch along the edge of the pocket seam.

Repeat these steps on the second skirt front and on both sides of the skirt back.

To sew the side seams of the skirt, place the skirt front on top of the skirt back, right sides together, matching up the pockets and the side seams.

Sew down from the waist, pivoting at the edge of the pocket, around the pocket, pivoting at the bottom of the pocket, and sewing all the way down to the hem. Finish the seam allowance and press the seam allowance and the pocket towards the front skirt. Repeat with the second skirt front.

Now that our skirt is sewn, let’s attach it to the bodice. Start by pining the outer waistband to the skirt, right sides together, matching side seams and notches.

Sew around the whole waist seam at 1/2″ seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up towards the bodice. Next, we’ll enclose this whole seam with the inner waistband facing. Press the facing down to cover the bodice seam and the skirt seam.

Using pins or wonder tape, secure and topstitch around the waistband from the right side of the dress.

That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll attach the button bands!

June 5, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 5: Assemble and Attach Waistband

Today, we’ll be assembling and attaching the waistband and waistband facing to the bodice of our Lenox Shirtdress. The facing of the waistband will eventually enclose the skirt seam giving a clean finish on the inside of the dress.

Start by sewing the short ends of the front waistband to the back waistband. Do the same with the waistband facing pieces. Make sure you keep the pieces aligned properly; the side with the most notches is the lower edge of all the pieces.

Press the seam allowances of these four seams open. Then press the lower edge of the waistband facing (the uninterfaced one) up by 1/2″ (12mm).

On the inside of the bodice, pin the waistband facing so that the right side of the facing lies against the wrong side of the bodice. Sew this seam at 1/4″ (6mm) and press flat with the facing still flipped up against the bodice.

Now turn the bodice right side out and pin the interfaced waistband along the bottom edge, right sides together and matching the notches. Sew this seam, through the waistband, the bodice, and the waistband facing, at 1/2″ (12mm).

Press the outer waistband down, leaving the inner waistband facing up and pressing the seam allowance down towards the bottom edge. This is what your bodice will look like from the inside now:

The bodice is now complete and is ready to be attached to the skirt. Next time, we’ll get our skirts ready by pleating or gathering them, attaching the pockets, and sewing the center back and side seams.

June 2, 2017

Lenox Shirtdress Sewalong Day 4: Sleeves and Side Seams

Now that we’ve accomplished the magic of the burrito yoke, it’s time to attach our sleeves and finish the bodice of our Lenox Shirtdress by sewing the side seams.

First, let’s prepare the sleeves to insert them into the armscye. There is ease in the sleeve cap for freedom of movement, so to fit it in nicely, sew two lines of basting stitches within the seam allowance between the front and back notches.

Now, line up the shoulder notch on the sleeve with the shoulder seam, right sides together, and pin.

Next, match up the front notch with the front princess seam and the back double notch with the yoke seam. Pull the bobbin threads of the two rows of basting stitches to gather the fabric up in between the notches and pin the rest of the sleeve cap in place.

Sew this seam with the sleeve on the bottom so the feed dogs help distribute the ease. Finish the seam allowance and press towards the sleeve. Repeat these steps with the second sleeve.

Fold bodice in half with right sides together and pin the side seam all the way from the waist edge to the end of the sleeve.

Sew this seam, starting at the waist and pivoting at the underarm. Finish the seam allowance and press to the back. Repeat with the second side.

That’s it for today! Next time, we’ll assemble and attach the waistband. Make sure to share your progress with #LenoxShirtdress and let us know if you have any questions!


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