Saltspring Sew-Along #8: Finishing the Dress

saltspring sew-alongHello everyone! We’re nearing the end of the Saltspring sew-along. It’s feeling kind of bitter sweet for me! Bitter, because I’ll miss you guys! Sweet, because we’ll get to wear these awesome dresses and share photos with each other. Yay!

It’s time to hem our dresses. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to hang your dress for at least 24 hours to let the fabric settle. Then even out your hem by trimming off any excess fabric that seems to hang lower than it should. It’s very possible that the fabric at the side seams of your dress will be longer after the dress hangs overnight. Just be sure that your elastic is sitting straight across when you trim your hem. This will likely mean your dress will need to be on a dress form, or on someone’s body, or flat on a table.

saltspring sew along

Next let’s finish our raw edge. Your center back seam should be pressed open, and your side seams should be pressed towards the front.

saltspring sew along

Iron the hem allowance up at 1” (2.5cm). I like to use my little ruler as I go so that it’s nice and even, and pin as I go.

I’ve decided to hem my dress by machine. I am stitching along the center of my overlock finish. You can see in the photo above on the right, I’m also pointing out the little hole in my plate that I am using as a guide to be sure my hem is nice and even.

Another great hem option is the catchstitch! Tasia does a great demo at the end of this post during the Lonsdale sew-along. This option would be great for delicate fabrics, like silk charmeuse, or a solid fabric where you think a machine stitched hem would jump out too much. The catchstitch will be just about invisible.

saltspring sew along

Since my dress is a pretty busy print, I don’t mind the look of the machine stitched hem.

saltspring sew along

Finally, let’s knot the ends of our straps and trim the end diagonally. This will help the raw edge not to fray!

saltspring sew along

Now we can admire our lovely finished dresses! I’m going to take some proper photos of this dress on me and share them with you soon.

We’d absolutely love to see you wearing your fantastic Saltspring dress! Yes you! Here’s how you can share:

–          If you’ve blogged about it, share a link in the comments!

–          Upload pictures to the Sewaholic flickr pool

–          Instagram a photo with the hashtag #sewaholicsaltspring

–          E-mail photos to us at info(at)sewaholic(dot)net

We’ll be putting together a post (or two!) to round up our favorites.

Here’s a recap of all of our sew-along posts:

Thank you so much to everyone for following along, and for being so encouraging and supportive during my first ‘sew-along’! I’ve loved walking you through the construction of the Saltspring dress. Looking forward to seeing your versions!

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17 Responses to Saltspring Sew-Along #8: Finishing the Dress

  1. Meganleiann August 28, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    Thanks, Caroline. I have a question. I attempted to do solid straps instead of the straps that tie and misjudged the length. Is there some way I can trim the straps down without leaving a big lump? I love that the strap ends are encased in the bodice, but now I can’t get in there to shorten them.

    • Caroline Amanda August 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      Hello! How about trying to get in there through the zipper opening? You may be able to squeeze into the opening and pull out the ‘insides’ of your bodice, one side at a time. Since you’ve already trimmed your bodice then really carefully unpick just the part where you sewed across the strap. Pull the strap in a bit more, then re-sew across!

      I think this is your best bet. Good luck!

  2. nothy August 28, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    I’m finishing up my Saltspring too. I felt really behind for awhile but maybe I’m right on track. Mine should be done tonight or tomorrow at the latest.

  3. Michelle August 28, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Thanks for the sew-a-long. The instructions were great & easy to understand.

  4. Linda August 28, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I am going to stabilize and fuse my knit hem with extra fine fusing tape (made in Japan) before I coverstitch it…this persnickity fabruc is NOT going to get the best of me this time..Ha, the serger may though.. thanks Caroline for all your tips and great ideas, too.

  5. Miss Crayola Creepy August 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I just blogged mine here:

    Thank you so much for the detailed and helpful sew-along, Caroline. You did great!!!!

    • Caroline Amanda August 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      Love it! Thanks so much :D

  6. nicole August 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Looks gorgeous Caroline, great pattern placement! I’m on to my second Saltspring dress and nearly finished it! I made the maxi version first and have hardly taken it off, I get so many compliments on it, LOVE this pattern!

  7. Kim August 29, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Hey Caroline,
    when should my pictures be submitted?
    I’m working hard to finish my black silk version but I don’t want to rush the last parts..

    • Caroline Amanda August 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Kim! No need to rush :) we’ll be doing a few round ups over the next few weeks.

  8. Lindsay Tailor August 29, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    I’m going to finish mine tonight (hopefully) and post pictures up on Monday.

    Thanks for the sew along Caroline! You did fantastic, and It was a lot of fun!!

    • Caroline Amanda August 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Lindsay! Thanks so much for participating! I had tons of fun.

  9. Emily August 29, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Nearly finished…would a blind stitched hem work??? I don’t like sewing catchstitch and I want my hem to be nearly invisible. Thank you for the great sew along it really helped explain the tricker bits!!!

    • Caroline Amanda August 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Emily! Yes a blind stitch would work great! All the best. :)

  10. sewcharleston August 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    This is my favorite dress I’ve ever made!!!! It’s so comfortable and easy to make! Check out my blog post about it!

    I just finished making another one out of some beautiful voile. I will post it soon! I also have some rayon coming to make the maxi version. Obsessed!

  11. sewcharleston September 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Here is my finished 2nd Saltspring out of voile! Love it!

  12. Kim September 2, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Yes, I finished my Saltspring and I’m absolutely in love with it!
    I made it out of black crepe de chine..