I think it turned out great, but I wonder if the sleeves are a bit too large. Do you think I might be able to get away with it because aren't big shoulders supposed to be coming back into style? I'd love some comments on them.
Anyway, here's how I did it.
the Cross Over Dress-
- Take your dress pattern and fold down one shoulder of the dress front top pattern piece. Making the line of the fold from the remaining shoulder to the bottom corner of the pattern.
- Lay out all the pattern pieces. you will need 2 of the back, 4 of the front top, 4 of the front bottom, and 4 of the sleeves. Make sure that you have 2 pieces of the dress front top that have a right sided shoulder and 2 that have a left sided shoulder. (All the other pieces are mirror images so it doesn't matter what direction the fabric is facing when you cut it out. If you don't have a right or wrong side to the fabric, then it won't matter what direction the shoulders are pointing when you cut them out.) Cut them out.
- You now basically have pieces for 2 dresses. To assemble the 2 dresses I began with sewing each front top and bottom together. Repeat for all 4 dress fronts. Then sew one right sided dress front and one left sided dress front to a dress back. Make sure that for both the right and left hand sides you leave about a 1" gap in your stitching where the dress front top and bottom meet and that your stopping and starting points have been back stitched. This is where you will string the ribbon through the dress to keep it from falling off. Repeat with the other pieces.
- Optional-If you are planning on adding details to the dress like embroidery, ribbon striping or any other trimmings, this is a great time to do it. I added a thick white ribbon along the bottom of the dress. To add it, trim the bottom edges of the dress with some scissors to make sure they are all even at the seems and then find a mark or make a mark on your sewing machine that you can follow as you sew the ribbon on. (I used the edge of the metal plate that has the seem allowances on it.) Sew the bottom edge of the ribbon on while making sure the edge of the fabric is lined up to the the mark on the machine. Then go back and sew the top edge of the ribbon in place. (If you are using rick rack, you normally only need to sew one line in the middle of the rick rack.)
- take only one of your dresses and pin the corner of your ribbon to the corner of the fabric where the dress front top and dress front bottom meet. Make sure that the edge of the ribbon is at the corner and the yardage is against the main body of the dress. You can pin it down if you would like. (This will keep the ribbon from getting sewn over when you hem the dress.) You need a ribbon on both the left and right side of the dress front.
- Now pin the dress with the ribbon to other dress with right sides together and sew the edges together, except for the bottom. (This will need to be open so you can turn the dress right side out.)
- Go over the seems with scissors making little clips at the curves and cutting off any extra fabric at the corners. Pull the dress right side out and iron the edges, making sure that they are crisp and follow the seem line. Line up the side seem gaps for the ribbon, If they have trouble lining up, make any necessary adjustments. Then sew a rectangle around the hole so that the holes are always lined up. Repeat for the other side.
- Now hem the bottom edges however you like to. I did a double folded edge and sewed it with the machine. But I kept the bottom open instead of sewing the two layers together. I think it helps it fit better to let the two layers move freely of one another on the bottom.
- Fold the edge of the shoulder front into itself. then insert the back shoulderinto the front shoulder and sew the seem.
- Sew the outer edge of the dress about a 1/4" from the edge
- Decide what side of the cross over front looks best. On the side that the ribbon is not strung through, string a ribbon that is about 8" or so. Take it through the arm hole and back in the side opening. Stitch a bar tack to keep this ribbon in place. This makes a loop to string the front ribbon through. If there is no loop, the front panel of the crossover will slide down and make the bottom hem of the dress look crooked.
- Put the dress on and put some pins in the area of the arm hole where you want the sleeves to start and end. Take a step back and make sure that the left side pins and the right side pins match up. Make any necessary adjustments.
- On one of the shoulders, measure the length from the front pin to the end pin (5"). Double that measurement(10") and mark a straight line on a piece of paper (10").
- Draw a long skinny oval that is 10" long. Cut along the 10" line and one of the curves.
- Now use this as a paper pattern. cut 4 out of the fabric.
- Sew 2 together along the curve and repeat
- Adjust the stitch length on your machine to be long. Sew along the straight edge of the fabric but do NOT backstitch!
- Pull the threads to ruffle the material. When get some good ruffled put a pin the the edge and wrap the thread around the pin. Begin pulling the other end, put a pin in it and wrap the thread once the ruffles make the sleeve reaches the desired length (5").
- Pin the sleeve onto the dress pointing towards the neckline. Sew all around the armhole. clip any extra thread or fabric hanging over the armhole.
- Sew over the raw edge of the fabric with a zig zag stitch.
- fold the sleeve back over the zig zag stitching and iron into place. Pin and handstitch the fabric into place making sure to only go through one layer of fabric.