I am so excited to welcome Becky from @bespoke.blanche as a guest blogger to share her stunning Sia x Leila hack. Photo credits for images on Becky go to @nicoleashley. Credits for images on dress form go to Becky.
MATERIALS (in addition to what is already required in the pattern)
- For a size 6, I used a full 10 meters of fabric. This will vary based on how full you want the gathered skirt to be, and how long you want the ruffle tier train to be
- 4 cm wide elastic, about 6 cm length (if you want to replace the zipper)
CONSTRUCTING YOUR DRESS BODICE – INSTRUCTIONS FOR A LINED BODICE
Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 1-12! Easy! 🙂
TIE SLEEVE VERSION A & C
Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 13-15!
STEP 16: Instead of finishing the sleeve hem, here is where you will need the LEILA pattern. Take Pattern piece 10 (SLEEVE FRILL) in the same size as the SIA dress you are working with and cut out 1 pair on the fold. For a basic bell shape, consistent in diameter all the way around, cut out exactly as per the pattern piece. In my hack, I opted for a more dramatic of a bell, so I extended the pattern piece as follows. This will create a bell shape with a longer edge on the back.
Change your stitch length to 5 and stitch 2 rows of gather stitch at the top of the sleeve frill. Change your stitch length back to its normal setting. On my machine it is 2.3. Pull gathers evenly to the bottom of the sleeve. With right sides together, pin and stitch in place using a 1cm (3/8”) SA. Overlock or finish seam using your desired method. Press seam up toward the sleeve.
STEP 17: With right sides together sew the under sleeve seam together using a 1cm (3/8”) SA. Overlock or finish seam with your desired method and press to the back.
STEP 18: Finish the sleeve hem with an 8mm double turn finish. Tip: To sew your double turn hem press your first turn at 8mm and then fold your second turn while sewing at the machine.
CONSTRUCTING YOUR DRESS SKIRT – INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE UNLINED DRESS
Since we are doing a gathered skirt, you will not need to make the darts. Therefore, smooth over the indents/extrudes as you cut your fabric so you have a consistent line along the top of the skirt. You can also cut the back skirt on the fold (instead of a pair) to reduce the number of seams.
Gathered skirts require additional fabric. How much is dependent on how full you want your skirt to be. My version was extremely full, so in addition to the front skirt pair (which stay as is because of the pockets), and the back cut on fold, I cut an additional 3 back pieces on the fold.
IMPORTANT! Before you gather the skirt, take note of the total width of your skirt. You will need to DOUBLE this width for the ruffle tier.
Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 1-2 (for pockets)
Skip Step 3 (no darts necessary)
Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 4-5 (front skirt placket)
Follow instructions as per the pattern for step 6 (sew side seam edges together).
Skip Step 7 (no side seam split in this version)
Before you attach the skirt to the bodice we will gather the skirt. Remember to take note of the total width of your skirt. In the next step, we will cut the ruffle tier and will need to DOUBLE the width of the skirt.
To gather the skirt, divide your skirt into quarters. Turn your stitch length to 5 and sew two rows of gather stitching around each quarter of the skirt. Pull gathers evenly and follow the instructions to attach the skirt to the LINED bodice (This is Step 8). Pull out gather stitching if they are visible.
Hem the skirt using a double turn 6mm (1/4”) hem. TIP: Press and pin in place before sewing.
For the width, you will need to DOUBLE the width of your skirt. (I cut 2 front skirts, and 4 back skirts on the fold) so I cut the equivalent of 4 front skirts (or 2 on the fold to reduce seams), and 8 back skirts on the fold for the ruffle tier.
For the length, this will depend how long you want it to be (and how much fabric you have left). The ruffle tiers equivalent to the front skirt (2 on the fold) I cut at around 40cm. This was the perfect length to hit right at the floor. The longest tier was about 65cm so I cut 4 of the ruffle tiers at that length and the last 4 somewhere in between 40 and 65.
Now it is time to sew them all together, except the two ends that will match with the front false placket. Individually overlock or finish the side seam edges of the ruffle tier using your desired method. Finish the front false placket on the ruffle tier by turning and pressing the CF edge 1cm (3/8”) to the wrong side. Then 2cm (3/4”) again to the wrong side of the garment. Pin in place, change your stitch length to 3mm and then sew down 2mm from edge of fold.
Once it is all sewn together, fold your tier in half, and then half again, and then half again. Take a ruler and make a line from the shortest ruffle to the longest ruffle and cut the ends to make the train gradual.
Before you gather, hem the skirt on the top AND the bottom by using a double turn 6mm (1/4”) hem. TIP: Press and pin in place before sewing.
To gather the ruffle, divide into quarters. Turn your stitch length to 5 and sew two rows of gather stitching around each quarter of the skirt. Pull gathers evenly on the ruffle tier to match the width of the skirt.
Place the ruffle tier on the skirt, with the wrong side of the ruffle tier touching the right side of the skirt. Align the gathering stitches of the ruffle tier with the hem stitches on the skirt. You want the ruffle tier to overlap the skirt by 6mm (1/4”). Use a lot of pins to ensure the ruffle tier is evenly distributed on the dress. Sew to attach, using the gathering stitches as a guide, with a 1.3 cm (1/2”) seam allowance. Remove the basting stitches.
CONSTRUCTION FOR GARMENT FINISHES – INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LINED DRESS
I opted for a back neck-tie instead of a zipper. To accomplish this, I cut two strips of fabric about 4 cm wide by 35 cm long for the ties. To make a simple thin tie, fold it in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press to create a crease. Unfold, and then fold in one of the short sides about 5mm to create a finished edge and then press the two sides to meet in the middle crease. Fold again and sew as close to edge as you can. Repeat for the other tie.
Place the raw end of the tie on the top of the bodice, right sides together and sew close to the edge. Repeat on the other side.
Where the back bodice meets the skirt, you may need to insert a length of elastic (I used about 6cm) to allow the dress to be pulled over your head/shoulders. You can create a casing from scrap material or use a piece of elastic that is designed to be exposed. I created a casing, attached it to the skirt/back bodice, slipped the elastic in and closed the casing.
Once the elastic is in, turn in the back raw edges 8mm all the way down to create a clean finish and topstitch.
Give your dress a press and your SIA hack is now complete!