Pretty in Pink

I got my order of Ripstitch Washaway/Tearaway stabilizer in. I don’t know what I think of it yet. I had to redo the bodice for this dress three times, finally resorting to Vilene, as both times using the Ripstitch, when I tried to remove the stabilizer, the edges of the bodice fabric unraveled to the point it was useless.

It worked beautifully however on the skirt, but I soaked it and swished it in warm water and none of the stabilizer dissolved… maybe in the wash? Perhaps it breaks down over time? The website wasn’t really specific.

This bodice and skirt design are from a separate collection from Custom Keepsakes, “Gals and Dolls”. I bought four collections from Kathy some years back as I greatly admire her work and adore the look of heirloom sewing… even though I happily break several of her rules.

This particular design had what I felt like was too large of a gap between the scallops and the embroidered ovals, so after sewing the pintucks beneath the scallops, I went back and added two rows between the scallops and the ovals.

To sew the first row of pintucks, I marked a dash a quarter inch below the edge of the scallops with a frixion pen. Once that first line of pin tucking is sewn, the foot rides over it and there’s no more marking, so it goes quite fast.

A shot of steam and the frixion pen marks go away.

I’ve tried multiple methods of gathering for the skirts. My favorite is still the ruffle foot as I love the precise pleats it makes, but with the embroidered skirts have a definite pattern beginning and ending, I can’t simply chop of the ends to fit the bodice, so I have to gather them.

I’ve tried zigzagging over cord and pulling it, and that is probably the easiest method, but I think the prettiest gathers come from three rows of basting.

I’ve learned that finishing the edge first, prevents the first row which is stitched right off of the edge, from fraying out.

I like to reduce the stitch length to 1.4mm and the width to 4.5mm.

It makes a neat edge which I find works better for doll clothing than using my serger, unless it’s a long straight seam.

I like to use my clear presser foot to sew the gathering stitches, and I set the machine length for those to 5.0mm. The first row can be stitched almost on the edge of the fabric without it fraying, even when you gather it after sewing two more rows.

As always, I hem with a hemmer foot for the most professional looking results. Another magical presser foot I couldn’t live without!

I hope to finish this dress today, and maybe start embroidering the skirt for another!

CJ Tinkle

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