Playdate Outfit Sew Along: Day 3 – Top/Dress (2nd Half)

So it’s time to finish up our top/dress!  How are we feeling?  Good, I hope……we’re in the home stretch, so bare with me.  Yesterday we stopped after finishing up our arm holes and shoulder ruffles, so now we’ll move on to the side seams and finishing.

Since you’ve probably just pressed your shoulder ruffles and arm holes, you will now need to pull the exterior fabric and the lining completely apart (we do this a lot with this pattern).  Place the right sides of the exterior fabric and the right sides of the lining fabric together at both sides seams.  You are now going to run a stitch starting at the beginning point of the two lining fabrics coming together and running all the way to the end of where the exterior fabrics come together.  This is going to cause us to have no exposed seams on the interior of the garment – yipee!!

Here is what your seam will look like on one side.  You will need to run this stitch on both sides.  It’s pretty much just sewing a straight line though you may have to turn your foot a tad bit at the arm hole.

I like to clip a line where the exterior and lining fabrics come together under the arm hole.  I find the arm holes lay much more flat this way.  You totally don’t have to do this step…….it’s just a little extra thing I like to do.

Turn your garment right side out and press the side seams open and press all the way around the arm holes.  I like to press the exterior seams and lining seams separately to make sure they are both fully open. 

This next step is where I took some liberties with the way I like to do a lined garment.  So for the next few steps you can totally ignore me and follow the actual instructions or give this finishing technique a try.  Let’s see if I can explain this correctly……….

Currently you have your garment pressed and turned nicely with the right sides out.  At the lower side seam (doesn’t matter which one), pull the lining fabric away from the exterior fabric.  We need to pull them apart because we are going to flip the fabrics so they will now have their right sides facing.

In the picture above, you can see the corner where I started turning towards the bottom of the picture.  It’s going to feel sort of awkward and weird but just go with it.  You want to try and turn the entire bottom of the dress so the right sides are facing each other.

In the picture above you can see that I now have the right side of my lining facing the right side of my exterior fabric.  I have pinned this in place.  You want to sew along the bottom with a 1″ seam allowance (I usually do 1/2″ but a 1″ hem is what the pattern calls for).  Sew 3/4 of the way across, then leave a 4″ gap and finish sewing to the other edge.  See picture below……

Notice how I have left a 3″ – 4″ opening at the bottom of the top.  Pull the rest of the dress through this little opening.  Again, it’s going to feel a little strange, but trust me.

Now that you have pulled the top through the opening, press the bottom seam.  You will have a 3″ – 4″ opening so you need to make sure to press that under to line up with the bottom of the top.  Place a few pins to hold it in place.

Next, top-stitch around the entire bottom using a 1/8″ seam allowance.  This will catch the opening and make it so the entire bottom is closed.  You can use this technique to make garments reversible as well.  Personally, I fell that it ensures that the bottom of any garment is nice and neat and the bottom seam is perfect.  Again, you can totally ignore me if I lost you along the way………if so, just follow the instructions in the pattern for a more typical way to hem.

The pattern now instructs for some additional top-stitching and button holes.  Again, the button hole placement didn’t seem to given exactly, so on the size small, I opted to do four buttons spaced about 4.5″ apart.  But you can do them however you would like.

I’m not going to go into details in regards to making button-holes since everyone’s machine is different.  I use a button-hole foot attachment with my machine that pretty much does all the work for me.

After you’ve sewn your button holes, open them with your seam ripper.  I place a pin at the end of each hole so as to make sure I don’t rip through the entire thing.  I’ve been VERY thankful several times that I took the time to take this extra step.

Finally, finish your button holes with fray check or other sealer so that you prevent any additional fraying in the wash.

Whew!  And that’s pretty much it!!  We will focus on the optional flower tomorrow.  But for now your top and dress is complete.  If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back.  This was not a garment for the beginner sewer so you should be very proud of yourself!!

Here are a few pictures of the front and back of my top.  And do you think my little lady likes this outfit?  You bet she does (which makes it even more rewarding)!!
Tomorrow we’ll work on the flower, which is pretty easy, and we’ll move onto the capris/shorts on Friday.  See you then!

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  1. What is a good online store that you recommend for trims (whip stitch/piping/rickrack) and ribbon? Thanks! Ordered my pattern last night and will be starting late, so I can’t wait!!!! Happy sewing!

  2. Natalie, I would try etsy and search under “supplies”. I buy my trims wholesale from the manufacturers. You can always check too and see what kind of selection they are carrying. But your best bet will be etsy for something unique!

  3. Very cute. Makes me wish I had sewn more when my daughter was littler. Love it.

  4. I’m not as far as you yet, but what size buttons did you use? It doesn’t say on the pattern.



  5. Natalie,
    Have you tried viewing THERIBBONRETREAT.COM website. They seem to have tons of stuff.

  6. I was really intimidated when I started this, but it has been so easy! (so far) I think it’s the great directions with pics! Thanks Lindsay, can’t wait to finish!

  7. I used pretty big buttons – I think 1″, but you could use any size. With the bigger ones I only did 4, so with smaller ones I would do more.

    Yes, I think having pictures is really helpful. I toyed with doing illustrations in my patterns that are coming out, but I’m more comfortable with photographs so that’s what I’m including with my instructions. Can’t wait to see your completed looks!!

  8. I finally got my ruffle sleeves put on, but am confused about the next step. Could you explain it a little better.



  9. This dress is so beautiful. I am not quite as skilled as you are but I am trying….
    Question: where do you make the little signs with your label on it?

  10. I’m not 100% sure if I’m reading the question right. Are you asking about my hang-tags from my clothing? Those are printed through my graphic designer. My garment labels are purchased through Fancy Weaver on Etsy. Hope that answers the question. Let me know if I mis-understood. Thanks so much for commenting!!


  11. I finished the button holes yesterday. Turns out I’ve never made button holes with this sewing machine which I’ve had for probably 10 years. The button hole maker was still in its original packaging! This has been a great adventure for me.