It’s tutorial time! Here’s how to do the angled front and back seams for the Seashore Sundress by Oliver + S that I sewed for KCW day 4.
You can see from the original pattern that the seams in the front and back are straight up and down. Here’s a few pictures of how I modified the seams; this is what I’m going to teach you how to do!
First off, I’d highly recommend tracing all your pattern pieces rather then cutting your pattern. We’ll be slicing and dicing and you may wish to keep your pattern intact. Plus if you make a mistake, it’s no big deal and you can just start over with a fresh re-trace 🙂 I traced my pattern onto tracing cloth, which can be sewn together. This isn’t necessary but will make some steps in this process easier on you.
First, trace all pieces in the size you are making. You will need to trace two copies of piece 5 -Side Panel. We will be making separate side front and side back pattern pieces.
Once everything is traced and cut, sort out these pieces: 3 – Front Ruffle, both 5 – Side Panel (you cut out two remember?), 6 – Front Panel, and 7 – Back Panel. These are the pieces we will be modifying. The rest can be set aside.
Let’s start with piece 6 – Front Panel. With a straight edge find where you’d like your new seam to be. I drew mine (for a size 3) at 5/8″ from the top edge down to the bottom corner of the piece. This line will be the actual seam. Once you like where your new seam is, cut it on the line.
You now have two pieces, on the right is the new Front Panel. The left piece I’ll call very technically “Leftover Front Panel Piece”.
Clearly mark on your pieces what they are and set them aside for now. On to the back panel.
Grab piece 7 – Back Panel. Lay your newly cut Front Panel on top of the Back Panel, lining up the top and fold side edge. Don’t worry about the Front Panel being much longer then the back, just make sure the top edge and the fold side edge line up. Trace the cut line and cut your Back Panel.
This is your new Back Panel on the right, and Leftover Back Panel Piece on the left.
Clearly mark your new pieces and set aside your Leftover Back Panel Piece. We’re going to finish your Front and Back Panel pieces now.
On the sides you cut you will now need to add in your seam allowance. Oliver + S uses a 1/2″ seams so that’s what we’ll be using. Retrace your pieces to include the 1/2″ seam allowances. Remember to mark your new Back and Front Panels with the fold markings so you don’t forget to cut them on the fold!
Your Front and Back panels are complete! Yay! Now to construct the Side Front and Side Back Panels. First we’ll do the Side Front Panel.
Grab one of your piece 5 – Side Panel’s and your Leftover Front Panel piece. Sew the two together right sides together with a 1/2″ seam, making sure to match the notches. The bottom and top edges will not line up, but don’t worry, just match your notches and you’ll be fine :). Once sewn together you will see the Leftover Front Panel piece has a little tail that extends past the bottom edge of the Side Panel. Cut it off so that the bottom edge is even with the Side Panel’s edge. Don’t worry, we’ll adjust the Front Ruffle piece to make up for it. This is your new Side Front Panel! You still need to add in your 1/2″ seam allowance, so smooth out your new Side Front Panel (it won’t want to lie completely flat but just smooth as best you can paying special attention to the width at the very top and very bottom of the piece so that no width is lost during the re-trace) and re-trace it with 1/2″ added to the old “Leftover Front Panel” side of the piece.
You’re done with the Side Front Panel! Now to construct the Side Back Panel.
Get your remaining piece 5 – Side Panel and your Leftover Back Panel piece. Sew them together right sides facing with a 1/2″ seam starting at the bottom edge of the pieces and making sure the bottom edges are aligned. Smooth your pattern pieces open and re-trace it with 1/2″ added to the old “Leftover Back Panel” side of the piece. You just finished your new Side Back Panel piece!
Hang in there with me! We’re almost done. Now we have to modify piece 3 – Front Ruffle to make up for the tail we cut off. Extend the top edge out by 1″ and with a straight edge connect the extended edge down to the bottom corner. Re-trace this piece with these changes.
Guess what? You’re done! Now you just have to actually sew the dress 😉
I hope you like my tutorial! If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment!