Welcome back from a nice long weekend. I hope everyone was able to relax and kick back. I didn't get nearly enough sleep or enough sewing done, but it was fun and warm! So no complaints.
We are really close to being done which is super exciting. Today is the last really intensive day with buttonholes and dress assembly and then smooth sailing from here. So let's get started with the button holes.
Grab your seam gauge or ruler and a light colored pencil or disappearing ink pen to mark the button holes. We're marking the buttonholes on the left side of the yoke so lay that flat on the table for marking. The pattern calls for 3/8" buttonholes so we are marking our buttonholes accordingly. For any buttonhole measurement, you want the buttonhole to measure 1/4" bigger than the size of the button.
The top buttonhole starts 1/4" down from the top of the dress yoke. Place a tiny cross mark at the 1/4" mark.
The button holes are 5/8" long. Starting from your first mark, measure 5/8" down and put another small cross mark. Connect the two with a line. There's your first buttonhole.
The second buttonhole starts 3/4" from the bottom of the yoke. This measurement includes 1/2" seam allowance and then 1/4" more from the eventual stitch line. Make a mark 3/4" up from the bottom of the yoke. Just like the top bottom, measure 5/8" up and make another mark. Connect the line.
The final button falls exactly in between the two buttons. Place one end of the ruler at the bottom of the first button and measure down to the top of the third button. Find the center of that measurement and make a tiny dot.
The middle buttonhole falls exactly over the center of the dot. Meaure 5/16" up and 5/16" down, marking on either end. Connect the marks for your final buttonhole. Does that sound super specific? It is! But that will get you the most accurate buttonhole.
Using the buttonholes setting on your machine, it's time to put in your buttonholes. Follow the markings you just made and go for it. If you're a little unsure, I always recommend trying a buttonhole or two on a scrap of fabric. It never hurts to practice.
When you've put in your buttonholes and your satisfied with the result, you can cut the buttonholes open. I use an Exacto knife. because it makes a nice accurate cut and has a strong point. If you're going to use scissors, be very careful you don't cut into the top of bottom of your buttonhole stitching.
Once the buttonholes are in and opened, we're ready to set up the yoke to attach to the skirt. If you haven't done this already, pin the yoke to the facing around the edges so you are treating them as one piece. And then overlap the center fronts of the yoke and pin down the front. (You can't see the buttonholes in this picture because I took it beforehand.)
Grab your dress bottom. Before we move on, we need to put our gathering stitches in the top of the dress. Just like the sleeves, stitch two gathering stitches from notch to notch. Using the largest stitch, stitch 1/2" from the edge, from notch to notch. Stitch again, 1/4" closer to the edge. Do this on the front of the dress and the back of the dress.
Starting on the back of the dress, place a pin at the top edge in the center of the notches. This marks the center of the dress and will match up with the center of the yoke. With right sides together, start matching up the dress back with the yoke back. Start at the armhole and pin the yoke and dress flat together from the edge to the notch. Do the same at the other armhole. Find the center of the back yoke and match it up to the center of the back dress. Pin together. Slowly pull the gathering stitches so that the back dress gathers down to the back yoke.
Even distribute the gathers between the two notches. Pin along the gathering line.
Move to the front and do the same thing. Match the CF of the yoke that you pinned with the center of dress. Pin and gather again.
Stitch the skirt to the yoke where you pinned.
Finish off the edge of the seams by pinking or serging.
Take the dress to the iron and press the seam allowances up towards the neckline.
Turn the dress to the right side and topstitch along the edge of the yoke 1/8" away from the seam.
Do the same for the front side.
Since we're here, let's put the buttons on. With a pencil. Mark a small dot directly through the center of your buttonholes, along the CF line. This is where you'll hand sew the buttons on.
Heck, go for it! Get the buttons on and we're almost done.
Tomorrow we put on the sleeves and then bam! We've got a dress.