|“Polly” design by Paige Pettie Alexander|
Paige Pettie Alexander found inspiration for her “Polly” pattern while thumbing through the pages of Martha Pullen’s The Vintage Collection book. A sweet and simple (yet very unique) romper caught her eye and inspired the remake featured in our special edition Sew Beautiful: Heirloom Sewing Favorites for Summer. The dress can be made at minimal cost – just the fabric and four buttons – and the romper suit design suggests all sorts of fun ideas for mixing and matching prints. Both patterns, “Polly” and “Baby Polly” are available through Paige’s company, Pintucks & Pettiecoats, but the scalloped bias tubing embellishment is a great way to trim numerous sewing projects. Read below to learn how to recreate these spaghetti bias scallops on your next project:
NOTE: If you do not want to make your own spaghetti bias tubes, you can purchase it by the yard in a variety of gingham checks, prints and solid colors.
1. To make super skinny bias from your own fabric, cut 1-inch widths of bias strips. Do not cut strips any longer than 15 inches, as it makes it too difficult to turn. Fold each strip in half with right sides together. Pull to stretch the bias as you iron, making it even skinnier.
2. Sew a precise 1/8 inch from folded edge of fabric while gently stretching as you sew. TIP: Use a machine foot with a guide blade and set your needle position 1/8 inch from blade. Run fold edge along the blade as you stitch.
3. Trim seam allowance to a scant 1/8 inch (Photo 1).
4. Cut one end of bias tubing at an angle. Use Dritz Tube Turner to turn tubes inside out. When turning fabric tube, only pull 1- to 2 inches off end of turner at a time or it will bunch up. Press tube with seam on one edge (Photo 2).
5. Using water-soluble marker on right side of garment fabric, mark perpendicular lines 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch apart for spacing scallops. (I used 1/2-inch perpendicular lines for scallops around neckline, armscyes and shoulders, and 3/4-inch perpendicular lines for scallops around hemline.)
6. Use Dritz Wash-Away Wonder Tape to temporarily hold scallops in place. This is a 1/4-inch-wide double-sided, water-soluble tape. Apply tape directly along raw edge of fabric within seam allowance. Position bias tubing so that tube seam runs along outside curve. It will appear flatter and smoother this way. Each scallop will be an individual piece of tubing, but use a longer length of tubing than is required to shape and apply scallop onto tape. Place pieces with curves facing garment and cut edges facing raw edge of fabric shaping them within drawn sections (Photo 3).
7. After each scallop is applied to tape, cut off tubing even with raw edge of fabric (a rotary cutter and ruler makes this easy).
8. Cut bias strips 7/8 inch wide for the bias facings. Press under 1/4 inch to wrong side of one long edge of facing strips.
9. Place flat edge of facing over scallop tubes long edge of garment with right sides and raw edges even and finger press to tape to hold in place. Stitch a 1/4-inch seam allowance (Photo 4).
10. Press seam toward garment with facing and scallops extended from seam (Photo 5).
11. Pin folded edge of facing to wrong side of garment and hand blind-stitch to secure (Photo 6).
12. Turn to right side and press (Photo 7).
Be sure to check out Heirloom Sewing Favorites for Summer for more inspiration. This special issue is filled with more than 40 summer sewing ideas and five full-sized patterns!
Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia