Are you ready to start sewing?!  Today we are going to begin our project and work on the basics; straps, ties & buttons loops. These are components that will go into our dress or top bodice. I will be creating two Fiona's, one top & one dress.  First up is my Fiona Top!
Hopefully over the past couple of days you have chosen your fabric and cut out your pattern and fabric. I am working off of the Fiona Paper Pattern, if however you used the PDF there are charts included in both versions to help with piecing and cutting of the pattern pieces.
For my fabric i decided to create a more whimsical Fiona Top that is casual enough for some serious playing.  I chose Little Matryoshka by Riley Blake Designs. My daughter loves the dolls and i already had it in my stash!
My beautiful thread is Aurifil 40W 100% Egyptian Cotton Thread. The color is 5003 and is a rich orchid hue.  I chose a thread that is a few shades darker than my fabric for two reasons:
  1.  I want you to be able to see in the photos.
  2.  Aurifil Threads has a very beautiful sheen to it that really makes top-stitching stand out and creates a prettier finished product.This is not the kind of thread you want to hide, it actually enhances the garment.
First we are going to sew the shoulder straps. 
1. Fold the straps in half and pin together along the long folded edge. The top & bottom will remain open.
2. Sew together along the pinned seam and trim off 1/2 of the seam allowance.
3. Turn the strap right side out and iron them flat. Tip: Iron the strap so that the seam runs down the middle of one side of the strap. That is now the backside of the strap. If desired top stitch around the straps.
4. Gather both short ends of each strap. First adjust your sewing machine to sew a gathering stitch. On my Bernina 350 i simply adjust my stitch length to nearly 5 for easy gathering.
5. Sew across both short ends of each strap with a 1/4" seam allowance. Pull the bobbin thread and the end will gather up.  Gather it up until it is approximately 1/2 of the original width.
Tip: Once the strap is gathered up tie the top thread and bobbin thread together into one or two knots.  This will ensure your gathering does not come loose.
Next up we will sew the side ties.
6. Place two side ties together with the right sides touching and all the raw edges lined up. Pin together around one short end and both long sides. The opposite end will remain open.
7. Sew together around the pinned seams. Trim off 1/2 of the seam allowance and clip the corners. Note: Clipping the corners allows for more accurate corners once the garment has been turned right side out.
8. Turn the side tie right side out and iron flat. Repeat for the remaining side tie. Tip: We recommend top stitching the side ties for extra durability since they will be pulled each time they are tied.
Finally, lets make our button loops!
9. Fold the button loops in half width-wise and iron flat. Open them up and now fold each edge into meet at the center and Iron flat. Finally, fold them in half one more time. You have now created finished edges for the button loops.
10. Sew the loops together right along the folded edge. Tip: Start sewing with the edge of the loop past your sewing machine foot by approximately 1/2" -3/4". Once you begin stitching you can back stitch to sew this end. This will help the loop not get sucked down into your machine as you begin sewing.
Congratulations!!! You have now made the straps, side ties and button loops for your Fiona!!
Here is a quick look at the remainder of our schedule:
April 8, 2014 - Blog Post on Finishing the Bodice
April 11, 2014 - Blog post on Finishing as a Top
April 14, 2014 - Blog post on Creating the Bustle Skirt
April 18, 2014 - Blog post on Tying the Perfect Bow
April 25, 2014 - Blog post on Your Creations, Finished Garments
Do you have any questions, tips or comments? Please share below!!
April 04, 2014 by Ericka Wright