Oct 312013

Are you ready to roll some hems? Today we’re going to finish the rounded edges on the flounces and neck ruffle as well as sew on the flounces, the I recommend you cut 3-5 extra flounces so you can play with your serger or sewing machine without worrying about wasting the ones you need for your Sugar Plum.

If you missed any of the previous sew-along posts, you can find them all on the Sugar Plum Sew-Along page. If you still need to pick up your copy of Sugar Plum, you can grab it here in the shop!

View A: Rolled hem flounces

On your serger, you want to set your machine to a rolled hem. Check your owners manual for the way to set yours. On mine, I just pull back the white slide you see toward the bottom of the image. It pulls a metallic piece from where your loopers wind thread around the fabric


I’m using lightweight scraps to test out the rolled hem before I roll my flounces. (In other words, you’ll see several different fabrics through today’s post.) My differential feed is set to N- which is between .7 and 1.5. A lower differential feed will create a lettuce leaf edge. Setting your differential feed higher will feed the fabric at a faster rate and it won’t ruffle as much. You can play with the feed to get the edge you like. 


Below is the test with the serger. 


Below is the test with my sewing machine set to 3 width and 1 length. You can also go over your zig zagged edge twice if you like. Likewise, you can make your stitch longer to approximate the serger threads. I personally like how it looks with a narrower stitch but it’s your choice. When you use your sewing machine, make sure that your zig zag goes over the edge of your fabric, which will cause the raw edge to roll.


When going around the curve of your flounces, gently hold the front part of the flounce as it gets fed into your serger but don’t be afraid to stop with the needle down, lift the foot and pivot your flounce.

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Once you get the hang of finishing your flounces you don’t have to stop and cut the flounces off the chain of the serger. You can just keep feeding flounce after flounce.


View A: Sewing on flounces

Mark where you flounces should be keeping in mind that you might have to adjust some of them if you did an FBA or SBA. Pin your upper flounces at the placement lines.

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Stitch a straight line down all your flounces to hold them in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance. You will want to pull the flounces out of the way so they don’t get stitched into the seam. Next, starting from the bottom most flounces, pull and stretch the flounce so they line up with the placement line and with a narrow zig zag stitch the flounce down.

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You can do the rolled hem on your neck ruffles now or in a couple of steps.

Both Views: Button loops

Take the button loops that you have prepared and pin them according to the placement template on the right front bodice. Stitch them down with a 1/4″ seam allowance, taking care not to stitch any of the lower flounces.



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Both Views: Front shield

Fold your front shield in half lengthwise. Sew across the top with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn right side out and press well. Line up the top of the shield with the notch on your left front bodice and with raw edges together stitch in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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At this point, if you haven’t already, you can stitch the bodices to the backs. The instructions call for you to stitch them in an earlier step. Both ways are fine. Showing the application of the flounces, button loops and shield is easier without the back bodice in the way of the photos.

Both Views: Neck Ruffles

Once you’ve done all your flounces, you’ll add a rolled hem on your neck ruffles. Again, when going around the curve of the ruffle, gently hold your fabric as it goes into your machine. You might want to do a practice ruffle before you make the ones for your Sugar Plum.


Stitch a basting row at 1/4″ from the raw edge. Gather your neck ruffles to fit the neckline and match notches. Stitch down to bodice neckline with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Notice that the ends of the ruffles must stop at the dots.


Attach front lining

Lay lining bodices right sides together with fashion fabric bodices. Stitch down center front with 3/8″ seam allowance. Tuck away the flounces so they don’t get caught in the stitching.

Understitch the lining to the seam allowance.

Press without flattening the flounces.

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Bodice side seams

With right sides of the bodice together, sew up the side seams of the bodice front and back. Repeat with your lining pieces.

How are you all doing? Let me know if you have any questions. Next time we meet, we’ll attach the skirt and waistband.

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  2 Responses to “Sugar Plum Sew-Along #4: Flounces, collar, button loops, shield and front lining”

  1. Hi Leila. Is there any option for this without a serger? I love your ruffles by the way. I can’t wait to see the finished version!

    • Yes, Katy, you can do a short zig zag on your sewing machine. Just make sure that you do a couple of test ruffles first so you can get some practice. Hope that helps.

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