Daffodil Sew Along: Day 4

Today we will walk through Daffodil top and dress construction following the traditional construction outlined in the Daffodil pattern.  We will also discuss various embellishment options for the princess seams and how to sew each one.

Sewing today is straightforward and pretty simple.  We will be completing steps 5 and 6 of the Daffodil instructions beginning on page 7.  But, before sewing, let’s talk about various trims and seam accents.

The princess seams in Daffodil provide the perfect opportunity for adding a wide variety of trims. Keep in mind that if you have added pockets to the side seams, you now have definite front and back edges to the sides. Make sure that the pockets are pointing forward and you are adding trim to the front.

Piping is a classic look. When in doubt, add piping!

Inserting flat cotton lace lends itself to a sweet romantic look.

Rick rack can also be sewn in the seam for a fun and whimsical look.

Each of theses trims are set into the seam in the same basic way.  Begin by taking your side panel and marking the ½” seam allowance in the front edge (and the back edge if you plan to trim the back seams also.) I used a removable fabric marker for this, but you could also sew a basing thread along the seam line. This gives the stitching line for attaching any variety of trim.

Yours are sewn more than this, but the idea is the same.
Next, place your trim down this line and stitch in place.  Keep in mind that the amount extending toward the armholes is what will be visible on the finished garment. The amount of trim between the stitching line and edge of fabric will be enclosed in the seam.  For piping, stitch right along the stitched piping line.

Another embellishment option is a petite inseam ruffle.  The width of the ruffle is personal preference, but I recommend a two inch ruffle strip, this will result in a ½” finished ruffle. To sew an inseam ruffle follow these steps:

Trim both front seams (and back if you like). I added piping to the front and back of my purple Daffodil dress, but only added lace trim and ruffles to the front seams.

Finished piping
The finished flat lace!

Finished inseam ruffle

Keep in mind that trim options can be subtle or bold. My white piping choice on the purple dress is definitely subtle, but feels sophisticated!  My inseam ruffle is a lot of contrast. To be honest, I didn't plan to make this top, but wanted to show you a finished ruffle, so was working with what I had easily on hand!

If you choose to add pockets to the front seams, now is the time to add them. Refer to Tuesday's Sew Along post for specific instructions. If you have added embellishments to the front seam, then I do not recommend adding pockets to the front seam also. Either way, I prefer them placed in the side seams as there is more room for hands and treasures.

You are now ready to proceed with step 5 of the sewing instructions.  I recommend sewing with the side piece up and stitching right on top of the line of stitching holding your trim in place. Optionally, you may wish to topstitch the front seams depending on your trim. The only Daffodil I have topstitched is the inseam ruffle as I felt topstitching helped secure the ruffle so it would not flip.

A final embellishment option is a small ruched ruffle.  This would be added between steps 5 and 6 in the construction process.  To add a ruched ruffle follow these steps:

I hope you are full of wonderful embellishment ideas for your daffodil tops and dresses now.  The options really are endless!  This list of suggestions is by no means exhaustive.

With your Daffodil seams embellished, move on to step 6 of the instructions and sew and finish the shoulder seams.  

The final step of sewing today is sewing down the armhole bias as directed in the second half of step 6 on page 7 of the Daffodil Pattern. This is likely the most difficult step of sewing a Daffodil Top or Dress. Take time and use lots of pins, I promise is works out just fine! I begin by pinning both side and shoulder seams down. Then place pins about every 1/2" along the underarm curve. When sewing use a slightly longer than normal stitch length. While navigating the underarm curve take time to raise the presser foot and smooth the fabric as you go.

Your Daffodil Top or Dress should be really taking shape now. Just one day left to finish up the final details!

Sew Along Links:
Day 1: Preparing the pattern
Day 2: Cutting and begin sewing
Day 3: Adding Flutters

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