2-in-1 Sewalong: Finishing

Friends, its time to wrap up this sewalong! Now please don’t think that this is the final be-all end-all because we’ll have ourselves a bit of a party in a week – July 19 & 20 to be exact. I’ll be talking more about that later. Today, I thought I would include resources for finishing up your wrap and shirt dresses. Let’s see, there’s only the zipper, the hem and the buttons and buttonholes for the shirt dress left to do. For all three of these types of things there are loads of tutorials the web over, so rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, I thought I would link to several and you guys can pick and choose how you want to finish up your dresses.

Inserting the Zipper
Let’s start with the zipper insertion. I did an invisible zip on both dresses. At one point or another I was not terribly fond of invisible zippers, but I’ve come around. In fact, I do love a good invisible zipper and these days they are easier for me to insert than a traditional zipper. I’ve got a tutorial here and my one emphasis on invisible zippers is that you should stabilize the zipper opening before insertion. Those zippers are such flimsy little things and really silk organza or fusible tricot (my favorite, btw) work really great to give these zippers a little oomph and strength. For added fun, here’s a few more of my favorite invisible zipper tutorials:
Tricks of the Trade: Inserting an Invisible Zip
Tutorial: Installing an Invisible Zip

Now don’t fret if you don’t want to use an invisible zipper. There’s some great tutorials for lapped and centered zipper applications that work wonders! I have one here and there’s also one by Gertie and one from Tasia, the Sewaholic too.

For the skirt on Simplicity 1880, you will most likely need to trim it so that the sections that have stretched aren’t all wonky on the bottom of your skirt. If you have one of these contraptions, they are really fun to use. I LOVE my pin skirt marker! If not, I’ve also given directions for how to do this with a yardstick mounted to your wall here.

To hem your skirt, I don’t think I could say it any better than Casey! Her directions from her circle skirt sewalong are fabulous and she gives a few ways of producing a great hem.

Buttons & Buttonholes
For you Shirt Dressers, you’ll need to mark out your buttonholes and then stitch them and add your buttons. Here’s a tutorial from Tasia for how to mark your buttonholes. She’s also got a clever tutorial for how to attach your buttons too.

To stitch your buttonholes, there’s a great tutorial here. I’ve also got a tutorial for how to hand work a buttonhole on the off chance your machine doesn’t produce a good one.

Best of luck with putting the finishing touches on your dress! I’ll be back with more info on the sewalong party soon where we’ll show off our creations with pizazz and finesse!



19 thoughts on “2-in-1 Sewalong: Finishing

  1. Thank you for the links to all the tutorials, particularly yours on handworked buttonholes. I’ll be trying them out soon!

  2. THANK Y-O-U! I HATE putting in invisible zippers. I’m ages behind on my dress (the grading process is NOT fun—had to step away last night after my right boob inadvertently ripped a waist dart in my muslin. le sigh). Hopefully this will give me a little nudge.

    I’ll let you know how it goes (or you’ll probably just hear me screaming from Brooklyn.

  3. Great links, Sunni! I’m going to pin a few of them for future reference too. Thanks for sharing. And I can’t wait to hear about this party idea. Does it involve last minute babysitters and cross country flights? 🙂

  4. I’ve watched from a distance but believe me I’ve supported you all along this journey. Thanks for the tips and tutorials Sunni, they are book marked for future reference.

  5. I used a method I learned in Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing Class for hemming my circle skirt which was very similar to the machine rolled hem in your link.

  6. I’m nearly done! Just got the zipper and the hem left. A question about the zipper- did you use the insertion method for straight grain or bias cut garments? I changed my skirt a bit by cutting it on the fold and reducing the fullness- do you think this will change anything?

  7. I finished mine yesterday! Look forward to showing it off! 😀 It was technically very challenging for me but learnt a lot!

  8. Oh, I am SO far behind. We lost power for almost a week during a heat wave, then had internet problems… so…

    What’s funny too is that I had just signed up for Christine’s Librarian Blouse class when the outage hit. So I haven’t really got to start with that since I had some catch up work to do when the power returned.

      1. Thanks. It reminded me of how I prefer to lose power in the winter than the summer. I can always layer another sweater or add a blanket. And you can stick food in a bag a keep them pretty cool in the garage or use the fireplace. But summer? You just schvitz and roast in your own juices.

  9. Hello, thanks for all these tips. The invisible zip seems less akward. I wonder where did you find the designer fabric of the skirt, the one with the vintage urban landscape ? What a choice for a skirt!!!

  10. All done! I’ve had a great time with this sewalong and learnt a lot! First ever collar, new way to set in sleeves and I even trimmed the collar and added beads to the bodice. Thanks Sunni for taking me outside my confort zobe and limited sewing experience with some great instructions, tips and links! Loved it 🙂

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