This post is part of a month long series called 'Pattern Makeover Month.' I took a simple a-line, peasant dress and 'made-it-over' into many different styles. For more information, go here.
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Again, using your Sweet Dress pattern, cut the dress as normal. Sew the sleeves and side seams as directed. Hem.
Then for the sleeves and neckline, use foldover elastic to finish and gather. I used 3/8 inch FOE and I wish I would have used 5/8 inch. 3/8 inch was just a little too narrow.
Foldover elastic or FOE is fun stuff! You can find black and white at Jo-Ann's, in the trims section. It is quite pricey, though. I buy mine in a wide array of colors on ebay from LaceandTrims and at a much better price.
Now, to sew it on your dress. . . cut about two inches longer than the length listed on the pattern for elastic for the neck and the sleeves. You hopefully won't use it all, but it is really stinky to get to the end and be short a half inch.
(Ya, it's happened to me!)
Using a zigzag stitch set fairly wide and long, attach the elastic at one of the back sleeve seams. Then pull the elastic as tight as possible with your right hand while keeping the fabric in between the elastic with your left. Continue around until you overlap just a hair with your starting point. Finish the sleeves in the same way.
It takes a few times to get the hang of using FOE, but once you have it figured out you'll never want to stop!