Friday, 13 December 2019

Jump Rope Christmas Dress - Sleeves and Skirt (Part 4)

I'm totally in love with all the little details on this Jump Rope Dress pattern from Oliver & S.  I've made a huge effort to take my time and achieve a really professional finish with this sewing project.  I think that getting the details just right will be the key to making this dress look truly stunning.  

Keep on reading if you'd like to to see how I got on . . . 


Save 40% off all New Look and Kwik Sew sewing patterns for a limited time at Minerva Crafts.

This post is colossal, it would take forever to load so I've broken it down into sections to make it easier for you to read.
Sleeves and Skirt  - You are here


In the past I would have ignored the notches on the sleeve and sewn the gathering stitches along the whole of the sleeve cap.  But that sweet little subtly puffed sleeve is one of the little details that makes this dress pattern really stand out from the crowd.  So I've taken the time to mark the notches and machine gather between them.

The sleeve tabs are another important little detail.  Instead of pivoting my seam as the instructions say to do I've sewn each edge separately so I can be sure that my corners are perfectly positioned.

I've clipped each corner twice in the hopes of achieving some lovely sharp points.

They were really tricky to turn bu I'm fairly pleased with the results.

The tabs were nice and easy to stitch in place.

I usually press my hems before sewing the side seams so I was pleased to see this technique in the instructions.  I typically use a hem guide, I'd never thought to measure and mark with chalk.  Doh moment!!

This is the first time I've sewn a sleeve finished like this.  I must say, this pattern is really inspiring me to learn new sewing techniques and take the time to get these little details just perfect.

With hindsight it would have been better to mark the wrong side of the fabric.  I've had to guess where my mark is when pressing.  But hey, that's why I make these notes.

It's crazy how excited I am to set in these sleeves.  

They aren't as gathered as I thought they would be from the images.  Throughout most of this sewing process I've felt that the extra little steps have added to or aided the high quality finish I'm aiming for.  The sleeve gathering is the first step I've felt I could have omitted and still achieved the same result.  Perhaps it's because I'm very used to setting in sleeves with this method, it did come very naturally to me so maybe a beginner sewist would need the machine gathering to get a perfect finish.

Whoop whoop!! My Jump Rope Dress is really starting to take shape.  

The side and sleeve seams and nice and straightforward.

It took me while to get my head around the instructions for hemming the sleeve.  Only the first fold is sewn in place, stitched from the wrong side.  The line of stitching is then covered by the second fold, lovely and neat.

I'll add the faux buttons when I'm doing some hand sewing in front of the telly.


The skirt side seams are straightforward.

Despite feeling it was unnecessary for the sleeves, I have machine sewn the gathering stitches on the waist.  I've also followed the advice on the pattern and sewn two separate lines of stitching, one for each skirt panel.

I don't often use tailors tacks - I'm too lazy lol.  They felt like the right marking method for marking the pocket placement on the front of the skirt.


I've never used this method creating pockets before.  I'm loving it!!  I hate having raw edges inside my pockets.  They fray then bits of thread get tangled in whatever's in my pocket - usually my keys.  Then I end up yanking at them to get my keys out in a hurry, usually frustrated by this point.  I dread to think what a mess this would be in kids pockets, thread tangled around my car keys is one thing, last weeks half eaten whatever - yuk!!  I always overlock the edges of my patch pockets but these are fully lined with all the raw edges totally enclosed - the neat freak in me feels fulfilled.

After a really good press the pocket is top stitched.  It looks at little complicated at first read but it's simply a case of top stitching the flap first and then top stitching the rest of the pocket to sew it to the skirt.

As it happens the print on my fabric isn't directional.  I'd need to be very careful with a directional print on the pockets.  The pocket lining needs to be cut upside down so that the design on the pocket flap is the right way up.

I don;t think it was mentioned in the instructions but I back stitched over the first few stitches of the pocket because well, kids.

Belt Loop

The instructions don't say to but I've pressed the seam in the centre of the back of my belt loops so there's no way it can show on the front.

Or so I thought at the time . . . 

Future me is laughing my ass off right now . . . . 

I'm loving this idea of making one long belt loop then cutting it into four shorter ones - it saves so much time and hassle.

I have a horrible habit of eyeballing positioning and of course the finished garment suffers for it so this time I'm taking the time to perfectly position the belt loops on the bodice.

See how I've put sewn the belt loop right sides together with the bodice, because it's going to be folded down on to the skirt right??  Ha ha ha ha!!!

Attaching the Skirt

However I didn't take the time to mark the placement of the belt loop on the skirt.  It's halfway between the centre front and the side seam which is super easy to find by folding the fabric.  Even if it is a little off the skirts gathers will mean it won't show anyway.  

Or maybe the finish line is in sight and I'm getting impatient . . . 

Before finishing the skirt seam I turned the dress right side out to check it over and I'm so glad I did as I found this little pucker right at the front of the bodice.  This was easy to unpick and re-sew before finishing the seam with my overlocker.

Top stitching the waist makes the seam lie perfectly on the back so it's nice and comfy for Little Miss.

I'm not totally happy with the belt loops just being turned under and top stitched in place.  I think if I made this pattern again I would stitch them in place by hand from the back so that they would be neater.

And I notice that the belt loops are in fact turned upwards towards the bodice, leaving the wrong side at the front and that centre seam I thought would be so well concealed on full show.  I'd like to think this will teach me to read through all of the instructions before starting to sew but I'm just not that smart.


The sash is nice and straightforward.  I took my time pressing and top stitching to get it just right.


I often struggle to get my hems pressed perfectly.  The Jump Rope Dress instructions suggest marking the fold line with a row of tacking stitches - genius!!!

I've already over locked my hem but the instructions say to press the raw edge under and enclose it in the hem,  It's an extra step but makes for a neater finish.

All that's left is the buttonholes and the buttons to hand sew in place and it's finished!!

This post is colossal, it would take forever to load so I've broken it down into sections to make it easier for you to read.
Sleeves and Skirt  - You are here

The Jump Rope Dress was a challenging pattern for me, it really stretched my sewing skills.  It felt like a really positive learning experience that taught me a wealth of new sewing techniques and skills.  The instructions were wonderfully clear and well written I followed them carefully, took my time and measured twice to sew up a dress that I'm really proud of.  

I'd highly recommend this pattern for an intermediate sewist looking to take their skills to the next level.  

Here's the rest of the tools I used if you fancy having a go at any of the techniques I have discussed:

I earn a small commission when products are purchased through the links I post here (at no additional cost to you). 


Save 40% off all New Look and Kwik Sew sewing patterns for a limited time at Minerva Crafts.

Here are some of the other dresses I've made my Little Miss:

#simplycrafting #makersgonnamake #sewing #handmade #sewersofinstagram #dressmaker #sewistsofinstagram #sewingchildrensclothes #handmadechildrensclothes #handmadechildrensclothing #sewingkidsclothes #sewngforkids #jumpropedress #oliverands

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