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Cosmo Sewalong: Rouleau Loops October 31 2015

Rouleau loops have a reputation for being really difficult, and yes they are a little bit fiddly, but as long as you have some patience, you should be able to do it without too much stress.

I use the old-school needle and thread version to turn mine, but if you have a fancy loop turner thing, go ahead and use that. I'm demonstrating the old school version here because I don't believe a loop turner is an absolute necessity.

The first thing to do is fold your bias strips in half lengthways and sew a seam down the middle. When you come to the edge, turn your strip so the seam goes off the edge (the cut edges, not the folded edge). This makes a funnel shape which makes for easier turning, I've found.

Important: leave really long thread tails. Like, the whole length of the strip, long. You need them for the next step.

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Cosmo Sewalong: The Zip October 28 2015

Hola! Today I'm going to be covering sewing in the zip and finishing the bodice edge at the top of the zip.

I'm not going to go through inserting an invisible zip in detail, but it's the same as for any other project. The zip is inserted in the side seam, and then sew the side seam below the zip as you would normally. My favourite method involves stabilising the zip edge with fusible interfacing, but you'll have to make that call based on your fabric. You'll want to insert the zip so the top tooth is about 3mm below where the lace joins the bodice.

Once the zip is in, you'll be attaching the lining at the zip edge by machine. To do this, first pin the top edge of the dress (the lace edge) to the dress to keep it out of the way. I've actually folded/rolled it up a bit to keep it away from the zip and out of the way.

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Cosmo sewalong: The leg slit variation October 26 2015

OK, I'm going back to step 2 of the instructions, which is about attaching lace trim to the skirt hem edge.

It's fairly straightforward in the instructions, featuring a split at the centre back so you can walk. For my red version, I made a walking slit on the front left above the left knee, and I'm going to cover how to do that in this post.

First, decide on the position of your walking slit and how deep it's going to be. I placed mine right above my left knee and a little longer than the slit that's marked at centre back. I actually measured it out with a tape measure on my body to make sure I would be comfortable with the length, as a lot of leg will be visible ;-)

I began by trying to make the shape of the leg split with the lace trim, scallop edge facing down. I tried to use the shape of the scallops to make the curve as far as possible.

Once I was happy with the position, I cut into my trim, around the flowers, leaving overlapping edges where the pieces joined each other.

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Cosmo Sewalong: Applying the lace trim October 23 2015

Welcome back, sewalongers. Today we are going to be attaching our lace trim that we made to our bodice.

Pin the trim onto the bodice, matching the top edge of the lace with the top edge of the fabric/lining.

Note that it's important to start and finish sewing the trim on, 3cm from the end. This is to allow for the zip insertion (which will be covered in another post).

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Cosmo Sewalong: Making and shaping your lace trim October 20 2015

Welcome to the first in this sewalong series for the Cosmopolitan dress.

Since this is a mini-sewalong, I'm only going through the more tricky parts of construction here on the blog. I'm going to assume you've had no trouble selecting your fabric, identifying your size, cutting your pieces out and assembling the fabric parts of the dress and the lining as far as the end of step 1 in the instructions.

To best explain the lace techniques I'll be using, I'll be tackling the next few steps out of order, specifically I'll be leaving step 2 until later, so go ahead and skip to step 3, which is to baste the lining to the dress along the top edge.

I'm going to focus on step 4 in this post which involves making the lace trim for the bodice. The instructions call for 4m of 6 to 9cm lace trim. If, like me, you can't find a lace trim to match your fabric, you can use lace fabric to make your trim instead, which is what I'm going to show below. If you've got lace trim (lucky you) it's the exact same process after cutting the strips.

First, study your lace fabric and work out how the pattern repeats. You'll have to decide where to cut based on cutting strips between roughly 6 and 9 cm wide. Here's what I did with mine:

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The Little Red Dress: Announcing the Cosmopolitan Mini-Sewalong October 15 2015

I hadn't realised the power of the Little Red Dress (LRD) until I made this: this is the Capital Chic Cosmopolitan in pillar box red crepe.

I made this last year in advance of the By Hand London Christmas party and it's been my go-to dress all year long for events, parties and nights out.

It has a slight modification from the published pattern - I made a raised section over the left knee in place of the centre back slit for walking.

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