I recently made a custom dress from the popular Pascale pattern featuring a scalloped hem adapted by Kathy Dykstra. Today I thought I'd share my secret for an easy scalloped hem.
First, select a contrasting fabric for the scallop and coordinating bias. I purchased my bias since it was going to be a solid color, but you can make bias tape out of fabric if desired. (a good idea for a future blog tutorial!)
Cut out your skirt pattern pieces as required for your particular pattern. I used the Pascale pattern but any pattern can be adapted. I had a template for the scallop provided in Sew Beautiful #141 with Kathy Dykstra's adaptation.
[caption id="attachment_298" align="alignleft" width="400"] All supplies for a particular project.[/caption]
A template would be easy to make with the curved edge of a dinner plate or bowl, quilting templates or from a cutting board.
Trace the scallops onto your fabric with a fabric pen. When it comes time to cut the contrasting scallop out of the fabric, DON'T CUT THE SCALLOPS but cut straight across the top of the scallops with about an inch of extra fabric at the tips of the scallops.
[caption id="attachment_388" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Cut a straight edge on both sides of constrasting fabric[/caption]
After your skirt is constructed following your pattern directions, pin the right side of the future scallop to the wrong side of the bottom edge of your skirt. Sew a seam along the bottom of the skirt with a seam allowance specified by your pattern.
[caption id="attachment_389" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Stitch along marked scallop after sewing the bottom skirt to the contrasting fabric.[/caption]
Then turn the contrasting future scallop to right side, iron seam allowance and stitch along the marked scallop you made earlier with the fabric pen. CAREFULLY cut off the straight edge of the contrasting fabric by following close to your newly stitched scallop.
Now it is time to add the bias tape! I discovered fabric basting glue recently and LOVE it! I started by securing the bias tape to a "slope" on the trimmed scallop edge with a pin. Squeeze a small beaded line of glue along the "slope" and press the bias into place. I also secured by sticking a pin into my ironing board while I continued to work on placing the bias. It was dry enough to move as I worked my way around the skirt. So much easier than pins!
[caption id="attachment_390" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Use fabric basting glue to help with the bias.[/caption]
Continue gluing and pinning. If you've never mitered a corner, don't freak out! It's easy! I use my seam ripper and place it at the top of the scallop point on top of the bias tape.
[caption id="attachment_415" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Use the seam ripper to help with the mitered edge.[/caption]
Holding the bias tape with the seam ripper, use the other hand to fold the bias tape back.
(Note the mashed fingernail? ALWAYS turn serger off when threading....:) After the first fold, bring the bias tape back onto itself and headed down the scallop.
[caption id="attachment_417" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Fold the bias back on itself.[/caption]
Adjust the fold so the "seam" made in the bias, or the mitered corner, is straight and sitting on top of the tip of the scallop. I use my seam ripper tip to hold the bottom in place while adjusting.
[caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="400"] A little dab will do it![/caption]
Here's where the oh-so-wonderful basting glue comes in handy! Put a little bead under the fold. Pin directly into the ironing board and continue down the "valley" of the scallop. By the time you get ready to shift the skirt it will be dry enough to move. Don't worry about any excess glue sticking out, it dries clear and washes out! If I tried to pin that mitered point, I'd have buckles and difficulty sewing a straight stitch . The glue keeps everything nice and neat and makes sewing straight stitches a breeze!
[caption id="attachment_419" align="aligncenter" width="400"] A completed scallop with mitered bias trim![/caption]
Finish gluing the bias and then take to machine and stitch close to each edge. That is, a straight stitch a scant 1/8" from top edge of bias trim and a scant 1/8" from bottom edge of bias trim. Remember to leave the needle in the fabric at the tip of the scallop, lift the pressure foot and turn the fabric to go down the slope of the next scallop. Repeat all the way around the skirt.
[caption id="attachment_420" align="aligncenter" width="400"] I also trimmed the yoke.[/caption]
I used the same technique for the yoke bottom. (In this photo the trim has been glued but not sewn.)
[caption id="attachment_421" align="aligncenter" width="400"] My completed yoke.[/caption]
Viola! My version of the Pascale dress. This dress was a custom order for a very special birthday girl....
[caption id="attachment_422" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Front of Pink Pascale.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_423" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Back of Pink Pascale[/caption]
Hoping you try this method!
Ney Ney's Stitches