A finished dress + cool bias binding trick

Polka dots is my favorite.I feel happy when I see polka dot fabric, and it will just as soon end up in my stash. I’m glad I sewed it up into something, instead of leaving it to die quietly in my cupboard.
Behold the..

main pic

The pattern is self drafted (as usual). I’ve been planning to put a massive bow on one of the dresses forever..



front closeup

bottom closeup

full front



The back is finished with an invisible zip. I used an invisible zipper foot for the first time and the finish was excellent. I frequently refer to the book “Professional sewing techniques“, and one of the steps mentioned for inserting an invisible zipper is to iron the zipper teeth flat (usually it rolls inward) and I have to tell you, it worked fantastic. I prepped the fabric with fusible tape before stitching the zipper. It keeps everything flat and pucker free.

The dress is fully lined, so I didn’t have the extra work of finishing the neck and armholes.

If you noticed the interesting trim at the hemline, good noticing! That is actually a bias tape on which i made a scallop edge with my Singer sewing machine. So its a trim and a binding all-in-one. I’ve used it on the bow as well.

Its pretty simple, and all home sewing machines have this decorative stitch. The magic happens when you increase the thread tension to the max.




Choose the decorative stitch shown below. Keep the stitch length at 1, stitch width between 4-5, and thread tension at 9 (which is the max in my machine). Align the bias tape so that the needle is 2/8th of an inch from the edge. The edge of the tape should not get caught when the needle does the zig zag, but should go a little outside of the edge, so that when it comes back from the zig, it will pull the fabric down and create the scallop. (I really hope I’m making sense here).







closeup ruffle

So this is what you get if you successfully stitched it. Intermediate sewing skills are required (with bull dog tenacity..hehe) Also, this works well only on lightweight fabrics, so don’t try it on denim and then get all worked up that it isn’t happening.

I applied this to the raw edge of the fabric(on the right side, like you would do a piping) and then turned it to the other side, pressed, and then turned the raw edge of the bias tape under and stitched it to finish. I just happened to see some article on Threads magazine on something like this so check it out.

I want to try it in the place of pintucks..will be interesting.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post. Please do leave a comment. Cheers!




  1. I cannot resist polka dots too ! The dress is lovely


  2. Frankie says:

    Merlin , its beautiful .. How can I buy your stuff ??
    Much love


  3. What! Your scallop trick just blew my mind! I had no idea that could be done. Thanks
    Very cute dress by the way. Sewing for kids is the best because they love over the top design. πŸ™‚


  4. Such a pretty dress! Would you take custom orders please?
    Could you give me your email id


  5. Gorgeous! You are inspiring me to take on sewing!


  6. A very cute dress, Merlin! And Jessica is the perfect model as well! I also like your style of writing! πŸ™‚ Do keep up the good work!
    Deepti (Chechi)
    PS: Jebin will explain who I am! πŸ™‚


  7. Hey very cute dress Merl πŸ˜€ and your kid is a doll. Keep up the good work and send us alerts on more posts ☺️


  8. This is adorable!


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