Thank you for coming back for the Hot Pattern Summer Breeze Sew Along. We’re sewing away here and heading into week 4. Don’t forget, in each issue of Sew News magazine we’ll introduce each sew along with pattern details, schedule and how we’ll be customizing it, contest dates and more. To pick up the June/July issue of Sew News, head to shopsewitall.com.
Last week was a big week for the sew along! The main structure of the dress was completed. The ties were attached, the gathers were assembled and the side and shoulder seams were sewn in.
Now for the fine tuning.
The shoulder seams of this garment are somewhat extended. For this dress, I want a clean finish, armholes finished at my shoulder edge and sleeveless. If you would like to add a sleeve to this garment, follow along with the reshaping of the armhole as you will want to do this before you attach a sleeve. Later this week we will have a special post for adding a sleeve.
I have marked my shoulder seam with pins.
Once you have marked your shoulder seam, be sure to allow for seam allowance before cutting off the excess fabric. In the following picture you can see that I have cut away the excess fabric.
I have one small issue though, my underarm seam is just a little too low.
To remedy this, I will take up my shoulder seam only on the shoulder edge. So I will start at nothing at the neckline and then taper over to the shoulder edge.
Once you have altered one armhole, do not throw away the fabric that was cut off. Use this as a pattern for the opposite armhole.
The pattern includes pattern pieces for front and back facings. There are a number of reasons why I would rather not use them. First of all, my fabric is somewhat sheer. If I use the facing patterns, the pattern of my fabric will show through to the other side. I also like the clean finish of a bias binding. That is just a personal preference. In the video you will see that I used a piece of purchased bias tape to finish the neckline, armholes and hem of the blouse. If you have not worked with bias tape, buy a package and give it a try. You can also make bias tape from your fabric and this makes for an especially lovely finish. Cut a bias strip 1” wide. Using a bias tape maker, the one I am using makes a bias strip that is ½” wide. Bias tape makers come in a number of sizes and I recommend purchasing an entire collection, I use them all the time!
Once you have cut a 1” wide bias strip, feed it into the ½” bias tape maker and press the folded edges.
Once the strip has been pressed, sew it to the edge of the garment. Open one side of the bias tape and simply stitch in the fold.
Once the strip has been sewn around the opening, press it to the back of the garment and stitch in place just along the folded edge of the bias tape. There is another method that can be used for attaching the bias tape so that the stitching does not show on the top side of the garment. It can be a little tricky to do, but well worth the effort. We will talk about this method when we do the hem next week. I am planning to add a trim to the neckline and armholes of this dress, so the stitching line will not be seen once my garment is finished.
The neckline has been finished and one armhole has been adjusted. You can see the difference between the armholes as one hangs away from the shoulder and the other rests just at the shoulder.
Up next will be a sleeve that I think will work nicely with this pattern. As I said earlier, I would like for this dress to be sleeveless, but I have another top that I have started and I will be adding the sleeve to it. So stay tuned for the upcoming sleeve post.
Take a peek at the video portion below for bias binding tips. Plus, for tips, projects and more find more sewing tutorials on craftdaily.com.
Until then, be sure to visit the Flickr page and post your fabric and any progress you’ve made. You may ask a question on this post or on the Flickr page as both are monitored. Check out the Sew News Flickr Group and join in all the fun!
Until next time!