You guys I have adored Beth over at LilyGiggle for a long while.. both from her personal encouragement, her fantastic style and her patterns! I owned those Ring of Ruffle pants from MANY moons ago in her Fox and Doe shop so don't be surprised that I have a crush on her biz. I also TOTALLY respect the break she took. Yes, it was the right thing to do and as small-fries as I was I was feeling that same calling in my own life.
This dress is one that I tested when she was ready to open her doors again and I loved it! So when I had the chance to jump-on the sew-a-long train, I gladly agreed! I chose not to add ruffles on these... to show you just how basic this dress COULD be for your own wild embellishing desires to run wild (and besides, the last 2 I made were perfectly ruffled and fantastical) I had an itch to embroider - so that's what I chose to do, but first... let me walk you through those necklines that seem to plague you. I'll hold your hand... promise... it's not that hard!
**FREE TIP** on sewing stripes? The key is lining them up correctly when you cut the pattern out!!! Watch when you fold to make sure they line up... (free... yes, well all of this is free from me but I wanted it to sound special...)
How do you line up front and back? Since the pattern shapes are different?? LINE UP according to the armpit! BINGO :) So I cut both front and back with the bottom scoop of that armpit at the top of a red line.
NOW you have your pieces all cut out and they match up stripe wise :) BINGO Carry on sewing solders. Off to battle those necklines.
NOW cut your neckband... but what size? Let me show you my technique! You will attach your bodice front to back (right sides facing) at the shoulder seam as usual. NOW we need to measure. I chose a cute little woven trim I had on hand because it shows up well in photos AND it curves well :)
Walk all around the front and then along the back as well to get the exact neckline size. NOW measure that length out.
NOW time for some math. Take that measurement (18in) and multiply by 0.75. SO 18 x 0.75 = 13.5 inches (75% of the original measurement) THAT is the size you will cut your neckband. I often times add a little seam allowance (1/2 in)... but it's not that crucial. I use 2 inches of width on all sizes over a 2t and 1.75 inches on smaller sizes.
Iron your strip in half-length wise (see my crease?) and then line it up on the short sides. SEW HERE.
CLIP the corners. Hold on... I'll show you why... don't jump the gun on me.
Ignore my bad ironing board cover and press the seam OPEN.
and now re-press that long crease you made in earlier. NOW take time and notice those little clips we took out? Why did we do that? It decreases the bulk in your seams once you sew this onto your garment. Wa-la :)
While nice and pressed - quarter out your band and pin to mark. So your seam line is one, the exact opposite of that is one pin, then add the other two by lining up your seam line and your back pin and then placing a pin on each side.
NOW pin to your garment. The back seam is easy... center it on the back. Same with the front - center it in the front. ON THE SIDE PINS - do not center them on the seam. WHY? Well, look at your front neck scoop to your back - it's larger in the front so that we don't all sport turtle necks... therefore it's not "fair" to line it all up evenly; the front needs more :) Line up those side pins about an inch in FRONT of those side seams (give or take...1.5 inches) Another option is to hold up the front and back pins and stretch the neckband to match and see where it should line up.
NOW you will be stretching the band as you sew - to match the neckline. You do NOT want to stretch your neckline though!
See? The neckband looks like it doesn't fit... because it doesn't UNTIL you stretch it :)
Line up in your serger or sewing machine. Put your presser foot and needles down to hold it in place.
This is how it looks relaxed...
NOW stretch it to match and sew! ALL The way around. Be sure to disable your knives if serging before you over-serge to complete your circle. Tie off your threads.
AND WA-LA :) Now I have I go over and coverstitch that serged seam down on the inside of my neckline BUT most folk don't own a coverstitch. What I recommend is a wide zig-zag or stretch stitch OR you can use a long (4) straight stitch if you stretch it out slightly as you sew. Remember, thread does't stretch... a tight straight stitch will never stretch. If you slightly stretch the neckline as you topstitch, there will be a little slack in the stitch so it APPEARS to stretch. A zig-zag can stretch due to the design of the zig and zag LOL :) ... for lack of better terms.
NOW if you hate doing things in the round? You can use all the same techniques BUT like this - with one shoulder seam opened...
Calculate and cut your neckband
Start at one shoulder, walk around, line up the MIDDLE of your strip just in FRONT of your shoulder seam on the other side... remember, you need more neckband in the front scoop than the back
And pin again at the other shoulder seam
Stretch as you sew... below is unstretched...
BUT it lines up if you stretch :)
Finish all the way over and press it down.
NOW close off your shoulder seam
NOTE - you will have a seam that is otherwise enclosed so now you need to make sure you stitch that down so that it's not irritating.
and WA-LA -- that's two ways to do it. Now you have a perfectly fitting neckline! NOW to finish your dresses ... tomorrow... ;)
If you can't tell, I'm a BIG fan of understanding WHY you do things the way you do. When you understand how and why you do things a certain way, you have the knowledge to move beyond where you are :) To adapt, change, tweak and create! If you need more visual to understand, I get it!! Lucky for you, I made a video a few years ago on neckbands! BOOM - just remember I did this a few years ago so forgive me if I say something dumb! (and for my double chin and well you know, Grace ya'll extend some Grace)
Stay tuned to the blog-hop as we finish up our dresses this week!