First up today, stay stitching. What is that? Stay stitching is a row of directional stitches, sewn just inside the seam line. It's used on curved or angled areas, like the neckline and armholes to prevent them from stretching out during handling. Our pattern only calls for us to do the neckline, however, my fabric unravels pretty easily, so I'm going to do my armholes as well.
Check out the Simplicity site for more info, here (middle of the list)
Since our seam is 1/4" on the neckline, we'll do a 1/8" stay stitch line. Uh, ignore that the below pic says 1/4", supposed to be 1/8", whoops!
You stitch with the grainline, so we will start at the shoulder seam and go to the middle, then stop. Then start from the other shoulder and go toward the middle again. Repeat on the back piece as well.
My fabric started to get caught up in the feed dogs of my machine, so if your fabric is sensitive too, just hand crank til you see it come out behind your presser foot. Sometimes that happens when you sew so close to the edge of the fabric.
And you're done! Don't forget to press all seams...
Next, the darts. Let's get them out of the way, hahaha.
Remember the little slits we made?
We're gonna take our ruler and draw a line from each slit to the tailor's tack
Creating a little triangle
Then we'll fold the dart, exactly in half, then press. (Sorry, hope it's not confusing, these are pics of both the darts, in case you were wondering why they are reversed)
This is what it looks like if you unfold it
So, while on the fold, pin dart in place
Sew along marked line from seam toward tailor tack
Now, this is the tricky part, GO SLOW! You will sew, following the line and sew off the fabric at the point (tailor's tack), kinda like you're driving off the road, ha.
Leave the threads long when you cut them.
Do not backstitch. It will look funky on the right side if you do, which is over your chest-not where you want weird stitches!!
This is your finished dart
And a close up
You can remove the tailor's tacks now. Then take the two threads from where you sewed off the dart and tie them in a knot. I make two knots at the fabric edge, then clip the threads.
Next, (almost done!!) you will iron your dart facing down and clip the tad bit of extra fabric on the seam
Repeat on the other dart.
Ooook, now, on to the center pleat, which is super easy.
Fold your top in half lengthwise, Wrong sides together, the Right side facing out. Make sure all the edges match.
You will mark 2" in from the fold line. I like to make a bunch of small marks down the length, then join them with my ruler. Am I making any sense?
Pin down the length
Then sew down that marked line. Press both sides of the seam. Open the pleat evenly over the seam and press the edges. Try not to press over the center-it'll show the seam through the fabric. This is what you should have...
The very last thing today, is to sew the top and bottom of the pleat closed. I just went over the top of my stay stitching at 1/8"
And you're done!!
For another look, you could do an inverted pleat like this...Inverted Pleat over at Casey's Elegant Musings-one of my favorite sewing blogs.
To do this, when you go to make the pleat, instead of putting the Wrong sides together, put the Right sides together, with the Wrong side facing out. Then sew a few inches, she said she did 3 1/2". Press the pleat just like above. It'll give you a more open, tunic look.
Next up on Tuesday 8/2, sewing the shoulder and side seams, and seam finishes