Monday, January 24, 2011

Crepe Sew-Along #11: Shoulder Seams and Sleeve Facings

Okay! So, you've stitched all your darts. The next step is to stitch your bodice shoulder seams.

First, put your back and front bodice together, right sides facing. Match up the shoulder seams and pin.

Stitch along the shoulder seams.
Press the seams open. Since it's a curved seam, it helps to press over a curved surface, like a tailors ham.
Finish the seam allowances. I've chosen to pink mine. I wanted the simplest, lowest-bulk finish that wouldn't show through.
 Your shoulder seams are sewn, but not your side seams.
Get ouy your armhole facings. It might help to mark them so you don't mix them up. (I marked mine F for front, and B for back.)
Stitch the sleeve facings together at the shoulder seams, right sides together. Press the seam open. Finish the outer edge of your sleeve facings; I've pinked mine.
 Your next step will be to stitch your sleeve facings to your bodice, right sides together.
Here's a video to help you out! Give it a watch; I go over trimming, grading, and clipping/notching your seam allowances, as well as understitching your facings by hand.

Next time I'll have video on stitching your side seams and tacking your facings. How are you all doing, Sew-Alongers?


  1. I'm not in your sew-along but I appreciate your tutorial on *hand* understitching! I tired on a sewing machine before but it didn't work and I had to do a lot of tacking.

    Many thanks!

  2. WHat are the other possible options for finishing the seam allowance?

  3. I did up to actually sewing in the facings last night, so I'm ready for that today...
    I do have a question: I know we're a little behind from the original timeline, do you have a modified schedule for the rest of the tutorials? I want to stay on track and not miss anything, but I am wearing my dress on Sat, so I think I'll have to sew ahead to finish it.

  4. Lin2Too: Other possible seam finishes are serged, zigzagged, stitched and turned, and hong kong. We'll do French Seams on the skirts.

    MJ, I don't have a revised schedule, but seeing that Saturday is only 5 days away, it wouldn't help you anyway! We'll do about two tutorials a week until we're done. I'm making it my goal to be donw by Valentine's Day.

  5. Ok, thanks, I figured we wouldn't get done this week officially, but I definitely will be trying this dress again so I'll def be taking notes on what I miss this time! :)

  6. Your work is really lovely and I like the videos you post. I think it is so important to spread the sewing knowledge as much as possible. I especially like your option for understitching by hand. I use that technique quite often. Keep it up!

  7. Thank you thank you thank you for the video!! The thought of under-stitching those curves on my machine made me want to cry, so I am happy that I have another option. I had a really difficult time sewing those tight curves--any tips for getting a nice seam in those cases?

    I am happy to hear that you plan to help us get the dress done by Valentine's day because that was my goal!

  8. The video was so helpful, thanks!!

    When I sew the shoulder seams together, they don't quite line up at the neckline end of the seam--does that make sense? Is that just because the back neckline cuts off at an angle, because it looks like it's about a 1/4" longer.

    I see that happening in your 4th image down, to the left of the seam in the image. Is that how it is supposed to align?

  9. Maybe this image will help?

  10. I've never thought to hand understitch. I will definitely do this on a garment. Thank you!

  11. I not in the sew along either but found this video very informative and easy to follow. I really appreciate the instruction on the understitching - this will really come in handy.

    Thanks Bunches!
    Brother XL2600i

  12. Hello Gertie !!

    I hope you make it to Palm Springs. I'm sewing in sunny California. I'm sure it'll be a nice break from the snow you're getting in NY.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask about the basting stitches that hold the underlining to our fashion fabric. At what point should I be taking those out?

    Thanks so much,

  13. Looks like you interfaced the sleeve facing. The pattern didn't call for it. I am curious to understand your choice to do so?

  14. Thanks so much for the very clear directions Gertie! Also, you have a very pleasant voice. :)

  15. Hm, I thought that was called a prick stitch - then I look it up and see it has both names (pick and prick). I'm going to stick to my original, because it's sounds a little naughty.

    I fell behind but I'm catching up! Thanks for the vid tutorial.

  16. Hi Gertie,

    Really enjoying this. But just wondered if you have interfaced or lined the arm facing there? Sorry if I missed something!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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