Thursday, December 10, 2015

Knit Wrap Top Sew-Along #4: Sewing Steps 1-4

Ooh, I'm already loving how my top is going to look in purple roses! Okay, how did everyone do with cutting and marking? At this point, we can move on to sewing.

A few preliminary pointers:

  • Start by prepping your sewing machine. Make sure you have a jersey needle inserted and thread your machine with all-purpose poly thread to match your fabric. 
  • For the entire top, we will be using a straight stitch. However, at times we will slightly stretch the fabric to ensure that stretch is built into the stitching. 
  • Do a test seam with some scraps of jersey. If your fabric is not feeding through the machine properly, there are a few things you can try: 1) holding the fabric taut in front of and behind the needle, 2) using a walking foot, and 3) reducing the presser foot pressure and/or thread tension. 

Today we're just focusing on steps 1-4 in the pattern directions.

In step one, you'll make two lines of gathering stitches between the circles on both sides of the front opening. Use your longest machine stitch. The first row of stitches should have a 1/2" seam allowance, and then the second should have a 3/8" seam allowance. Do not stretch the fabric as you sew. 

Step 2! Next we'll sew the darts in the bodice backs. Use a 2.5 mm stitch length and stretch the fabric just slightly as you sew. Fold the dart legs together, and then stitch from the edge of the fabric towards the point of the dart. Tie off the threads at the point (don't backstitch) and finger press the darts toward center back.

Step 3: Stitch the bodice pieces together at the center back, up to the circle. Stretch the fabric slightly as you sew. Press the seam allowances open.

Step 4: Fold the sleeves down so that they are right sides together and then stitch the underarm seam. Stretch the fabric slightly as you sew. VERY IMPORTANT!: you must leave an opening between the circles on the right side seam. (This means the right side as you wear the top.) 

Clip into the underarm curves. This ensures that the curve will not bunch or wrinkle once it's turned right side out.

On the left side, stitch the entire seam and ignore the circles. You have what is now starting to look like a top!

Extra credit! If you have extra sewing time right now, repeat all these steps on the second set of pattern pieces. VERY, VERY IMPORTANT: leave the side opening on the OPPOSITE side on this set. It's the lining, so it's worn wrong side out. 

Questions? Please ask! In the next installment, we'll sew the ties.


  1. Gertie, I haven't sewn with knits for over 25 years. Thanks for the tips and the motivation. :)

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy your foray back into knits!

  2. Can't wait to get started sewing! If one does have a serger, can some of the seams be sewn on that? Do you recommend using a stretch stitch on the machine or just a plain stretch stitch?

    1. You could do the underarm seams on a serger, and also sew the ties together on the serger. I would use a straight stitch, and stretch the fabric slightly, as in the instructions above.

  3. I mean stretch or straight stitch. Sorry, cat impeding my view.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I'm loving this pattern! I've already stitched the outer layer, and now I just need to assemble the lining. :)

  6. Does it matter which side you make the "right" side on one part of the top when it comes to leaving the opening between the circles as long as on the other part of the top you leave the opposite side open?

    1. It doesn't matter which side you make it on as long as you have two tops with openings on the opposite sides!


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

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