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.