Okay! Enough with the paper and the pencils! Are you ready for needles and thread?
Today we're going to work on the "View A" top that we designed...oh...several days ago now. Here's our "artist's" rendering:
So I think it'd be best to start with the skirt portion of our little top here.
The skirt is two of these:
cut on the fold. So, we'll sew two side seams:
And there we are. Now a ruffle for the bottom. I'd like to end up with a ruffle that's approximately 4" long, so I'm going to go ahead and cut a strip of fabric that's 5" wide. That'll give me enough for a seam allowance at the top and a hem at the bottom.
So we'll turn up a little double fold hem and run the top under the shirring foot:
There are a couple of ways (at least) that we could attach this ruffle. Probably the easiest (which of course is not what we're going to do) is to sew one skirt side seam, sew the ruffle to the skirt bottom edge, and sew the open side seam and ruffle seam all at once.
Since we've already sewn both side seams, though, and since doing it the other way isn't daunting enough to make me take out the seam ripper, we'll do it that way.
First we'll sew the ruffle to the lower skirt edge, leaving enough ruffle at the beginning and end of our stitching to make a seam later. We'll also butt the beginning of the ruffle to the end, like so:
It's a little tough to see in the photo there, so I've (graciously) circled what we're talking about with a cheerful melon-colored circle. You're most welcome.
Now we'll sew the ruffle seam like so:
And trim off any extra ruffle that was left over. Or trim and then sew, I guess. Either one.
But now, with a little pressing, we have our skirt finished:
Cute! It's not really that tight around the chest there, I've got it pinned in the back to make it fit the dress form.
Now that we have a skirt hanging there, it needs a bodice, I do believe.
First we'll sew the shoulder seams, from the neckline to the armhole:
inserting, as we go, a little piece of twill tape:
because we do not want the shoulder seams to stretch.
Now we'll lay those seam allowances toward the back, press, and topstitch:
Now we need to do our contrast neckline binding.
First we're going to cut a strip of the yellow fabric to use as that binding. We know that we want a 1" binding when it's finished. This means we need a strip that's 2" wide plus one seam allowance. You'll see why in a minute.
Often, I find, instructions for knit bindings say something like, "Cut a strip of binding material that is 3/4 the length of the edge to be bound." I narrow my eyes at this. Have the instruction-writers ever sewn with my particular fabric? They have not. Too many times I've found myself struggling to bind an edge with a strip that's precisely 3/4 of that edge, but it won't...quite...make it...because my fabric has some odd percentage of stretch, say, 21% instead of 25.
All of this is to say, that I always cut my strip too long. I can always cut some off, but adding fabric is dicey business. So I've cut a strip here that's roughly the same length as the edge to be bound.
Because we do want the inside edge of the binding to be smaller than the edge that's sewn to the fruit fabric, we do want to stretch the binding as we sew. If we just bound the edge with a strip that wasn't stretched, the binding would be all floppy-bunchy in weird places. So, while we didn't want to cut the binding strip 3/4 the length of the neckline edge, we do want to mark it at 3/4 the length.
So, we'll measure the distance from the front point to the center back, divide that by 3/4, and mark that measurement on the binding. Likewise for the other half.
So here it is, all pin-marked up, (and labeled with lovely melon-colored words).
Now we'll pin it to the neckline edge, matching those center back pins and the front point pins...
You will notice, I think, that the binding strip is smaller than the edge we're going to sew it to. Good.
Now, stretching the yellow (but not the white) as we sew, we'll carefully sew the binding to the neckline.
And it seems my fears were unfounded, because it fit perfectly:
So we'll just cut off that extra. (This time it worked. But just get comfortable and see if it works next time...)
After pressing that seam, we'll fold the long edge of the binding around to the back, so that it just covers the stitching on that side and pin it.
See why we didn't need another seam allowance back there? If this were a woven we'd need to finish or turn under that edge, but it ain't, so we don't.
Now, on the right side, we're going to topstitch close to the edge:
catching that binding in the back:
And here, after a little pressing (looks like it could use a little more) is the finished binding:
Okay! I think that's enough for today. Next time we'll tackle the sleeves and finish this baby up.
See you then!