As promised, here is my photographic step by step. Aren’t you glad you’re not wasting all this printer ink 4real?! You can click on the photos to see any of them larger and I have also posted them in a flickr set with the instructions if that’s more your style. I apologize that one or two of the photos are a bit blurry, trying to take macro photos while posing fabric in low light is definitely not the easiest thing to do. I had to call in my professional photographer for a few shots that required two hands on the fabric.
1. Print out instructions + pattern, tape pattern together.
2. Select your size and cut out the pattern pieces. You can blend between sizes if needed and lengthen or shorten the top between the lines provided. Be sure to lengthen or shorten the same amount on each piece.
3. Lay out and cut pieces according to the diagrams included on the pattern printout. I always trace my patterns with a pencil, it works just fine. Be sure to mark the pocket dart placement…I usually just stick a pin in them.
4. Sew the front darts pressing the dart excess down towards the hem.
5. Next is the pocket placement. This is much easier if you do it now than sticking it on at the end. Fold the top edge over 1/4″ the 1/4″ again, stitch along the folded edge.
6. Press the 1/2″ seam allowance around the pocket to the wrong side. I also notched out some of the corner fabric to reduce bulk.
7. Pin the pocket in place using the pocket placement guides for your size.
8. Topstitch the pocket down as close to the edge of the pocket as you can comfortably get, probably no further than 1/8″.
Note : Now you will sew the side and shoulder seams together. If your fabric is thin and you would like to use French seams as I did here to give a good clean finish follow steps 9-14 here, otherwise continue as directed in Step 7 of the Instruction sheet.
9. Pin your fabric together with the wrong sides together at the side seams and shoulders.
10. Sew a 1/4″ seam at each side seam and the shoulder seams.
11. Press the seam open.
12. Trim the seam allowance in half to prevent any fabric from sticking out of the seam once you seal it.
13. Fold the fabric right sides together along the seamline so that the raw edges are on the inside of the garment and the right side is facing out. Pin.
14. Sew a 1/4″ seam. This will conceal your edges and put the seam back to the inside of the garment. Press seam allowance towards the back of the garment.
15. Now for the hem. Turn the edge up twice 1/4″ each time, pin in place.
16. Stitch along the folded edge, this should be a 1/4″ seam.
Now for the armhole + neck binding. The steps for both armholes and the neck are the same, so start with one armhole as I did here and repeat these steps for each opening.
17. Take one piece of armhole bias binding and sew the two short raw edges together to make a circle (1/4″ seam allowance). Press seam open.
18. Pin the binding to the armhole and stitch around the opening with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
19. Once the seam is stitched, you will grade the seam. This is done by trimming the seam allowance of the binding so that it is a bit shorter than the seam allowance of the garment. This reduces bulk and makes things pretty. If it makes you nervous you can omit this part.
20. Clip the seam about every 1/2″ to within a few threads of the stitching. This part is important because if you forget, your bias won’t be able to lay flat and will start to pitch outward.
21. Once everything is graded and clipped, press the binding out away from the garment so that it lays on top of the seam allowance to set up for your understitching. A tailors ham is very useful while pressing these curved seams.
22. Once your binding is pressed up you are all set to understitch. Stitch through the seam allowance and binding about 1/8″ away from the seam line. This will help you neatly bind your edges by forcing the seam to neatly roll just inside of the garment so that no seams are visible on the front of your top. Dude, it looks so pro this way, I promise. Haha.
23. This is what your understitching will look like on the right side of the binding. Almost done now!
24. Fold the binding to the inside of the top and press.
25. Fold the raw edge of the binding under so that it is touching the seam and press. This will leave the binding approximately 1/4″ wide. Pin in place.
26. Stitch binding down with a 1/4″ seam allowance or as close to the folded edge as you feel comfortable.
27. That armhole is done! Now just repeat steps 17-27 for the other armhole and the neckline and you’re golden. Press that sucker and wear it out. Boo yah!