If you haven't practiced your sewing yet now's the time to do so.  Straight seams are the easiest but you can't always sew in a straight line so cut some circles out and practice folding some of the material over and sewing it down before you sew on the neck of your garment since the most difficult part of this sewing project is the neck.  

There are several methods for finishing the neck including; sewing on matching bias tape (purchased at any fabric store) which is then tacked down on the inside; making a facing with the same material (this is a difficult thing to learn by reading directions); and the one we will use this time, turning the edge under twice and sew it down.  We are doing the neck this way as everyone should know how to turn an edge. If your fabric has a right (darker or patterned) side and a wrong (lighter side) turn the fabric to the wrong side out.  If you can't tell which side is which the side you choose will be the inside from this point on. 

Lay the garment as you see in Figure 6, grab your pins and fold about 1/8 inch of the material over making an even edge all the way around pinning as you go.  (Pressing this down first also helps.  Be aware that a hot iron will melt plastic pin heads.)  Place the pins across the fabric (See Figure 6) so that the machine will sew over them (don't worry it will).  Sew down all the way around.  Since you are sewing in a circle and the outer edge of the neck is a little bit larger than the inner edge you will have to adjust the fabric a little to keep it from puckering.  Remove the pins and press seam down (most of those puckers will disappear).  Fold the fabric over 1/8 inch again and press it, pin it, sew it and finally press it.  You now have a nice 1/4 inch rolled finish neck on your tunic or underdress.


Now for the side seams and the hem.  Make sure your garment is inside out. (The neck seam should be on the outside)  Match the front to the back of the garment and pin in place. (See Figure 7)  If the sides don't match at the end of the sleeve or the hem that's okay we'll fix it later, just be sure the under arms match. (See figure 8)

If the under arms are not lined up right the garment won't fit right.  Sew along the seam line if you've drawn one or at least 1/2 inch from the edge. (Remember the machine has a 1/2 inch line on it to use as a guide.) 


Snip the seam under the arm in about 1/8 inch to allow it to curve (See Figure 9).  Press all of the seams open flat on both sides.  Turn and press entire garment.  Try on the garment and decide how long you want it if you didn't cut it to measure the right length.  Once it is the right length, trim any uneven fabric, turn inside out again and press and pin 1/8 inch over (as you did for the neck) make sure you keep the side seams open and flat.  (same rule of puckering and adjusting applies) Press flat and measure 1/4 inch to be the hem.  Fold over all the way round pressing and pinning as you go. Now decide whether to hand hem or hem by machine keeping in mind that a machine hem will show on the outside of the garment and a hand sewn one won't. (I only hand sew hems on very fancy garb, not on "field" garb.)  However you decide to hem this garment remember to press it afterward.  

You have taken your first step by sewing this project.  Nice Job!  Wear you garb with pride and don't forget to say, "I made it myself" when those compliments come your way!



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