Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let's Start Putting it Together. . .

Before we really get started putting this together, please make sure you've transferred the markings from your pattern onto your fabric.  The short lines you see along the edges of the pattern markings in Otto are equivalent to the notches you might see on a pattern from another company.  I make small snips in the seam allowance rather than using a pen or chalk, but use whatever method you prefer.

Sew gathering stitches between the markings at the shoulders of both front sections and along the top of the back section.  To do this, lengthen your stitch length on your machine as long as it will go and sew leaving long tails at either end of your stitches.  (You can also loosen your needle thread tension if you like, but I don't find it necessary on my machine.)  I almost always sew 3 rows of gathering stitches--one inside the seam allowance, one on the seam line, and one just a bit on the other side of the seam line, which will definitely have to be removed but which helps ensure even gathers.

Pull on your bobbin threads (all at the same time) to gather your fronts to fit the front part of the yoke, and the back to fit the back part of the yoke.

After gathering the pieces to fit, stitch the back to the back part of the yoke, and the fronts to the front shoulder sections of the yoke (being careful to make sure the center fronts are to the center).   Finish the seam allowance with a serger or zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine, and press the seam allowances toward the yoke.  Topstitch close the seam-line.

When you have both fronts and back section attached, it will look like this.

It isn't much, but that is all for today.  Tomorrow, we'll handle the frills (which you can skip, by the way, if you prefer the shirt/dress without them) and attach the button bands and probably the sleeves.

If you have a serger and have never used it to make a rolled hem, get out your manual and read up on how to do it.  If you don't have a serger, a sewing friend is going to put up a tutorial on her blog for how to do this on your sewing machine.

How is your shirt or dress coming along?!


  1. Att this point I haven't sewed anything yet. Sundays aren't usually my best days for sewing. I may get to it yet tonight, or else I'll catch up tomorrow.

    Wow, I never saw anyone use three gathering threads before! I usually see people do two, but I always just do one...'cause I'm lazy!

    I'm ending up doing one shirt and one dress-without-frill. I cut the shirt from a short-sleeved man's shirt in sunny yellow gingham, very high thread count! The dress is from a single yard piece of quilting cotton Hubby picked out of my stash. I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow.

  2. Oh, see, if I was using a man's shirt, mine DEFINITELY wouldn't have the frill because I definitely would have tried to use the existing buttons and buttonholes! (Talk about lazy :) )

    I started using 3 threads for gathering when my oldest was a baby and I made her a few dresses that required a lot of gathering. I really wanted very even gathers, but with 2 threads, I sometimes still ended up with odd-looking folds, uneven patches, etc. I found that adding the 3rd thread fixed that, so I still do it.

  3. I have my dress done and will post it tomorrow. I took some pictures of how I modified it, too. I had to use the seam ripper far too much this time. I apparently forgot how to put collars on...geesh! I will definitely make another one for summer, too. She was just too cute wearing it yesterday to a family gathering!

  4. I'm hoping to play catch up today and get the blouses cut out at least. I did decide what fabric I'm going to use!:)

  5. I can't wait to see Stacy. . .I know it will be fabulous!

  6. I'm crossing my fingers for you, Cindy :).