We're moving along nicely in the sew-along and next we are working on the collar and neckline. If you are not putting a collar on your dress, skip to the neckline facing step. We'll see you there!
Collar: The collar needs to be stabilized with some interfacing. First you want to start with an interfacing suitable for knits. I wrote a post on interfacing last year, check it out here. Sew the collar pieces, right sides together. Clip corners and turn face out. Use a point turner to push out the collar points.
The directions tell you to under-stitch the collar facing. To be honest with you, I tried to, but was unsuccessful! I don't feel this step is necessary, especially since you're going to be top-stitching the collar piece. Did anyone successfully under-stitch the collar facing? What do you think the reasoning behind this was? I could see it being helpful for stability, but the top stitching was good enough for me. When I top-stitched, I did that first, then I put in the basting stitches because in the past when I've done the basting stitch, then top-stitching, I get a pucker at the end of my top-stitching, which makes it look really unprofessional!
Stitch the collar on the bodice, with the facing side down.
Neckline facing: In reading reviews about this pattern, gaping of the neckline was a hot topic. The gaping neckline is almost bound to happen with patterns like this. I think it also depends on your body type. If you have the bust to fill it out, you may be able to get away with it more than someone with a small bust. It also depends on where you let the bodice pieces lay on you. If you look through Pattern Review at the photos people have posted, you can see how some have the neckline fold up higher on them than others. Some actually have the bodice pieces under their bust.
If you find that you have a gaping neckline, I would recommend a couple fixes. When sewing the side seams on your bodice, give the front bodice more seam allowance than the back. It's like you're pulling the front bodice closer to you. As I was thinking of another solution, I thought you may be able to bring up the shoulder seam. But realized this step could only be done if you are not attaching your collar. It could still be done, you just have to place the collar differently. Just be careful you don't bring it up too much because you don't want large shoulders! And if you do it on one side, do it on the other. You don't want to be lop-sided either!
Ok, now that we've figured out how to fix a gaping neckline, lets work on the neckline! The directions tell you to fold the facing in half and stitch all layers to the bodice. Another option some of you may choose is to stitch one side of the facing to the bodice, then encase your seam in the facing. There could be a reason they didn't tell you to do that and maybe it has to do with the gaping. The exposed seam may give the neckline a little more stability, therefore creating less of a gape.
Top-stitch the facing down so that the facing does not flip out!
While doing some research on this pattern, I came across a fun take on the neckline. Rachel from House of Pinheiro used a print and solid combo to create a really cute dress! The solid knit was used in the bodice and the print was used in the skirt and neck facing. I love the solid/print contrast! Plus she changed out the skirt for a circle skirt. I think I'm going to give that a try!
Once your neckline is attached, lap over the right front bodice over the left and baste. I would also recommend basting the bottom along the notched edge. You will thank me later! And lastly, stitch the side seams together!
Try it on. See how it fits. Show us your progress on Flickr!
Have a great weekend and happy sewing! I'll check back periodically if anyone has a sewing crisis!