Before we get started, you need to watch this video on stay tapes. This will ensure better looking finished garments. You can also view a tip sheet Pamela created to help you better understand the various stay tapes. Click here to view and print!
While SewkeysE is the company Pamela recommends, don't fret, other stay tapes will work fine for the shoulder seams. I didn't have this brand of stay tape on hand when I first started making the top and they turned out ok! But on my last top, I used SewkeysE and I would definitely recommend it! After you have selected the best 1/2" stay tape, sew or fuse the stay tape to the wrong side of the FRONT piece. You want the stay tape to line up with the edge of the shoulder line, like shown in the video. You will be sewing through the stay tape when you sew the shoulder seams.
If you cut out the darted front, now is the time to pin baste your dart. With right sides together, sew the front and back together at the shoulder seams. Now check your shoulder width. I was lucky and did not need to cut any of the shoulder away. If you have narrow shoulders, you may need to trim some of the fabric away. Here's a tip from Pamela on how to do this:
Narrowing the Shoulder Width
Try on the garment prior to putting in the sleeves. Make sure the seam line of the garment is right on the end of your shoulder bone. If it hangs over the edge of your shoulder, trim away the excess fabric, tapering to nothing at the armhole notches. Use Pamela’s Patterns “Curvey” ruler to true the curve. Make the changes to the Front and Back pattern piece. As long as this adjustment isn’t more than 5/8”, the sleeve ease should be fine.
Check the placement of the dart. Re-position the dart if it is too high or too low on your bust. Pamela has provided a great tip on how to re-position a dart.
How to Lower a Dart
On the pattern, draw a “three sided box” around the existing dart. This should be just slightly larger than the dart. Cut out the box. Slide the “dart box” down the desired amount.
Fill in the gap above the dart with pattern paper and tape in place. True up the side seam.
Sew the dart. Pamela has provided a great tip sheet on how to create the perfect dart. Click HERE to view and print. (You will want to print this out for future use even if you didn't need it for this pattern!)
Once you have the shoulders and dart taken care of, sew on the sleeve pieces, matching the notches. Press seam allowance toward sleeve.
That's it for now! On Thursday, February 12th, we will work on the proportions and getting the right fit for your top. If you have questions or problems, please ask! I will try my best to answer them and if I can't, I will be sending them to Pamela for advice. Be patient with a response, as I need to hear back from Pamela first before the answer will be posted.