Day two of our sew-a-long and it’s time to start sewing! First things first, make sure you change your needle to a stretch, jersey or ballpoint needle.
I prefer to use my serger for most the construction, but if you don’t have a serger, no problem, this can easily be done on a sewing machine. In fact I made this one on the machine because it was late and I didn’t want to change my serger thread color 😉
You do need to use a stretch stitch if you’re using your sewing machine. Do not try a straight stitch, even a longer straight stitch, it will pop! They are NOT meant to be stretched and kids are rough on their clothes. There are a few different options depending on your machine; zig zag, overlock (remember do NOT back stitch when using this stitch), lightening bolt or triple stretch stitch. I would grab a scrap and practice a few to see what you like best. It is all personal preference and will really vary depending on your fabric choice. I use a good ol’ zig zag if I use my machine.
If you have a walking foot, you can try it out too. It will help you not stretch your fabric out! I don’t personally use one, but I know several ladies who swear by it. Again I am spoiled to my serger, I can see how this would be great if you were using a thin, slinky knit!
Lastly if you’re using a thin knit and your machine is trying to eat it…. do NOT start sewing at the edge of your fabric, but instead start 1/2″-3/4″ in and then back stitch.
Now, I wanted to give a quick tutorial on how to put your neck band in FLAT. If you are very new to neckbands, have trouble when sewing them, get gather along them or your neckband is usually uneven this MIGHT be easier for you! FIRST you only want to stitch together one shoulder seam.
Take your neckband and fold in half widthwise, wrong sides together.
Then quarter your neckband (Okay so it’s more like fifths, not quarters but we do it the same way 😉 ). Fold in half to find center, place a pin. Fold each end to center and place another pin.
Now quarter your shirt he same way. Fold in half to find center, place pin. Then fold each edge to center and place pin. Note this won’t be the center of your shirt or shoulder seam!
Now with right sides together you will stitch the neckband to your shirt. Match ends. Then you will slightly stretch the neckband ONLY to the shirt, matching pins. This is the important part- you want to stretch that neckband EVENLY! Use the pins and match them carefully while sewing.
Then iron the seam. I will say it again 😉 IRON and hit your neckband with some steam!! It will ALWAYS make your neckband look better and ‘bounce’ it back in to place if you stretched it out any. Now you can match your other shoulder seam and stitch in place. I like to add a small bar tack or stitch on the back side of the neckband to hold in place. Bada bam bada boom your neckband is complete and you can continue following the tutorial and attach your sleeves! Tomorrow we are on to ruffles!