So excited to be sewing finally! Today we are going to tackle what is probably the most technically difficult aspect of the blouse – the neck facing. We will also do some french seams. By the end of today we will have our neckline finished and our center front all sewn up. It’s a very photo heavy post, but I promise that it looks like a bigger job than it actually is. Let’s get started.
First, staystitch the neck edge on the front pieces and yoke at a scant (just less than) 1/4”. Staystitching is a row of stitching along a bias or curved seam to prevent the fabric of a garment from stretching during construction. It’s a good idea to use a slightly shorter stitch length than usual to make the stitching even more stable.
Stitch the front v neck edge in the following directions:
And the yoke neck edge in the following directions:
Now that the staystitching is complete, let’s attach the yoke to the front pieces using a french seam. Start by pinning the upper edge of the front pieces to the front edge of the yoke with wrong sides together. Match notches and pin in place. This edge has a tendancy to be very slippery so be extra careful to pin well and keep everything in place.
Stitch the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance and backstitch at both ends.
Now carefully trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″.
Open the yoke from the front and press the remaining seam allowance up towards the yoke.
Now flip the front back towards the yoke and press the seam, now right sides together.
Pin in place and stitch at 1/4″.
Once stitched, press the french seam allowance up towards the yoke.
Outside of the garment :
Repeat for the other side of the blouse.
Now we are going to attach the neck bias facing to the neckline. It can seem like a lot of little steps, but if you go slowly your neckline will lay nicely against your skin and not flip up. Totally worth it.
With right sides together, pin the bias facing to the neck edge allowing about an inch of facing to extend off each center front. It’s fine if you have more than an inch at each end as it will be trimmed off later.
Stitch at 1/4” backstitching at both ends.
Trim bias facing seam allowance to 1/8” (Some of the thinner and more slippery fabrics that I have used have made this nearly impossible. So don’t stress out if you can’t. On the blouses where I felt like I was more likely to damage my fabric if I tried I just left it as is and they turned out just fine.)
Press the facing and seam allowances up and away from the garment. If you have a tailor’s ham use that when pressing, or you can also use a rolled up towel.
Clip the curved areas of the seam allowance close to, but not through the stitching.
With the right side facing up, understitch by carefully stitching 1/16” inside of the bias facing catching the seam allowance underneath. (Understitching is important because it is used to keep the facing to the inside of a garment.)
With the wrong side of the blouse facing up, fold the bias facing towards the garment until the raw edge touches the seam. Press.
Turn the entire folded bias facing towards the inside of the garment, rolling the neck seam slightly towards the inside. (So that you don’t see the facing peeking out on the front of your neckline.) Pin and press.
Edgestitch along the open edge of the facing all the way around the neckline from center front to center front. (Try to keep this line of stitching an equal distance from the neckline as you will see this line of stitching on the front of your garment. It should be approximately 1/4″ from the neckline edge.) Press.
Trim the excess facing so that it’s flush with the center front raw edge on both sides.
Now, match up the two front pieces along the center front with wrong sides together. Be extra careful that the neck edge and stitching line up perfectly. Pin. Stitch at 1/4″ from top to bottom backstitching securely at both ends.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″.
Open up the two sides of the blouse and press the seam allowance to one side.
Flip the sides back together but this time with right sides together. Press the seam and pin.
Stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance and backstitch securely at both ends.
Press the french seam to one side. If you want you can take a sewing needle and thread and tack the top edge of the seam allowance to the neck facing to keep the french seam allowance securely to one side.
Wow, that was a big post, but we are done for today. Tomorrow is much simpler.