Jun 172011

Welcome back to the Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along! Today we will sew the shoulder seams and attach the neck facing. If you are just joining in, that’s fine! Order your pattern and fabric now, and you can catch up! :)

If you are running a bit behind, take a peek at the IntroductionDay 1 and Day 2 posts! You have until July 15, 2011 to complete your Family Reunion Dress and post your photo in the Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along Flickr group, and one person will be randomly drawn to receive a $20 gift certificate to Above All Fabric!

Using a 1/2” seam allowance, sew the pieces of the neck facing together, matching the notches. Press seam allowances open. Sew a basting stitch 1/2″ from outer outer curved edge (where you do not have interfacing). Additionally, sew basting stitches within the seam allowance and along the curve, leaving long thread tails, to help neatly gather the seam allowance during pressing. Gently gather the fabric within the seam allowance use the line of basting stitches at the 1/2” mark as your guide to turn and press.

Set the neck facing aside and pick up the front and back panels of the dress/shirt. With right sides together, sew from the sleeve edge to the dot you marked. Then clip vertically through the seam allowance to the dot and turn right sides out. (See right side below.) Then attach the pieces, wrong sides together, with a 1/2” seam allowance, from the dot to the neckline.

To finish the shoulder seams inside the garment, I opened the seam allowance, folded each side to the center, and closed them together, creating about a 1/4″ folded finished edge. Then I edgestitched, enclosing the raw edges inside. You could also zigzag or serge the edges. (The seam allowances left on the outside of the dress will be covered by the neck facing in the next step, so they don’t need to be finished.)

Pin the neck facing in place, taking care to match the shoulder seams. It does seem a bit strange initially, but you are pinning the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the dress—it all works out! The neck facing will overhang 1/2” at the ends.

Sew with your dress on top so you don’t accidentally turn the pintucks the wrong way.

Press the neck facing to the right side of the dress.

Before topstitching, press one more time, rolling the seam a bit and allowing the seam to stay hidden on the interior of the dress.

Turn the edges of the neck facing under and press. Pin a few times to prevent shifting and edgestitch just as you did with the button tab. (You could even insert rickrack or lace here!) After edgestitching, remove the basting stitch.

That’s it for today! I’ll be back on Sunday, June 19th and we will attach the sleeves and sew the sides of the dress together. (I’ll show you how to do French seams too!) Take a quick picture of your progress and post it in the Family Reunion Dress Sew-Along Flickr group! If you have any questions, feel free to ask here or in the discussion over in the Flickr group.

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